WW2 toy plane left in loft for 70 years fetches £10,000 at auction

Yahoo! News
Relic: The toy plane had been untouched since 1941 before it was found (SWNS)

It was meant to be a treasured wartime gift, but when the Blitz claimed its owner it remained untouched in a loft for 70 years.

But this toy aeroplane, which was given to a youngster in 1941 but was never played with, has found a happy owner after selling at auction for a whopping £10,000.

The tin monoplane was recently found wrapped in newspaper in a loft in Bristol where it had sat untouched for seven decades.

The newspaper included a story about how Bristol had been bombed heavily two nights before - the first time the city was hit by the Blitz.

Experts believe the plane was bought for a youngster who was never able to play with it and died during the bombing.

The camouflaged monoplane is one of only three made by iconic British toy manufacturers W. Britain.

William Britain Senior turned his hand from brass maker to toymaker in 1893, and pioneered the use of lead-casting toy soldiers.

His firm began making camouflage-painted toys after war broke out in 1939 but by 1941 had switched their manufacturing tools to help the war effort.

The mint condition plane was bought for £10,000 by an American collector at auctioneers Vectis in Thornaby, Yorkshire.

Spokesman Simon Clarke, said "Although they produced thousands of aircraft, W. Britain only produced a very small number just prior to ceasing production during the war with a camouflage finish.

"It was quite a good price - I was over the moon. It's not unusual to achieve those types of prices for W. Britain toys - they're sought after all over the world.

"In that period from the outbreak of war to when they stopped making toys the next year, they made a lot of crazy toys related to war.

"They made them only for a matter of months, then they went over to war productions. From 1941 they stopped making toys and started making hand grenades."

The plane was originally bought for 9s 6d - or #18.30 in today's money - from Gyles Brothers of Bristol.

It still packaged in its original box which could be turned into a 'hangar' by following instructions.