February 20 2014 Thursday at 06:20 PM

Astonishing 1947 Coal-fired Live Steamer Model of the 20th Century Limited



Amazing! Completely handmade, completely functional steam powered model of the most gorgeous engine in the history of locomotives. Not that I consider $12,000 a trifle, but I honestly can't believe that this sold as cheaply as it did. I have marveled at the Mechanix Illustrated article in the past, as I have a particular affection for dorky back yard trains, extraordinarily ambitious home garage projects and masterpieces of art deco design. I can't imagine worlds colliding to better effect. 

 

Would it have sold for more if it was correctly identified as 1/4 scale, mentioned "20th Century Limited" in the title or had decent size photos? In a few years, will this appear in a Sotheby's Science and Technology auction with a $50,000 estimate? These are the types of items that still slip through the cracks of eBay - the one-of-a-kind, hard to describe items that are not being searched for. Frankly, I am glad I didn't know about the auction before the gavel fell or I may have done something rash. I sure hope the new owner plans to stoke the fire and get it back on the tracks.

 

Clearly, I need to add live steamers to my epic want list.

 

On eBay, sold for $12,600, no affiliation.