Salem Collection of Model-Engineered Locomotives

Pulses Race for the renowned Salem Collection of Model-Engineered Locomotives

Dreweatts is delighted to offer one of the finest collections of model-engineered locomotives ever to come under the hammer in Britain. The heart of the collection is a group of British locomotives from the ‘golden age’ of steam in all gauges, ranging from 2½ inch to 10¼ inch gauge, with locomotives built by the greatest and most renowned British builders of the 20th century.

This important sale, which will take place at Dreweatts, Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire on Wednesday 25th April 2012, will undoubtedly be a landmark event for steam engine enthusiasts around the world.

This extraordinary collection of locomotives was lovingly put together over a period of 40 years, by the late Jack Salem. Amongst the highlights are engines by the likes of Harry Powell of Crewe, who worked all his life at the Crewe locomotive works, where he was a Master Coppersmith and chief of the copper shop. Powell built three of the locomotives to be offered at auction, the most important being a 7¼ inch gauge model of the Sir William Stanier London Midland and Scottish Railways ‘Pacific’ 4-6-2 LMS Locomotive and tender No. 6230 ‘Duchess of Buccleuch’, which is an exact replica of the original engine and was built according to the drawings at Crewe Works; this feat of model engineering took ten years and over 18,000 hours to build. Powell was assisted by his brother Norman and the paintwork and lettering was completed by Louis Raper, another famous locomotive builder who is also well represented in the Salem Collection.

Legend has it that when Harry Powell and Louis Raper delivered the ‘Duchess of Buccleuch’ to Salem’s home in Switzerland, on arrival Harry Powell turned to Jack Salem and said, “Well, you wanted the finest piece that has ever been built and here it is.

The‘Duchess’ which is remarkable for its attention to detail, has an estimate of £30,000 - £50,000. Other Powell locomotives in the sale include a 7¼ Great Western 61xx Class ‘Large Prairie’ side tank locomotive No. 6110, which was built according to the original drawings of the No. 6110 locomotive fresh from the Swindon works (estimate £15,000-20,000). Amongst other Powell pieces, is a Great Northern ‘Ivatt’ Atlantic Railways Locomotive and Tender No 1442.

Jack Salem regarded Louis Raper, who was from Failsworth in Lancashire, as possibly the best all round locomotive builder in his collection, due to his very high standard of workmanship in both building the locomotives and finishing them with high quality paintwork and lettering. In fact, another highlight in the sale is Louis Raper’s 10- inch gauge 4-6-0 Royal Scot Locomotive and Tender No. 46139 ‘The Welch Regiment’. This locomotive is a magnificent engine built to designs by Sir William Stanier FRS, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS at the Crewe Works. Raper’s fine exhibition standard 7¼ inch gauge Great Western ‘Dean Goods’ 0-6-0 Locomotive and Tender No. 2467, and the wonderful 5 inch gauge Class 27 Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways 0-6-0 Locomotive with six wheel tender, No. 11 will also set pulses racing with an estimate of £6,000-10,000.

Probably Britain’s best known model locomotive builder, was James Stanley Beeson of Ringwood, famous for building the finest ‘0’ gauge locomotive models. The Salem Collection has a model of a 7¼ inch gauge Great Western 0-4-2 side tank locomotive, which comes at the other end of the spectrum of Beeson’s scale engineering.

John Adams of Poole was also an eminent maker of top quality models and the Salem Collection includes a 5 inch gauge model of The Great Western Railways Castle Class 4-6-0 Locomotive and Tender No. 4082 ‘Windsor Castle’ which has an estimate of £10,000-15,000. Another fine piece of model making by Adams, is a 5 inch gauge British Railways ‘Britannia Class’ 4-6-2 Locomotive and Tender ‘William Shakespeare’ Golden Arrow No. 70004.

The Salem Collection also embraces pieces by William G Tucker, H P Jackson of York, L E G Parker and Murray Taylor.

Most models in the collection were commissioned by Salem from prominent locomotive builders who were also personal friends. As a true enthusiast, Jack Salem built an impressive garden railway just outside Geneva with track for 3 ½ inch, 5 inch and 7 ¼ inch gauge locomotives on which to run, complete with tunnels and viaducts; this was linked to an engine house designed as a Swiss chalet, where the locomotives were stored in heated and air conditioned surroundings. During the afternoons in his retirement, Salem was known to run some of his locomotives on his track.

Jack Salem was a steam enthusiast throughout his life; this passion began as a small boy when his father used to take him to rallies to see all types of locomotives from full sized traction engines and stationary engines, to model locomotives.

It is unlikely that another collection of this calibre will ever come under the auctioneer’s hammer again. Estimates have been pitched to suit most pockets ranging from as little as £2,000-£3,000 up to £30,000-£50,000 for the most important lots. Anyone interested in the history of the steam locomotive in miniature, cannot miss viewing this fine collection before it is dispersed forever.

The Salem Collection is offered for sale at Dreweatts, Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire on Wednesday 25thApril.

To view the online catalogue click here. There is also free online bidding at

To order a catalogue or request additional images, please contact the saleroom on 01635 553553 or email

For further information on the Salem Collection, please contact the specialist: Michael Matthews MRICS, IRRV, | 01635 553 553

Dreweatts - 27 March 2012