It’s this mechanical scale model of a three-ring circus, currently on display at Rosebery’s auction house in West Norwood. @RoseberysLtd
It’s beautifully put together, with over 100 moving parts, all of them mobilised by a single engine. Apart from that engine, it’s all mechanical.
Here's the the big top. It was made by David Hardie in the 1930s, and used by salesmen as a demo to circus owners of what they could buy.
A track goes all the way round, and carries two horse-drawn carriages and an advertising truck.
It takes five people two days to put it up. Same for taking it down. It’s quicker to set up an actual circus.
But once it’s going, and is switched on, it just runs and runs. Apparently it’s run for over 30 years without breakdown. Someone worked out that this amounts to 90,000 miles.
It’s been in various places over the years, including the model village in Babbacombe in Devon. But now the time has come to sell it. You could buy it if you want. The starting price is £7000.
Anyway, it’s a lovely thing, and if you have a chance, get yourself down to Rosebery’s. They have it on display, and switch it on some afternoons. The sale is on November 22nd. auctions.roseberys.co.uk/m/lot-details/…
They're expecting it to go for between 10 and 20k. Wouldn't be surprised if it was more.
It’s not switched on every day, but they have the times posted on the front door. Sale is on Thursday, so hurry!