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Car bonnet mascots are in the driving seat at automobilia sale.

SERIOUS collecting of car bonnet mascots took off in the mid 20th century, their highly decorative qualities appealing not only to motoring fans, but to anyone who appreciated period design.

Some car makers employed leading designers to create the figural pieces, when ownership of a motor was an indication of personal status.

At Brightwells Automobilia sale in Leominster, English and European models proved most popular with a signed and dated Rolls Royce kneeling lady going for pounds 210 and an art deco Jaguar mascot suitable for an MG and signed "C.Brau" for pounds 500.

Possibly the most iconic of mascots, the Riley Ski lady, in this case mounted on a radiator base, sold for pounds 230 despite damage, while a piece in the form of a devil or goblin went for pounds 90.

A French chromed cockerel, by H Briand also made pounds 90, while an Alvis hare mascot stamped AEL achieved pounds 170 and an Isle of Man TT mercury mascot on a radiator cap made the same price.

An amusing Pifco blue glass illuminating owl, pictured, sold for pounds 100 with a bronze Ole Bill mascot signed by his creator, Bruce Bairnsfather, made pounds 180.

A Schneider seaplane mascot with Rolls Royce markings and spinning propeller, produced to commemorate the R.R-engined Schneider seaplane success, made pounds 360.

One of the most contested lots was an Austin J40 pedal car, known as the Prince Charles toy because of a photo of the Prince of Wales driving one as a small boy. This model retained its club book and badge and sold at pounds 1,050.

Enamel advertising signs seem to be holding their value, a double-sided "British Goodrich Road Tested Tyres" example featuring a 1920s Bentley selling for a good pounds 750.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 9, 2010
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