I have a total soft spot for the Eureka Grand Prix pedal car (above), made sometime in the 1930s. For me, it’s a piece that reawakens an unrealised childhood dream of owning the perfect red car. Its design evokes an earlier, golden age of motoring: this isn’t just a functioning toy, but a work of art.
Eurêka, ‘Grand Prix’ car, circa 1930. Pedal car in painted sheet steel, Estimate: €2,000-3,000
Modern work, Chevrolet Bel Air Banquette, painted sheet steel, leatherette and chrome steel.
This unusual piece used to form the backseat of a Chevrolet Bel Air — the kind of classic car that inspires road trips across the US. There’s a little bit of rock’n’roll in each of us. This work is a nod to the carefree 1960s, when youths would ride around in convertibles, blasting out Elvis Presley. What memories! It’s a seat that would be the perfect addition to a contemporary interior — or a full-blown Sixties-themed design.
Grand bi, circa 1880. Wheels with metallic spokes, metal frame, solid rubber tyres. €1,200-1,800
The grandfather of the modern bicycle, today the penny-farthing is the preserve of circus acrobats and eccentrics. I fell in love with this piece from the moment I saw it, propped up against a white wall in a Parisian apartment, standing on the parquet floors that are so typical of Haussmannian buildings. I’m sure its original owner would be most amused to learn that, a century on, the bike has left the garage and become valued as a display piece.
After Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Aubusson tapestry woved by the ateliers Pinton Frères (marked reverse). One of six produced between 1958 and 1961. Hand woven wool tapestry. Estimate €10,000-15,000
Another piece that plays to my love of the circus is this unique tapestry in the style of Pablo Picasso’s Two Clowns, made in the Ateliers Pinton at Aubusson around 1958-1961. I love the way the faces of the two clowns’ on this piece burst out of a neutral background to meet the viewer. It’s a composition that is simple and joyful — a perfect piece to hang in a child’s room, to inspire dreams full of the thrills of the fair.
Bugatti, Baby 52, circa. 1930. Aluminium, painted sheet steel and leather, electric motor. Numbered 37. Estimate: €30,000-50,000
I have a nostalgic affection for the spontaneous races of yesteryear, which would see young racers — some only 10 years old — dash along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, or around the Zoo in Buenos Aires. This toy, the Baby 52, was based on the famous Bugatti Type 35, and was motorised, making it the perfect toy for millionaires’ children during the interwar period. It was coveted by a generation and, today, is a fantastic collector’s item — perfect for zipping around the vestibule of a château, or an open-plan contemporary loft!
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