Condition of the Collection
The condition of the articles left from the original collection are similar to those sold in the Christies sale catalogue 1996. Christies then stated:
"Auctioneers normally advise against restoration of items, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this collection is one of them: Anthony Bianco and friends have expended thousands of man hours and a very considerable sum of money to ensure that in parting with twenty-five years of work that the contents of this sale are in superb condition.
He has used the highest standards of archival restoration and in many cases the areas concerned are minute in size. As a matter of principle, any replacement or reconstruction necessary has been carried out using original Meccano materials of the same period and quality; an exception is the fitting of post-war wheels to some pre-war locomotives and stock. Even prior to restoration, the condition of the collection was remarkable; but certain pieces, such as pre-war or two-rail sets, were almost impossible to find with absolutely perfect boxes. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine seeing a more impressive display and sale ever again."
Generally, the condition of the items now being sold from the main collection is equal or in some cases superior to those sold at the Christie's auction. Where an item does not come from the main collection it may in some cases, be of lesser condition than items in the Christie's sale. Generally the purchaser should rely on the photographs, and Christies description above for condition.
The combination of exceptional rarity and condition qualifies a few items to be described as "Gems or Stars of the Collection". These are normally the items that I have found very difficult to acquire and most have been locked away in a strongroom for many years.
As the Bianco family is moving, the collection has been put in secure store. The items are being extensively photographed to demonstrate the generally superb condition. We are trying to give views to show both sides and ends and, where possible, to show flaps and ends to boxes. The sets are photographed in situ and with the items placed on track. We have not photographed all the standard instruction leaflets. Those not photographed are generally in very good or better condition. The reverse of showcards have been photographed to show the different supports and cardboards used. A studio has been set up with intense lighting which tends to highlight defects rather than hide them. We have tried to avoid reflections and glare. Sometimes reflections cause the photograph to show a defect that doesn't exist. Where possible we have mentioned this in the descriptive notes for the item.
Some locomotives, particularly those that have never been run have not been tested.
Detailed notes on photographs; It is very difficult to accurately photograph all of these items. For example, some of the big boxes look as if the outer edges are curved whereas in reality they are normally straight. This results from the barrel effect from the camera lens. We have tried to minimise glare but occasionally you will see reflections. With very dark coloured items, we have boosted the lighting levels so that the black can be seen more clearly and this will tend to wash out any bright colours. Also in photographing large boxes (particularly the interiors) it is often difficult to avoid any shadows. Sometimes these appear as if they are marks on the box packing which is not normally the case. The camera has also picked up one or two reflections from bright reflective surfaces which make them look as if there are flaws whereas in reality, there generally are not. We try to qualify descriptions where appropriate.
To make the download time of the pages realistic we have included thumbnails which give a general impression. In the majority of the cases, if you click on a thumbnail, you can download a higher resolution picture which appears in a new browser window. To return to the thumbnails, close the browser page. This avoids users having to re-enter the main website.
Unpriced items: I have done my best to price most things so as to avoid asking for offers. A few items remain un-priced, awaiting advice. So if you come across any in which you are particularly interested then feel free to make me a sensible offer.
For pre-war Hornby Dublo, please see the introduction page for additional details.