Spicers Auctions: Collection of vintage arcadia machines from world famous Watermouth Castle collection to go under hammer
Spicers Auctions will auction the items in their antique, arts and arcadia auction on November 24, starting at 10am.
Having recently changed hands, the new owners of Watermouth have decided to rationalise their extensive collection of automaton, arcadia, amusement and attraction machines.
Spicers Auctions valued the machines in the castle with a view to offering a number of interesting pieces for auction.
Watermouth Castle is near Ilfracombe, North Devon, designed by George Wightwick as a residence for the Bassett family in the mid-19th century and is not a true castle but a country house built to resemble one.
It has been designated Grade II* listed.
In 1977 the castle was purchased by Richard L. Haines and his wife; over the years they filled the castle with weird and wonderful machines and rides, bought from a wide range of sources.
In 2023 the family sold the castle and its contents to The Escapade Group.
Amongst the highlights are a very rare set of four early Disney display automatons, made by Pytram Ltd of New Malton, Surrey, c.1936/38, for the new Butlins resort in either Skegness or Cleethorpes.
These 190cm square x 90cm displays are thought to be unique and were a special commission from Billy Butlin with the backing of Disney who wanted to push Mickey Mouse and his friends to a new audience in the UK.
They are made of a fibrous celluloid, articulated and have a musical soundtrack using a polyphone disc.
Other highlights include a Play Football by Chester - Pollard Amusement Company, a Twins Drink Milk machine and a Laughing Sailor.
In all some 30 machines will be offered for sale.
There will also be other vendors entries including vintage slot machines.