Nottingham

Nottingham Pram Company's vintage prams auctioned

Picture of the shop window of the Nottingham Pram Company Image copyright Mellors and Kirk
Image caption The Nottingham Pram Company was "much-loved and well-known" in the 19th Century

A collection of vintage prams and memorabilia stretching back almost 150 years has been auctioned.

The Nottingham Pram Company made pushchairs and perambulators from a factory in the city.

All the items, including a Victorian pram made between 1880 and 1885, belonged to John Whitby, who ran the firm for 55 years.

The 15 lots sold for £6,700, exceeding the expected £2,500 price tag.

Auctioneers said the collection was "a snapshot of a much-loved company" and was bought by various private collectors across the UK.

Image copyright Mellors and Kirk
Image caption The prams were manufactured from a factory on Alfreton Road in the city

The family business was founded in the mid-19th Century by Mr Whitby's grandfather.

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He took over in 1946, opening a shop on Goose Gate that sold the company's prams, which were manufactured on Alfreton Road, as well as treats for children, such as toys and comics.

Image copyright Mellors and Kirk
Image caption The auction included an iron pram from 1890 (pictured left) and a pushchair from 1949 (pictured right)

Auctioneer Nigel Kirk, of Mellors and Kirk, said the Victorians were "very keen on prams".

"Mr Whitby's father, a builder, and his grandfather were clearly men of considerable importance in Victorian and Edwardian Nottingham, of which they were both appointed freemen," he said.

"When he retired [in 2001], John Whitby had the foresight to carefully preserve everything connected with his grandfather's enterprise.

"For half a century the company was something of a Nottingham institution, selling not just prams but everything for the young child."

Image copyright Mellors and Kirk
Image caption This Victorian pram, made between 1880 and 1885, has a "coach-built body". It was auctioned alongside a painted wooden sign (pictured right)

The Victorian pram, which beat its estimate and sold for £480, has a "coach-built body" similar to the style used by the Royal Family to transport Princess Charlotte to her christening.

Image copyright Mellors and Kirk
Image caption Catalogues from 1956 were part of the collection

A painted wooden sign, which once hung outside the shop, was also auctioned, as well as catalogues, photographs, toys, comics, shop display material and World War Two posters and souvenirs.

Mr Kirk said: "Some of the items would not have been considered valuable in many people's eyes - for example the trade catalogues from the 1960s, 70s and even 1980s, might have been overlooked in a house clearance.

"However, these lots sold incredibly well, particularly to online bidders."

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