The David Cooke Collection

Lots 1000-1151 of our 17th December Toys & Models auction comprises part two of renowned Dinky Toy expert the late David Cooke's collection  


David Cooke (1943-2021) became a well-known personality in the Dinky Toy world and an authority on the subject from the 1960s onwards.  His passion for Dinky Toys started in childhood in the early 1940s when his grandfather took him shopping to choose a Dinky Toy for his Christmas present. From that day on, he was hooked.  He had a lifelong interest in all transport, especially buses and, in particular, Eastern Counties buses.  Dinky Toy buses were a favourite of his to collect.  In the early sixties his passion for Dinky Toys renewed itself by finding original Trade Boxes and filling them up with the relevant models.  This carried on for the rest of his life.


In 1960 David joined the Maidenhead Static Model Club; in 1972 he founded the South West Model Club and in 1979 the East Anglian Model Club.  During this time and in latter years he was corresponding and meeting with many prominent Dinky Toy Collectors and people associated with the Dinky and Corgi factories, Cecil Gibson, Mike and Sue Richardson, and Marcel Van Cleemput, to name a few.


When David had to retire early from work, due to his terminal diagnosis of cancer, he decided to use his time by fulfilling a lifelong ambition, which was to start a magazine for Dinky Toy Collectors.  This became ‘The Journal’ for The Dinky Toy Collectors’ Association (DTCA).  This started in a very modest way at home, with photocopies and recycled paper, and is now produced as a lovely glossy, non-profit-making magazine, and is distributed all over the world with 500+ members and a dedicated committee of volunteers.  There is also a website for enthusiasts.


Among some of David’s many Dinky Toy related achievements were his appearances on national television, including ‘Craven’s Collectables’ and the ‘Antiques Roadshow’, where he was featured in the Prime Collector’s spot.  In 2003, the Royal Mail produced a set of postage stamps dedicated to toys, for which David provided a Dinky Toy model and helped with the promotion.  He has also taken part in numerous radio broadcasts and ‘phone-ins’ on the subject of Dinky Toys, giving expert advice and valuation.  He wrote two books on the subject of Model Toys for Shire Publications, one on Dinky Toys and one on Corgi Toys, these have been reprinted many times.  He made videos on the subject helping new collectors to familiarise themselves with the models and has written many Dinky Toy related articles for magazines.


His collection represents years of pleasure, seeking out rare Dinky Toy models and Trade Boxes and variations, as well as other makes of model cars and artefacts.  For the past 27 years, David was proud to display some of his models at Bressingham Steam Museum, sharing the subject with the public, and speaking and corresponding with other enthusiasts.



David has had two previous large sales of his Dinky Toys, one in the 1980s and one in the 1990s.  It is with sadness that this is his parting sale, but he would be delighted to think that the contents of his collection will be bought by fellow collectors and enjoyed for many years to come.


David’s wife Lesley, his children Louise and Alex, and the five grandchildren are so proud of his achievements in all respects of his life, especially with regard to his knowledge and dedication to the world of Dinky Toys.


The collection can be viewed here and the full catalogue here.

We are open for viewing Thursday 16th December 10am-7pm and from 8.30am on the morning of the auction 



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