Sven Molter and Stephan Goldmann have an heirloom in their luggage. The two friends from Zweibrücken have an old steam locomotive that they want to learn more about. Goldmann’s grandfather’s brother once ordered the machine from England. But in the end it just stood around in the basement.

This example is a model of the legendary “Rocket”, a steam locomotive built by Robert Stephenson in 1829, as Sven Deutschmanek explains. The replica was made by the English company Maxwell Hemmens in a scale of 1:16, probably in the 1970s or 80s. The expert points out that everything here is really handmade – even the plumbing. In fact, you could get the locomotive to run.

The two would like 700 to 900 euros. Deutschmanek goes over it: He thinks 2,000 to 3,000 euros is realistic. However, the bids in the dealer room do not initially reflect this. Wolfgang Pauritsch opens the auction with a highly unconventional bid. He starts with 80 euros – the sum that Walter “Waldi” Lehnertz usually offers. He is not amused that someone is poaching in his territory: “Reconsider whether you should increase your offer,” he says to his colleague. “You can’t go down.” However, Pauritsch sticks with it. It goes up in increments of ten, and Waldi still secures the 180 euros.

Jan Čížek asks about the expertise – which causes concerned faces among the dealers. “I hope my bids don’t offend you,” says Pauritsch, who immediately raises the price to 1,000 euros. That’s not enough for the seller, at 1200 euros an agreement seems possible, but Stephan Goldmann reconsiders and prefers to take the steam locomotive home with him.

Before the expertise, he would have been satisfied with less than 1000 euros. But the fact that he now knows the true value changes everything for the man from the Palatinate. He prefers to keep the beautiful model.

Source: “Bares for Rares” in the ZDF media library

also read