In Tbilisi the only place where I’m likely to find interesting old diecast models is Drybridge Market. Drybridge Market is the most interesting market in Tbilisi. You’ll find all kinds of knick-knacks and charming miscellanea from art, accordions, samovars and electrical gadgets to china, glass and silver being sold off by impoverished old folk.
With markets, the best advice is to look for what you know. There are bargains to be had but you can also be ripped off. I mainly look for diecasts ignoring the treasure trove of medals, coins, stamps, samovars etc….
These three I saw on Thursday: Left to right: 1907 Peugeot, 1927 Talbot Van “Ever Ready” and 1912 Ford Model T “Captain Morgan Rum”. I succumbed to temptation and asked the price of each and was told 25 lari ($14.52). I offered 15 lari ($8.71) for the Peugeot. The stall person suggested 20 lari ($11.62) and muttered something about the “patron”. I put the model down said “Madloba” (thank you) and was about to walk off, when she acquiesced to my original offer of 15 lari ($8.71).
The stall above is my first port of call, it is run by a guy called Ucha, he sometimes allows for exchanges and recognising me, will offer a better price than a market newbie.
These are nice but ridiculously overpriced. Even a little Tomica model was priced at 30 lari…
Some of the models on sale can be rather rough.
A selection of diecasts in all sorts of conditions, Drybridge is great for old models from the Soviet Union, but they can be pricey.
General pictures of the market can be see in my Facebook album: https://www.facebook.com/jim.holroyd.9/media_set?set=a.10151375085835544.1073741836.698065543&type=3
Some of the models, I ve purchased at Drybridge:
This rather playworn Alfa Romeo 2600 was actually made in Tbilisi by Sikharuli, a copy of a Politoys model. This cost me 12 lari ($6.97).
This Kingstar Ferrari Dino cost me 20 lari ($11.62).
This Majorette Volvo 760GLE with the Corgi Land Rover “Royal Mail” cost me 10 lari ($5.81). The Hot Wheels Cadillac Cien was just 2 lari ($1.16).
These two Italian supercars: Maserati Mistrale and Iso Grifo are plastic and made in the USSR. They cost me 10 lari ($5.81) each. On the Internet I ve seen them optimistically priced at over $100!
This Moskvitch 412 (Made in USSR) cost me 15 lari ($8.71). These are not all my acquisitions from Drybridge, just a sample, I will probably visit the market once a week, and it is rare when I come away empty handed.
13 June 2014: another visit to the market, on the bonnet of a car I see some monster trucks, looking more closely there is a plastic box with some diecasts.
I ferret around in the boxes and find first a Majorette trailer with a lion cage and then a Tomica model of a Toyota Dyna with Vacuum Pump (my first Tomica)…the pair cost me 8 lari to which I added a playworn Matchbox Ferrari F50 for 2 lari.
In the same month (June 2014) I bought my second Tomica, a Toyota Crown in Japanese Military Police Livery for 5 lari from Drybridge Market.
August 2014: Another guy with a moustache (Serguy), a regular trader, has a lot of boxed Bburago Models on sale. A mix of Italian and Chinese at 10 lari each, unlike some of the traders he is not open to negotiation and won’t even reduce the price on the suggestion of multiple purchases (not even when I suggest 18 lari for two, for example). I bought a couple of Italian made Bburagos, a Lancia Delta S4 and a Porsche 911 from him.
I picked up quite a few models at Drybridge in August, I was especially pleased to find a Corgi Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta (made in Great Britain in around 1969), which had been on my wants list for a long time.