DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. — “This was our first toy auction and I am not sure when and if we will ever have another,” Ron Pook said after two days of selling the last of 1,504 lots that had crossed the block. He added that “this sale attracted worldwide bidders, the Internet was very active, and we had over 1,000 left bids.”
Five days of previews started on Saturday, August 31, and continued right up until 10 am each morning of the September 6–7 auction. Bids came in from all over the world, the majority from the United States, but with a smattering from Germany, England, Canada, France, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium and Sweden. The estimate ranged from a low of $511,800 to a high of $823,900, and the final total was $743,966. The auction, made up of four large consignors and five others with fewer items, was 99 percent sold.
Large tables and glass cases on the first floor held 754 lots that were sold the first day, and the remainder of the sale was presented in similar manner on the second floor. Many collectors previewed the sale, spending hours checking for replaced figures in the wagons and fire engines, cracks in the cast iron, and painted surfaces. One collector noted, “You have to be on your toes when you collect toys, for there are guys who can do repairs that are about impossible to find.”
James Pook and Jamie Shearer did most of the selling, with Ron Pook wielding the hammer toward the end of the auction.
A Freidig cast iron taxi cab, 7¾ inches long, painted black with black and white checks, went for $1,659, and a German animated pull toy of two bisque head dolls in a boat, 11½ inches high, 10½ inches long, brought $1,823, both going well above estimate, while a Buddy L red-painted pressed steel fire truck, 38½ inches long, went well below estimate at $456.
A cast iron Friendship 1774 fire pumper, red painted, 16 inches long, sold for $563; a Vindex cast iron PDQ Delivery motorcycle, 9 inches long, brought $1,126; and a Hubley cast iron Crash car motorcycle, 11 inches long, realized $1,007.
Among the first lot of banks, both still and mechanical, a cast iron Panorama mechanical bank by J&E Stevens Company, 6½ inches high, brought $1,944; a cast iron US Mail still bank, 7 inches high, sold for $652; a cast iron Circus Ticket Collector mechanical, H.L. Judd, went for $486; a cast iron Tabby mechanical, 4¼ inches high, was $182; and two cast iron battleship still banks, the Maine and the Oregon, sold under estimate at $152.
Selling for $652 was a set of six composition elephant skittles, 5 inches high, and an animated musical acrobat toy with two Simon and Halbig bisque head dolls, one in red the other dressed in white, 10½ inches high and 12 inches wide, sold for $1,659.
A Tippco tin litho windup limo, 10 inches long, brought $243; a Marx tin windup Speed Boy Delivery motorcycle, 9¾ inches long, $152; a Bing windup tin model T-Ford limo, 6½ inches long was $474; and a Bing tin litho windup Fordson tractor, 7¾ inches long, went for $152. A Hubley cast iron Borden’s Milk Cream truck, 7¾ inches long, sold for $1,067, while an Arcade cast iron White moving panel van, 12½ inches long, achieved $3,081.
A Harris cast iron horse-drawn doctor’s cart, 11 inches long, sold for $385; a Kenton cast iron Uncle Sam chariot, 11½ inches long, sold for less than half the high estimate at $533; a cast iron Picture Gallery mechanical bank, Shepard Hardware Co., sold for $5,214; and a cast iron Uncle Sam mechanical bank, also by Shepard hardware Co., sold for $608.
Pictured last week in Antiques and The Arts Weekly was one of the rarest toys in the sale, a Niederst cast iron steam shovel, Good Roads Machry Toys, 18 inches long, that went for $10,073 against a high estimate of $8,000. One expert in the toy collecting field mentioned that “this toy is really hard to find and in all my years of collecting I have seen only three or four. This one was especially good, with all of its original parts.”
An Arcade cast iron Andy Gump car, embossed “licensed by Sidney Smith Corp.,” 7¼ inches long, went for $593; an Arcade cast iron Mack fire truck, 10½ inches long, sold for $547; a tin Ernst Plank live steam fire pumper, 16½ inches long, took $1,185; and a Buddy L pressed steel Industrial railroad, to include a locomotive and nine cars, went for $1,659.
An early American painted tin clockwork train, 11½ inches long, went under estimate at $1,067, while a Hubley cast iron Static speedboat toy, 9½ inches long, brought $1,067. Selling at $1,541 was a Kenton cast iron horse-drawn Happy Hooligan Police Patrol, 18¾ inches long, and an Arcade cast iron Fageol Greyhound safety coach, 12½ inches long, close to doubled its high estimate, bringing $1,007. A Hubley cast iron Lindy Sirius NR-211 airplane, wingspan 10½ inches, went just over the low estimate, selling for $1,580.
Going over estimate was a Buddy L pressed steel motor coach bus, green painted, 27½ inches long, for $2,133, while an enameled porcelain double-sided sign for Authorized Nash Service, 36 by 22 inches, went for four times the high estimate, selling for $1,659.
Other sales included a Hubley cast iron three-horse drawn fire pumper, 21½ inches long, that brought $504; an Ideal Toy Company cast iron horse-drawn hose reel, 24 inches long, at $1,067; a Harris cast iron two-horse drawn chemical wagon, 19½ inches long that realized $1,944; a cast iron Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest mechanical bank by J&E Stevens Company made $2,430; and a dent cast iron stake truck, 15½ inches long, red painted with driver exceeded estimate at $1,944.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
The next auction at Pook & Pook will be on September 24–25, decorative arts sale, followed on October 10 by the Goldberg and Brown Collection of Historical Blue Staffordshire and period furniture, fine art and accessories on October 11–12.
For additional information, www.pookandpook.com or 610-269-4040.