Published: July 19, 2016
Review By R. Scudder Smith, Photos Courtesy Morphy Auctions
DENVER, PENN. — On Friday, June 24 at 9 am, Morphy Auctions was off and running with a three-day sale that began with a Japanese tin friction Plymouth two-door sedan, 12 inches long, a 1961 model, that sold for $244, and ended on Sunday, June 26, with an Enterprise Memorial Money Box and mechanical bank in very good condition selling for $2,196, five times the high estimate.
This sale, which brought in more than $1,483,000 for the three days, including buyer’s premium, included three one-person collections along with objects from individual consigners. The Jack Herbert Collection of Fine Transportation Toys, consisting of 363 lots, got the ball rolling for this sale and included cars, buses, ships, airplanes zeppelins and more collected over decades. Jack’s collection was displayed in his Greenwich Village home and was open to all with an interest in antique toys. He is also a well-known writer who did articles for Antique Toy World for 40 years.
On Saturday the James McComb Collection of Trains, 21 lots, was sold, including turn-of-the-century to World War II Bing and Marklin trains. To display his collection, he designed, in their Chicago apartment, a train conductor’s office and filled the walls with his finds. The trains were also an important part of Christmas, running on tracks that surrounded the tree. The Richard Zuercher Collection of Trains was also part of the Saturday sale, with 522 lots crossing the block. It all started at age 4 with a Christmas gift from his father, a Lionel 2359 Boston and Maine GP-9. He was an avid collector and a well-known member of the Train Collectors Association.
A scarce Japanese tin 1953 Packard Patrician auto, 16 inches long, made by Alps, Japan, black with chrome trim, went for $1,220, just over low estimate, and a prewar Japanese tin windup Pontiac sedan, 12 inches long, circa 1917, in excellent condition, brought $2,440, just under the high estimate. An English tin litho Macintosh’s candy container, 8 inches long, truck with coffee can-type back piece marked “The Baby Tin Toffee de Luxe.” It dates circa 1920s and brought $1,220, double the high estimate.
An Italian tin litho single-deck bus biscuit tin, 10¼ inches long, circa 1920s, a windup with passengers depicted in windows, sold over estimate for $2,318, and a scarce English tin litho windup charabanc bus, 11 inches long, made by Whitanco, England, circa 1920, with original headlamps, white rubber tires and tin litho driver, brought $2,318, just under the high estimate. Lot 134, a French flying boat toy (Le Lieutenant de Vaisseau), measuring 16¼ by 19½, litho windup, very good to excellent condition, went over the $5,000 high estimate, selling for $6,710.
Selling for just short of the high estimate at $3,965 was an early French clockwork Pinard twin-seat racing car, 16 inches long, hand painted in dark blue with red pinstriping. It has a side horn and white rubber tires. Several lots later, a German tin litho clockwork Carette Phaeton auto, 12½ inches long, circa 1905, Renault-type hood, two side lamps and rubber tires, went for $4,880, over the $4,000 high estimate. Another German car, a nifty tin litho Cameraman, 8½ inches long, circa 1920s, was marked “Movie Man” and “Nifty” on the front hood with the original lithographed driver and cameraman. In excellent condition, it brought $3,355, within estimate.
Among the nice selection of boats was lot 270, a paper on wood City of New York ocean liner, 39 inches long, made by Bliss, circa 1895. The catalog notes that “this is one of the nicest, most attractive paper on wood boats made” and it brought $6,100 against a $4,000 high estimate. Selling for $2,440, twice the high estimate, was a Chein tin litho oversized Hercules concrete mixer, 16½ inches long, Mack front push toy and the cement mixer part turns by chain-driven action. It was in excellent condition and could use a cleaning.
Bringing $7,930, above the $6,000 high estimate, was a German tin litho clockwork Ebo limousine toy car, 13½ inches long, with the original three-dimensional lithographed driver. This is the deluxe version with roof rack and opening doors.
A prewar Japanese tin litho windup ball toss toy, 12¼ inches long, was complete except for the ball, but still went well over the $800 high estimate, realizing $3,600. It was in excellent with very colorful litho. A Japanese battery op gang of five radicon robots, 10 inches tall, complete with the original antenna and remote, excellent condition, sold just under the high estimate for $5,400. A bid of $7,930, above the $4,500 high estimate, took a rare pressed steel Buddy L tug boat, 28 inches long, circa 1928–29, in the original green and gray paint. It also retains partial Buddy L decals on both sides.
A highlight among the Steiff pieces was lot 921, a very rare studio parrot with all IDs, life sized, measuring 20 inches without the tail and 33 inches with. His oversized feet are made from felt and he is out of a New England collection. He sold for twice the high estimate at $3,050. Selling within estimate at $4,270 was a French Jumeau doll in pink hat, 12½ inches tall, with large blue paperweight eyes, finely painted facial features, and in very fine plus condition.
Among the lots in the James McComb Collection of Trains was were two gauge Bing GR. Central Railway coaches for Bassett Lowke Co., 1904–09, that realized $4,270, well exceeding $1,200 high estimate. Selling for $1,830 was a lot of three, a Lionel brass No. 54 and two passenger cars, No. 18, in excellent condition, and a Lionel No. 2341 original Jersey Central locomotive, with box, brought $1,342.
Another toys and dolls sale at Morphy Auction is set for September 24–25.
For additional information, www.morphyauctions.com or 877-968-8880.
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