Published: July 11, 2006
Bertoia Auctions’ recent sale created a collector-charged energy not witnessed in many years. Collectors from around the globe were thrilled at the fresh toy, bank and toy collectible offerings, and showed their approval with an avalanche of record prices.
It was a pleasure, said Jeanne and Rich Bertoia, not just for the numerous record prices realized, but for the comments and the all-out toy spirit felt in the gallery over the weekend. The first hour of the sale starting with a Carnival Bank selling for $13,750, just after coming off the heels of a rare Butting Ram example, also exceeding estimate price and selling for $12,100.
There were plenty of bank offerings. In what one advanced collector termed a “pleasant barrage” of quality, the sale highlights were many and included: a pristine coin registering bank, $28,600; a Dog Tray Bank, $34,100; possibly the only known original patented Ferris Wheel Bank, $24,200; Paddy and the Pig Bank, $20,350; the very rare and desirable North Pole Bank, $39,600; an incredible casting, the US Bank, $67,100; and everyone’s favorite, a Girl Skipping Rope in stunning condition, selling for $72,600.
More than 125 mechanicals paraded to the podium, startingfrom Acrobat to Zoo Bank, and prices soared often from the floor,the phones, the Internet and the many absentee bids received by theauction house.
The bank session was intense, from a tin Fortune Telling Bank selling at $12,100 to a Jonah and the Whale at $8,800. And still banks were not to be outdone. Fresh to the market, a King Midas relocated for $6,050; Building with Belfry, $4,400; Elephant with Chariot, $2,090; Armored Car, $5,500; a Yellow Cab, near mint, $3,025; and a juicy Apple still bank, $4,400. A gold Alphabet still bank joined good company at $5,500.
The sale might best be remembered for “haven’t seen lately” prices, but that was only a direct cause from the multitude of cross-section fields of interest demonstrated for other toy groupings. European boats, for example, made their own splash during the two-day sale, as a very coveted Marklin paddle-hheeler, the New York, in fabulous original condition, hammered to the tune of $56,100.
The sale had its share of highlight cast iron pieces, starting with a scarcely seen and rarely offered Mack Ingersoll Rand Compressor Truck ending the bidding at $9,900, together with Borden’s Milk Truck at $9,350, a real gem of a Buick Coupe at $13,200, two Hubley Factory Fire truck examples at $6,050, and $4,675, respectively, Hubley Traffic Car at $9,900 and boxed Arcade Fire Truck at $4,675. A Kilgore Stutz Roadster helped seal the fate of cast iron vehicle supremacy with a final bid of $8,250, and it was on to more toys.
Popeye was in the house, and the sailor man made his presence known. A short recap follows: Heavy Hitter, $13,200; Flier’s Toy, $4,400; Aeroplane, $3,850; Chein Walker, $3,300; and Popeye in Barrel, $3,300. In addition to Popeye-themed toys and comic character favorites, European toys, such as Lehmann’s Ski Rolf selling for $3,575 and Guntherman’s Woman at sewing machine for $2,200. These shared bragging rights with Distler tin cycle and sidecar ending at $,3850.
A Schoenhut Wagon, complete with band of musicians, strolledto the tune of $44,000. Figures from this notable toy companycommanded plenty of bidding interest. A very rare High Wire Tentwent with the figures for $8,250.
Extra special lots included a Chariot for $5,225; Grotesque Jockey Figure, $2,475; Dollar figures at $2,750; and a Chimes Roller at $1,875. A very special lot was added to this group, a Clown Display Figure, handmade by Keith Kaonis and standing nearly 4 1/2 feet high, which sold for $1,430 to a new owner who proudly had it signed by its maker.
With so much offered in two days, those with a taste for doorstops, doorknockers and cast iron cigar cutters were also not disappointed at the selection and quality. Donkey Cigar Cutter with advertisement swept the honors, bringing $5,225, while a pristine Artie Cigar Cutter came in close second with a bid of $4,675.
Match safes are being noticed again these days. Prices achieved included an Eagle hanger model, $605; House with Removable Roof, $550; and Ring-up Safe, $468.
In the larger and heavier of casting interests, doorstopsshowed plenty of display power, with the large Black-Eyed Susansbringing $2,475; Bradley and Hubbards’ Girl Holding Dress, $3,300;Dancing Girl, $2,475; and large Elk, $3,850. There were plenty ofchoices from flowers to houses, to people to animals, and allwhimsical in between.
Prices reported include buyer’s premium.
Bertoia Auctions has announced a November auction with a special grouping of Christmas items to be featured. The three-day sale will feature magic lanterns from an important collection, Lehmann collection with many rarities, doorstops, mechanicals, still banks and toys from all points and fields of interest. For information, 856-692-1881 or www.BertoiaAuctions.com.
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