Published: May 31, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Bertoia Auctions
VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia Auctions offered its Annual Spring auction in a two-day event, May 19-20, during which all manner of toys drove, flew, chugged, marched or hopped across the block. With more than 95 percent of the 1,209 lots finding new homes, the sale was a solid success earning in excess of $1.2 million.
“One thing we’ve observed that’s been consistent throughout is condition is king,” Michael Bertoia said after the sale. “And pieces that are fresh to the market are always very well accepted.”
Marklin is about as good a name as train collectors want, and a red cab locomotive and tender proved its mettle, earning $21,600 from a bidder in the room. The clockwork, gauge 1, locomotive measured 10½ inches in length and while it was missing a bell and lamp it was otherwise considered in pristine-near mint condition and had descended in the family of the original owner. It was the highest price achieved during the event.
There were about 60 Marklin lots in the sale altogether, with results across the board. Following the red cab locomotive and tender were two Limited Vestible Express cars – both O gauge and both all original – rolled to $11,400, more than double presale expectations. The two had come from an upstate New York estate sale. Other Marklin results in the sale ranged from $240 each for a lot of streamline racers and a four-wheel coach to $4,200 for a container gondola that retained its original gondolas.
On March 11, Bertoia sold a Tippco Mickey and Minnie Mouse motorcycle for a record setting $222,000. There were a total of 39 Tippco lots on offer, though none came close to the result realized by Mickey and Minnie. A German motorcycle with two Army soldiers, alongside a third in a sidecar, overshot its $6/9,000 estimate and closed at $13,200. It was sold by the same seller as a German Army motorcycle ridden by just one rider that made $6,600.
A charming 20-inch-tall Steiff center seam teddy bear in excellent-pristine all original condition, with just a few moth holes in the pads also earned $13,200. It was the only Steiff toy in the sale. Other animals in the sale could be seen in a clockwork gander holding goslings ($12,000), and an extensive German Noah’s Ark with 104 pairs of animals that had provenance to the Kaonis Collection ($9,600). Also, from the Kaonis Collection was a dapperly dressed clockwork rabbit in a roundabout auto that zipped out the door for $1,200.
A large collection of Coca-Cola collectibles, owned by Ray Burgess, were advertised far and wide and 95 lots were presented that spanned myriad forms and subcategories but all – well nearly all – displaying the familiar red and white logo. A 1930s five-cent fountain dispenser, rare in a six-sided form, was in excellent all original condition and quenched the most thirst when it topped off at $9,600. Because everyone wants ice in their sodas, it is perhaps not surprising that a 1939 salesman’s sample of an ice cooler that was accompanied by its original flip books and insulation samples, in near mint condition, brought a cool $5,700.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For information, 856-692-1881 or www.bertoiaauctions.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm