Published: September 10, 2002
Bertoia’s Moves $1.2 Million in Dolls, Toys and Mechanical Banks
VINELAND, N.J. – The attendance at Bertoia’s June 28-29 Toy and Doll Sale matched a packed showcases at the weeklong preview, according to the gallery.
The facility entertained a large crowd of collectors with toys, dolls, dollhouses and mechanical banks from prominent collections. Collectors traded $1.2 million for 1,112 antique lots sold over two days.
The top lot of the sale, an outstanding 21-inch French Bisque Bebe, incised A.T., the doll drew applause when it ended with a new owner at $55,000. Nearing the same pitch in applause was a Christian Hacker dollhouse pictured on the catalog. It left the building for $38,500.
An early Steiner doll complete with trunk wardrobe made $22,000; a charming 181/2-inch Portrait Jumeau sold for $18,700; a 20-inch Simon & Halbig Socket Head Lady dressed in blue linen dress brought $23,100. A rare two-faced Bru sold for $17,600; and another 20-inch French Bru Brevete created its own bru-ha-ha with a final bid of $16,500. Everyone was genuine in their thanks for a job well done and the camaraderie among the collectors was commendable.
More than 200 lots of dolls and related rdf_Descriptions were sold at a comfortable pace set by auctioneers Andy Ourant and Tim Luke.
The Friday session began with a mix of still banks with a pristine Mickey Mouse taking the lead at $2,200. Mechanical banks caused some fury and Teddy and the Bear got everyone’s attention when it changed hands at $6,850. A recap of pricing demonstrates the popularity of penny savers casted in fine form; Dentist Bank, $4,600; Mammy and Child with yellow dress, $5,225; Organ Grinder and Bear, $2,750.
Toy prices showed similar rhythm with Black Drumming Schuco bringing $660, Mechanical Pig Drummer, $770; and an Acrobat Bear tumbling to the tune of $770. Penny toys performed well: a Felix penny selling for $1,100; Distler Delivery Truck, $825; and Airplane Spiral toy, $440.
Pressed steel trucks by famous makers and popular pedal cars rolled away at a fast pace during the latter part of Friday’s session. All from one collection, the grouping featured some 200 entries and most were carried away by auctiongoers. Built to last, and they have, a Sturditoy Oil Truck sold at $3,575, while the same maker’s version of an Armored Truck brought $3,025. Keystone, also well represented, entered the bidding with a bus at $2,475 and a different sort of pressed steel entry, a Toledo Blue Streak pedal car, sped to $5,500.
Buddy L, one of the more popular of pressed steel collectibles, demonstrated strong interest with a boxed warehouse set bringing $4,125. The company’s version of the desirable Roundhouse commanded $2,200 and in a different transportation mode, a hangar with airplanes, soared to $1,540. American National Swallow plane brought $5,225 and this lot introduced a multitude of display airplanes sold that evening.
The sale contained a great mix of rdf_Descriptions and included some toy drums, cast-iron BB guns, toy scales and a nice assortment of cast-iron furniture. It was an opportune time for collectors to preview some rare miniature furniture from the Francis Claytor collection, together with some of the finest in doll examples. While a toy mirror and wash stand in cast-iron sold for $1,650, rare tin chairs by Evans and Cartwright sold for $1,870. The diversity of rdf_Descriptions and across the board prices continued with an Admiral Dewey Drum selling at $2,200, Champion Toy BB gun bringing $825 and a toy cast-iron stove from many offered in the sale, embossed”XACT” balanced out at $330.
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