Published: December 9, 2015
Review by R. Scudder Smith
Photos Courtesy Bertoia Auctions
VINELAND, N.J. — “We had a wonderful three days, the sale went very well, we were pleased with the results, and we are now very busy, almost working around the clock, packing things for shipping for those who bought on the Internet, absentee and by phone,” Jeanne Bertoia said, adding that “we hope to have everything delivered to the buyers before Christmas.”
Bertoia’s Holiday Surprises Auction ran for three days, November 13–15, with a large selection, 654 lots, of European tin toys, penny toys and trains sold on Friday, for a total of $809,510. Saturday’s auction, 922 lots, featured cast iron automotive, banks, doorstops, pressed steel, pedal cars and comic character toys for a $681,952 total, and on Sunday 538 lots were sold, comprising dolls and bears, houses and miniatures, games and ornaments, pull toys, Halloween, Easter and Christmas ornaments, Santas and candy containers, bringing $376,361. The total for the three days was $1,867,822, including the buyer’s premium.
Tim Luke called the major part of the auction, with assistance from Michael Bertoia that allowed Tim to grab a bit of lunch, and a lineup of phones at the rear of the gallery was busy every day. Phone bidders accounted for 24 percent of sale, with the Internet registering 25 percent, and live/absentee accounting for 51 percent of the auction.
Friday’s sale got underway at 11 am with the Minstrel Playing Banjo, lot 1, selling for $1,534, followed by Tango Dancers by Gunthermann, Germany, hand painted tin, 8 inches high and in very good condition, for $767, just over the high estimate. All prices noted in this review include the buyer’s premium. The Minstrel with Drum, by the same maker, full figure with drum at waist, hand painted tin, 7¾ inches high, good condition, went out for $1,534, three times the high estimate.
Foxy Grandpa Tipping Hat, Germany, hand painted tin, 8 inches high with some crazing to paint, more than doubled the $800 high estimate, realizing $2,000, and it was followed by Foxy Grandpa in Rocker, Germany, hand painted tin, cloth outfits and fancy tin rocking chair, very good condition and measuring 8½ inches high, at twice the high estimate, bringing $2,950.
Fernand Martin Washer Woman, well detailed depiction of a Parisian woman hand washing her clothes, cloth dressed with painted tin head and hands, 7 inches tall, went over the $1,800 estimate, selling for $2,360. A few lots later, the Carette Two-Seater Tourer, Germany, circa 1906, lithographed tin with seated hand painted driver, lamps on side, 10½ inches long, very good condition but with replaced figures, went for $3,245, over estimate, and a Carette Open Tourer, Germany, circa 1912, hand painted tin, white body with red embossed seating, nickel headlights, 12½ inches long, sold within estimate at $3,540.
Four Marklin freight cars — a NYC caboose, San Diego/Arizona tank car, United Fruit car and box car — fair to good condition, 7¼ inches long, eight wheels, sold just over estimate for $2,124, while four Marklin tank cars — a refrigerator car, two Standard tank cars and a Shell car — O gauge, excellent condition, far exceeded the $400 high estimate, bringing $3,240. A Marklin 4-4-2 L&NWR tank locomotive, O gauge, clockwork driven, black body, lettered on sides, excellent condition, sold within estimate at $2,214. Among the locomotives in the auction was a Bing Bassett-Lowke live steam Black Prince, O gauge, 4-4-0 with decals on the side and six-wheel tender. There was some chipping to the paint, but the lot sold within estimate at $885.
A Lehmann Nu-Nu, lithographed tin, colorful depiction of a Chinaman pulling a chest of tea, clockwork, 5 inches long, sold over the $800 high estimate at $1,121; a Lehmann Captain of Kopenick, Germany, metal body and full cloth uniform with hat, walking action, 7¾ inches high, excellent condition, exceeded high estimate at $2,242; and a last-minute auction addition, a Marklin Olga battleship, Germany, hand painted, impressed scale and detail, ram bow design, fully railed deck, two masts with crows nests, done in battle green hues, original paint, 30 inches long, brought $29,500, just $500 short of the high estimate.
One of the popular penny toys, Cycle with Sidecar, Germany, lithographed tin, a scarce and desirable toy with driver and woman seated in sidecar, strong colors overall, excellent condition, went over estimate at $3,540, while a live steam road roller, attributed to Schoenner, well-detailed overall, activated by fixed cylinder, 11 inches long, brought $7,080, just under the high estimate. Selling just shy of the low estimate was a Marklin Horse Drawn Coach, Germany, hand painted tin, hide-covered horse with long mane and leather reins, 18 inches long, with horse in exceptional condition.
A bid of $4,720, just under the high estimate, took a Lehmann boxed Baker and Chimney Sweep toy, Germany, circa 1900, lithographed and hand painted tin, depicting a baker driving his cart while a chimney sweep behind attempts to hit him with a broom. The toy measures 5¼ long and the very rare box has some paper loss. Selling for $7,080, over high estimate, was a CIJP2 Alfa Romeo with box, France, circa 1937, in light blue body similar to the Alfa Romeo racer, clockwork mechanism, smooth tires and measuring 20 inches long.
Another grouping of trains brought up the end of the auction, with lot 573, a Marklin Cock of the North engine and tender, Germany, O gauge electric, selling for $12,980, under the $15,000 low estimate. They were in excellent to pristine condition, with green bodies and decals on the sides.
Saturday’s session of cast iron doorstops and banks, pressed steel and pedal cars began at 9 am, and the final day of selling, Sunday, bidders raised their paddles for bears and dolls, houses and miniatures, games and pull toys, Halloween, Easter, Santa and Christmas ornaments. That sale kicked off at 10 am. Reviews of both of these sales will be in a future issue.
For additional information, www.bertoiaauctions.com or 856-692-1881
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm