Published: May 21, 2002
Mechanical Banks and Miniature Furniture Tally $1 Million for Bertoia
VINELAND, N.J. – The April 19 and 20 Fancy Goods and Toys Spring Sale at Bertoia was highlighted by miniature dollhouse furniture, with almost every conceivable furniture accessory, rare tables, chairs, chandeliers and complete room trimmings placed on the bidding podium.
The vast grouping was from the Frances Claytor collection. This event staged Part I of the collection, and the importance of the miniature furniture became apparent when a rare Evans and Cartwright table sold for $2,475. A set of four Evans and Cartwright chairs brought $3,575. Objects of interest such as hanging birdcages, table lamps, dressers, side tables, beds and assorted metal accessories received high held paddles of applause throughout the afternoon’s allotted sale time, and judging by the $2,750 paid for an ormolu display cabinet, $990 for a Marklin doll’s bed, $1,210 mixed paper litho luggage lot and $715 worth of Tynietoy dining room accessories.
Dollhouses included large-scale examples such as the Barcelona House, which posted a sold sign at $19,250, and a detailed Tramp Art house at $4,400. A New Hampshire custom-built model sold for $4,675.
Bliss houses sold with increased interest and Mrs Claytor’s examples were plentiful. Part II will again bring out some interesting miniature real estate lots, including a Christian Hacker example.
Once again, Bertoia presented a selection of mechanical banks and high marks were recorded for several examples. A White Owl, turns Head sold for $20,900. In comparison, the Brown version sold for $3,300. The Magician Bank needed no tricks to reach $22,000. The Picture Gallery Bank, a rare example with colorful detail and great mechanical action, created a stir of its own at $30,250, while another headliner, a Humpty Dumpty at $11,000 and a decorative pink base Frog on Base sold at $8,250.
The sale contained a mix of toys and fields of interest. Cast iron cap guns came to the forefront of the collector interest with high numbers coming from Sambo Cap Pistol, $4,400 and Clown on Powder Keg, $2,750.
This cast grouping helped introduce the rare cast iron Blinking Eye Clocks grouping which soon followed and this segment also featured a few surprises. A striking Hobo example found a new home at $27,500, while a popular Santa figural left the building at $10,405.
For a different medium and a whole new mind-set of collecting, boxed examples of Japanese tin autos kept bidders at peak interest and intensity. The big wheel of the lot was a 1961 Black Chrysler Imperial at $22,000, followed by a super mint Lincoln Mark II Continental for $8,250 and a colorful toy rendition of a Chrysler Newport at $7,150.
The tin cars all hailed from one private collection and most collectors were in agreement that for current trends, the prices weighed on the high side, but noting the disappearing act of great examples on the market, the prices were well within reason.
From the Tom Stoddard Still Bank Collection Sale and Friday’s session began with nearly 500 more examples. Pottery and ceramic entries commanded strong interest, as did the many cast-iron versions offered for sale. From the first lot, a grouping of two safe vaults selling for $165 to absolute across the board selection, still bank enthusiasts definitely welcomed the variety. Paint does matter and the colorful buildings prove that every sale.
Rarity echoes the ring of importance and Silo at $1,320, two post Skyscrapers at $1,650 and Bear Seated on a Log for $1,100 points the finger to the claim.
Topping the comic character toy notables, a mint and boxed Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd Private Car bid to $8,250 and a nearly perfect Buck Rogers Rocket Ship in box sold for $3,025. The Highway Henry car sold at $4,950.
The sale ended with some heavy hitters and they all belonged to the category of doorstops: A rare Giraffe stop sold at $5,225 and Whistling Jim attentively brought $6,050.
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