Published: October 10, 2017
Review and Onsite Photos by R. Scudder Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Morphy Auctions
DENVER, PENN. – The crew at Morphy’s put in a very full day on Saturday, September 16, selling more than 400 lots of mechanical and still banks and lots of cast iron toys, including cars and trucks, motorcycles, horse-drawn carts and wagons and several fire trucks. Many cast iron doorstops were also sold, including such as figures and many animals and birds, followed by 200 lots of Daisy and other name brand air rifles, totaling for the day 879 lots. A complete review of day one appeared in last week’s paper.
On Sunday, the Morphy firm was back in action for another full day, this time selling 836 lots of dolls, some trains, many toys, boxed games and robots. Sales of both days totaled $918,000.
An early framed Kestner doll got the ball rolling, followed by a lot of four factory original petite German children, the largest 5 inches tall, incised “13a” by George Bruchlos, featuring fixed glass eyes, closed mouth and on five-piece composition bodies with painted black stockings and tan shoes. The lot sold just over the high estimate at $540.
With a high estimate of $3,000, lot 918, a 16-inch Simon & Halbig 1358 brown bisque character doll with brown glass sleep eyes, open mouth with red painted lips, four upper teeth, pierced ears with loop earrings and mounted on the original fully jointed wood and composition body, brought $4,350. She wears a period black human hair wig with long curls and antiques black leather shoes, and is in very good condition.
A lot of two bisque head German girl dolls, the largest 23 inches tall with blown glass sleep eyes with painted upper and lower ashes, open mouth with teeth and a wood and composition body, while the other doll, 20 inches tall, has blue glass sleep eyes, open mouth with teeth and a fully jointed wood and composition body sold, over the $400 high estimate, bringing $476. A few lots later, two wooden doll carriages, Joel Ellis style, one with two prancing horses at the front, went within estimate at $360.
A German tin litho penny toy boat, 3½ inches long, three stock with lithographed flag in front, sold just under the high estimate at $381, while a rare German tin litho pinball machine penny toy, 4Ã½ inches long, went out at $540, also just under high estimate.
Selling within estimate at $720 was a prewar French tin litho windup Jep automobile, 13 inches long, sedan model, with the original key, front light and horn. It was rated very good to excellent. Selling for $984, over estimate, was a German CRO tin litho windup motorcycle toy, 6¾ inches in length, with box in excellent condition and little wear to the toy.
Measuring 8¾ inches long was a German Distler tin litho windup Bico Bus to Joyville with the original seats and driver. It went within estimate at $1,524, while the next lot, a German Bing hand painted delivery truck, 11 inches long, with composition driver, six burlap-type delivery bags and the original canvas, in excellent condition, brought $1,476, just under the low estimate.
An American Tramways tin trolley, 11½ inches long, an attractive biscuit tin that was also a child’s toy, lithoed in brown and yellow with various advertisements on all sides, had a handle on the top, allowing it to be carried as a lunch box. It sold within estimate at $1,080. Three lots later, a Strauss tin litho windup Tombo Roof dancing toy, with box, went for better than twice the high estimate at $1,353. The toy, exceptionally clean, retains the original arms, hat and rod.
A German Hausser Elastolin clockwork half-track prime mover vehicle, 14 inches long, is probably the nicest and most elaborate Hausser military toy made. It carried 11 composition figures, including the driver, and even retains two of the original rifles. The final bid was $2,858, just under the low estimate. Sections of train included a very rare prewar O gauge American miniature train passenger car, 8¼ inches long, marked “Empire State Express,” all original including the roof, that went for $1,169, over the $900 high estimate, and a Leland Detroit tin litho monorail set, including four elevated cars and some track, went for $1,651, within estimate.
Lot 1291, a pressed steel Buddy L aerial crank ladder fire truck, 28½ inches long, circa 1925, that has been restored, went just below low estimate for $540, and several lots later, lot 1299, pressed steel Buddy L engine and tender, 26½ inches long, circa 1928, sold just over the high estimate at $1,080. This large series outdoor railroad train shows overall play wear, but retains the original paint and decals.
Another Buddy L lot, a pressed steel flivver pick up model, 12Ã¼ inches long, in the original paint and with an early circular decal pasted on the floor, went for $450, within estimate; a pressed steel Steelcraft army truck, 27½ inches long, an absolute old-school storage stock toy, never played with, in mint condition, sold for $900, over estimate; and a pressed steel Steelcraft Mack crank dump truck, 26 inches long, circa 1927, C-cab model with great paint and decals, very good plus condition, brought $960, just over the high estimate.
Selling for $1,140, just over the high estimate, was a pressed steel Buddy L Atlas truck with box, circa 1854, with the original paint and decals. It is in excellent condition, showing little play wear. Selling for $99 over the $1,500 high estimate was Bullmark Angillas, a beautiful Japanese toy design that sparks when it rolls on its chest and then the sparks light up its translucent purple cover. Astro Boy GA-62 in very good condition, went over the $600 high estimate, selling for $1,046.
The $6,000 high estimate was easily passed by an extraordinary Pegas Delux Robot that sold for $9,225. This toy, by Takemi, includes catalog, trays, Styrofoam and all accessories, including vinyl figure in near complete condition in a near-mint condition box. The catalog notes that “This is an extremely sought-after toy and we have not seen one in better condition ever.” This toy represents a wonderful combination of vinyl toy, die-cast toy and 1970s shoebox-style art. The box features one of the most vibrant and colorful pieces of art that was produced in the 1970s. The catalog says, “You won’t find a better example.”
The top of page 276 in the catalog showed a number of robots, including lot 1499, a Nakajima Gorizer X vinyl robot with magnets and in near-new old stock condition. The box is excellent and this lot went for $1,230, above estimate. It was followed by a lot of two, a Danguard Ace and Daidenjin tin windups with Getter 1 boxes, each 9 inches tall, Popy, that sold for $1,476, above the $1,200 high estimate. Each of these seem to be the rarities of the Popy tin windup series.
“It is very challenging to find an example in such beautiful condition” the catalog writes about lot 1501, a Kemlar from Ultraman, Marushin, a red-winged version with its jewel-like eyes, hinged tail and shooting gimmicks. In near-mint condition it sold for $923, just over the high estimate. A lot of 2, Gundam Robot and Core Fighter Jet, sold for $1,496, over the $1,200 high estimate. The Core Fighter is one of the most beautiful and intricate die-cast vehicles of the early 1970s as the ship’s design proportions are perfect and mimic the transformation of Gundam pilot Amuro Ray’s space ship. This toy is excellent-near mint condition.
Toward the end of the auction a lot of nine Civil War-type toy guns and holsters was sold for $1,016, over the $600 high estimate. Six of the holsters are Rebel holsters with matching Apache guns and there are a few Daisy-type guns and some plastic bullets. A Confederate-style and -colored child size-hat is also a part of the lot and condition varies from very good to excellent.
Selling for $1,080, above the $800 high estimate, was a Japanese tin litho friction Masked Kamen Rider Go!Go! car with the original box, 11 inches long, made by Aosian. When the car is in motion, it makes a clicking sound and the driver has a vinyl head. Condition is excellent.
There were a number of lots toward the end of the auction that stirred up good interest, including a Japanese tin litho friction Super Space Cycle, 12 inches long, a blue tin litho version made by Bandai, marked “Super Cycle” on rear and “Space Patrol” on the front of the gas tank. In very good to excellent condition, it went for $2,032 against a $1,200 high estimate. It was followed by a very scarce Chinese tin litho friction Moonship, 10¾ inches long, with a very colorful original box. This toy is marked “Foreign” and “Moonship” on both sides and top, and friction works and emits a siren-type noise. It brought $4,613, nearly eight times the high estimate.
Lot 1713, an early Chinese tin litho battery-operated space toy, one of the rarest Chinese battery-operated toys, sold within estimate for $1,599. It was marked “Observatory” on the front, along with a nice space scene.
Very often it pays to stay to the very end of an auction, either in the gallery or sitting at home in front of the computer screen, as bargains can happen. At this sale the last lot, 1736, was a framed 1897 Etrennes Bazaar Francais poster measuring 63½ inches by 47 inches, showing affluent Parisians dressed in formal wear giving toys to children. In very good condition it sold for $699, way under the $4,000 high estimate.
For more information, call 877-968-8880 or visit www.morphyauctions.com.
The auctions scheduled to be conducted in Denver, Penn., for the remainder of the year include Sports Memorabilia on October 28, Firearms & Militaria on November 3-5, Fine & Decorative Arts on November 18, Advertising on December 9-10 and Toy & Doll on December 16-17.
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