Published: October 3, 2017
Review and Onsite Photos by R. Scudder Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Morphy Auctions
DENVER, PENN. – There were about 20 people in the gallery, the phone bid takers were at the ready, and the internet screen was active when Lot 1 crossed the block at 9 am on Saturday, September 16, at Morphy’s Toy and Doll Auction. But the title on the front of the catalog did not tell the whole story, for this auction also included both still and mechanical banks, doorstops and a large selection of air rifles. At the end of the sale, when the last lot of this Saturday and Sunday auction was sold, a total of 552 registered bidders ran the grand total, including the buyer’s premium, up to $918,000. But back to Lot 1, the Lost Dog cast iron still bank, very good condition, sold within estimate for $375.
The cast iron still bank Mascot, very good to excellent condition, 6 inches tall, went slightly over the high estimate, bringing $1,599, followed by cast iron Baby in Cradle still bank with scarce electroplate finish selling for $2,091, over the $1,500 high estimate.
Lot 100, a cast iron automatic coin saving still bank with the Griffith Collection sticker, excellent condition, sold over the $1,500 high estimate for $1,722, while a cast iron Eiffel Tower, 9 inches tall and in excellent condition, sold just over the estimate at $1,046. In near mint condition was a cast iron still bank by Hubley, Give Me A Penny, all black, that went $150 over the high estimate, selling for $900.
A bidder in the room was the winner of Lot 265, Sonny Boy Clown mechanical bank, original trap and in very good condition, that went for $554. The man held up his bidding card, the auctioneer announced number 6, and the bidder quickly flipped his card over to the right number, 9.
Among the J&E Stevens mechanical banks was Boy Scout Camp, very good condition, that surpassed the $800 high estimate, selling for $1,968. Kyser & Rex was the maker of the Organ Grinder & Performing Bear mechanical bank, circa 1882, great example in excellent condition, bringing $5,228, within estimate; and Shepard Hardware’s Santa Claus cast iron mechanical bank, patent 1889, face strong and chimney has excellent paint, sold within estimate for $1,968.
Another product of J&E Stevens was Paddy & The Pig, cast iron mechanical bank in excellent condition, patented 1882, green coat with white pig. It went just over the high estimate at $1,968. A popular mechanical bank, the Stump Speaker, manufactured by Shepard Hardware Co., original working condition from the John Haley Collection, near mint, brought within estimate at $5,535.
J&E Stevens Boy Scout Camp cast iron mechanical bank, circa 1917, all original figures and original flag, excellent to near mint condition, sold at $6,600, just over the high estimate. The final lot of mechanical banks was J&E Stevens’ Jockey Over Toy, a scarce bank in excellent condition but with a crack on the left side of the figure, that went out for $286, within estimate.
A selection of toys got underway with J&E Stevens’ Bad Accident toy, very good condition, that brought $219, just under estimate. Several lots later a Hubley cast iron horse-drawn hose reel by Hubley, original reel and in very good-plus condition, went over the high estimate, selling for $508, while a cast iron City Car Line horse-drawn trolley 14½ inches long, possibly Wilkins, very good to excellent condition, paint restored, sold for $492, within estimate.
Wilkins was the maker of a cast iron and sheet metal two-horse-drawn barrel wagon, 22 inches long, with the original figure and in very good condition that went for $554, just over estimate, and eight lots following, a Hubley cast iron Royal Circus Farmers van, 15½ inches long, original figure, went over the $800 high estimate, realizing $1,230.
An Arcade cast iron Model A car with rumble seat, painted orange and with driver, very good condition, sold for $420, above estimate; an Arcade cast iron car hauler, 24½ inches long, very good condition, also sold over estimate, bringing $889, and a Hubley cast iron Friendship tri-motor sea plane, retaining the original rubber tires, yellow painted, went to $3,493, within estimate.
A bid of $615 took the pirate doorstop, a standing figure holding a sword and a scarf tied around his waist, 12¼ inches tall, book example in excellent condition, went above the $450 high estimate. A lot of two cast iron Boston Terrier doorstops, the largest 12¾ inches tall, one signed “Copyright A.M. Greenblatt Studio, 1928, #32,” each book example, sold for $1,080, double the high estimate. A doorstop depicting a Boxer dog, standing full-figure, excellent, brought $509, within estimate.
Two hundred lots of rifles and pistols rounded out the day, with lot 679, a Daisy Model 21 Sears side-by-side air rifle, brown stock with red forearm, overall condition 90 percent, selling just over high estimate for $584, and a lot of three Markham Chicago air rifles including a large BB caliber, all fire and all have bumps and scrapes showing age. The lot sold for $600, the high estimate.
Lot 701, a Daisy Model 21 Sears side by side rifle, checkered barrel divider, blueing 70 percent, went over the $375 high estimate, selling for $720, and a King Red Ryder prototype on plaque, hand made in the shop in 1939 by King who later died that year. This is one of only two of this handmade kind and the condition overall is excellent. It sold for $1,968, within estimate.
Two lots later, a Daisy Model 21 Sears side-by-side air rifle, manufactured for only one year, 1968, overall in excellent condition with blueing 95 percent, brought $780, followed shortly by a 1900 Atlas lever-action repeater, smoothbore barrel overall condition 90 percent, that went for $492. Close to the end of the sale an assorted lot of pistols with holsters, including 12 toy pistols and 16 holsters, went better than four times the high estimate, selling for $835.
Part two of this auction will appear in a forthcoming issue. For additional information, www.morphyauctions.com or 877-968-8880.
During the month of October, sales at the Denver location will include jewelry and timepieces on October 7, coins on October 12, and sports memorabilia on October 28.
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