Published: June 17, 2011
A recent discovery yielded a selection of rare toys and advertising items that were sold at James D. Julia Inc’s May 4‵ toy auction. Included was one of the finest, all-original, Carpenter Burning Buildings known †the wooden building with its cast iron façade depicts a brownstone townhouse engulfed in flames. After a heated bidding battle, it sold at $31,625.
From the same collection, a rare Automatic Toys Women’s Rights clockwork toy with its original wooden box depicting an energetic black woman pounding her fist on the podium, clamoring for the right to vote, realized $14,375.
Another recent discovery was a live steam Atkins Stover locomotive and tender, commissioned by the grandfather of the consignor who was a railroad tycoon. The highly elaborate brass and steel locomotive and tender with their original wooden crates chugged past its $15/25,000 estimate to sell for $40,825.
German innovation has long been a favorite among collectors of antique toys, and two rare and sought-after tin clockwork boats from two separate sources included an all-original, 18-inch Marklin paddlewheel boat, the Brooklyn , with elaborate decking and detailing in untouched condition, which steamed to $60,375. It was joined by an untouched, all-original, double paddlewheel boat, the Montreal . Attributed to Lutz, or possibly Rock & Graner, this rarity from a New England home sold for $46,000.
Other top lots of the day included a selection of music machines led by a coin-operated Multiphone. One of only a handful known to exist, its tall oak cabinet encases a carousel of 24 cylinder records that play through a massive brass horn atop the machine. It sold to a phone bidder for $63,250.
A rare, full-size 1912 Harley-Davidson Silent Grey Fellow motorcycle, lovingly restored with original parts, sold for $27,025. An unusual and rare all-original candy container in the form of a kaleidoscope is one of the rarest forms known and one of only a handful known to exist. It brought $20,700.
The American-made Buddy L pressed steel toys become the standard upon which all others were based. Although better known for its trucks, a special highlight was an unusual Buddy L tugboat in all-original condition, which realized $17,250.
Cast iron toys include a variety of vehicles such as a scarce Hubley DO-X airplane. The larger of the two sizes produced, this example sold for $5,750. A rare cast iron Kenton overhead Morgan yard crane consisting of a collapsible trestle frame on a wooden base that seldom sees the public marketplace brought $6,037.
In addition to the toys was a selection of antique advertising signs and displays. Topping the list was a very desirable paper poster for Ayer’s Pills; estimated at $5/10,000, it sold for $30,475. The same collection included a wide variety of soda-related items, such as a rare paper poster for Hires Root Beer depicting a young boy being pulled in a goat cart, which promoted it as the “great health and temperance drink.” This rare paper poster fetched $10,350. A rare 1902 Coca-Cola hanging paper sign of a beautiful Victorian woman writing a letter while enjoying America’s favorite beverage sold for $14,950.
Collectors were delighted by a selection of fine French dolls. Seldom seeing the market was an outstanding and rare, diminutive 9½-inch Steiner F. Having numerous phone bidders at the ready, it quickly sold at $25,875.
A rare 16-inch, painted eye, swivel neck Huret fashion doll sold for $16,100; and a 15½-inch Bru Jne 4 with bulging almond-shaped eyes and sublime expression realized $9,775.
The auction also featured a portion of the Barbara Thornsjo collection; a passionate and compulsive buyer of folk art, eclectic toys and funk, the house was bursting at the seams. The toy portion of her collection was offered, including a grouping of Yellow Kid items. A rare Yellow Kid theater featured a troupe of four dancing kids; it far exceeded its estimate, realizing $5,290.
All prices include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.jamesdjulia.com or 207-453-7125.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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