Published: June 20, 2017
Review and Onsite Photos by R. Scudder Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy of Bertoia Auctions
VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia Auctions was very busy during the first part of June, with its spring auction on June 2-3 offering toys, banks, dolls, bears and a collection of steam engines. “It was an interesting two days with an active internet, lots of absentee bids, busy phones and people in the gallery who got a fair share of the offerings,” Jeanne Bertoia said. Friday’s sales totaled $520,000, while $530,000 was the total for Saturday. Both numbers include the buyer’s premium.
Tim Luke, who has been with Bertoia for close to 20 years, and Michael Bertoia, Jeanne’s son, did the selling. The Friday sale began at 11 am with 595 lots, and on Saturday the sale started at 9 am with 700 lots.
Selling for $3,000, the high estimate, was the fourth lot of the morning, a Lehmann Baker & Chimney Sweep with box, Germany, circa 1900, measuring 5½ inches high. This hand painted tin toy depicts a baker driving his cart while a chimney sweep attempts to hit him with a broom. It has great clockwork action and a very rare box. Another Lehmann toy was a tin rickshaw pulled by a standing figure with a woman holding a parasol seated in the rickshaw. It measures 6½ inches, mint condition, and comes with the original box. It went out at $6,000.
A Victor Bonnet Clockwork Pigeon, France, circa 1930, was tin litho with forward moving head and changing directions. It was in excellent condition and sold over estimate for $780. A Gunthermann Cat Violinist, hand painted tin in fine original condition, 7½ inches tall, moving tail, sold for $1,440, just over the low estimate. Another Gunthermann lot, the Clown See-Saw Toy, 14 inches long, sold for $5,100, just over the high estimate. This hand painted clockwork tin toy features clowns at both ends with one clown rolling back and forth as the toy operates.
A Lehmann Dancing Sailor with box, tin body dressed in full sailor’s outfit with hat, clockwork action that causes a dancing movement, sold over estimate for $1,020 to an internet buyer. This toy was all original, pristine condition, and measures 8 inches tall. The Monk Walking Pig Pull Toy, 5½ inches tall, with both figures standing on a green flat platform, sold to a phone bidder for $1,800, over the high estimate.
Selling for $3,300, just over estimate, was another hand painted German toy, Poodle Tipping Clown Chair, 9 inches high and restored, while a Dog Trainer by Gunthermann depicts a man with stick in hand to control a jumping dog. With a $2,000 high estimate, this toy, 8 inches high and in excellent condition, went for $3,600.
With a $600-800 estimate, a Wright Bros-style airplane in tin, painted yellow overall, bi-wing design with seated pilot in red, sold for $2,280, and a Japanese Lincoln Continental with Trailer, lithographed tin auto in blue with white top, the camper trailer in shades of green, sold for $2,040. It is all original and measures 11½ inches long. A boxed Mitsubishi Pickup Truck, Japan, friction driven, overall red with white striping, blue litho interior 19 inches long, brought &2,700, almost twice the high estimate.
A selection of steam engines included a Bing Horizontal version, circa 1912 and all original, complete burner, stack, water bucket and funnel 11-by-10-inch base, pristine, brought $1,020, just a puff over the high; a Marklin Horizontal Steam Engine with Gyro, water pump, governor, scale boiler and fire box, yellow and brown colors throughout, went over estimate at $1,560, and a JF Rosef Falk Stationary Locomobile Steam Engine, circa 1925, complete with flywheel burner and stack, went over estimate, selling for $1,680.
Toward the end of the auction a Gypsy Shell Game Magic Automaton, attributed to Lambert, France, with a woman standing behind a game table, went for $3,300, just over estimate. Her composition head has inset glass eyes and the table has a checkerboard cover. Two lots later, a Monkey Marquis with Harp by Gustav Vichy, France, circa 1880, sold over the $4,000 high estimate for $6,000. Seated on a green velvet chair is a composition head monkey with glass eyes and leather eyelids, painted complexion, double hinged mouth and a double row of teeth. The figure has a wooden harp and plays two tunes. This piece came from the private collection of Christian Bailly from “The Golden Age of Automata.” A lovely Queen Anne-type wooden doll, English, with dark inset eyes, one-piece head and torso with wooden jointed arms and legs, went for $6,600, over the $3,500 high estimate.
A group of dollhouses was offered toward the end of the sale with a Bliss Dollhouse, lithographed with a turret, gables, balcony, wraparound porch and painted roof bringing $2,800, in the middle of the estimate, and a Gottschalk Red Roof Dollhouse with Garden, great architectural detail, gambrel roof, balcony, side porch and entrance, and with an attic panel that opens and reveals a furnished bedroom. It is 16 inches high and sold just over twice the estimate at $1,920.
A large collection of bears closed the auction, with lot 1371, a Strunz Rod Teddy Bear with shoe button eyes, leather pads and stitched nose, 20 inches high, selling for $2,400, over the $1,500 high estimate, while a Steiff Cream Teddy Bear, circa 1907, stitched nose, shoe button eyes, cream plush mohair and original pads, 12 inches high and near mint condition, brought $1,140, just under the low estimate. Selling for $1,200, twice the high estimate, was a rare Steiff Dickie Teddy Bear with blonde mohair, glass eyes, stitched nose, working squeaker, and measuring 10 inches high.
The gallery is at 2141 DeMarco Drive and more information is available from 856-6921881 or www.bertoiaauctions.com.
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