Published: November 23, 2010
“Toys for the Mantle,” a collection of 1,869 catalogud lots and 120 uncataloged lots, was sold during a three-day session auction at Bertoia Auctions on November 12‱4. “It was a very busy three days, the sale went well, and it grossed $1.6 million including the buyer’s premium,” Jeanne Bertoia, the firm’s president, said. She noted that it followed the usual pattern of bidding, some high and some low, with “lots of European activity for the toys and holiday objects.”
“We have a major global buyers base, and it keeps getting stronger,” Jeanne said. That segment of bidders had a slight problem on Sunday when the Internet bidding went down for 89 lots. “The problem was in Dallas, Texas, and the blockage affected four auction houses across the country,” Jeanne said. It was a “first-time problem,” which the Bertoia staff handled quickly through its phone bank and cellphones. “We were able to handle the bids,” Jeanne said, “but it does show that the best place to be for an auction is in the gallery.”
A 17.5 percent buyer’s premium is charged by the gallery, discounted to 15 percent if paid by cash, money order or check. Internet bidding is subject to a 20.5 percent buyer’s premium, discounted to 18 percent if paid by cash, check or money order. All prices included in this review, and with the photographs, include the buyer’s premium.
Cast iron, Part I, included still banks, mechanical banks and arcade furniture, while cast iron, Part II, included all of the doorstops. In total, 571 lots were sold on Friday, including the following:
Lot 20, Parmalee Taxi Cab, Arcade, yellow body with black roof, 8 inches long, excellent condition, went for $2,070, just over the low estimate, while an International dump truck, Arcade, cast iron and painted green overall, 10½ inches long with one replaced tire, went just over the high estimate at $1,035.
A large Crash Car, Hubley, Indian motorcycle painted red overall, seated police driver, 11½ inches long, went over the $2,500 high estimate, selling for $3,163. A Hubley transitional ladder wagon truck, 22 inches long, early and scarce example, gold trimmed eagles embossed on the sides, pristine condition, brought $2,875, better than double the high estimate, and a green cab still bank, Arcade, black hood and roof, 7¾ inches long, excellent condition, went well over the $500 high estimate, selling for $1,495.
A lion tail right still bank, green painted with Arcade label on the left side, 4¾ inches long, went for $515; the Trader’s Building, still bank from Canada, street names on all sides and opening front door, 8½ by 9½ inches, excellent condition, went for $1,725; and the Globe Savings Fund mechanical bank, Kyser & Rex Co., circa 1869, pristine condition, painted red with gold highlights, sold for $2,875, within estimate.
Hold The Fort (seven holes) mechanical bank, cast iron, manufacturer unknown, in very good condition but with replaced target and flag, sold over estimate at $4,025, while Girl Skipping Rope mechanical bank, second casting, J. & E. Stevens Co., Cromwell, Conn., in overall excellent condition, went over the high estimate of $5,500, selling for $8,625.
Toy collectors showed interest in an Elgin Street Sweeper by Hubley, circa 1930, painted gray with driver, replaced tires, that sold for $4,025, over estimate, and a 1934 Desoto with electric lights, 8 inches long, rare example painted green with nickel grill, that went within estimate at $4,600.
Among the doorstops, Manor on Hilltop, copyright 1926 by Greenblatt Studios, Boston, pristine condition, went for $1,610, above the high estimate of $1,400, and a Deco Flower Stop, “B&H,” rare with rubber bumpers, near mint condition, sold over the $400 high estimate for $1,035.
The Saturday session, 821 lots, included pressed steel, European autos, boats, trains, comic characters, Euro toys, early American toy, roly-polys, paper litho, Schoenhut and Steiff.
Lot 649, a Gendron Sampson Army Truck, circa 1928, pressed steel, painted olive drab with canvas canopy, 26 inches long with the original decal and canvas, excellent condition, went for $4,025, well over the high estimate of $1,800.
A 1928 Packard sedan contemporary, metal and wood, 24 inches long, of incredible craftsmanship and scale, roof once had plate applied, now missing, otherwise pristine condition, went over the $2,500 high estimate, selling for $2,875, and the same bid got the next lot, a Ditzler plaster auto paint ad estimated at $1,5/2,000. Two shades of maroon were used on this model to show varied colors available by Ditzler; pristine condition, 26 inches long.
Selling for just under the high estimate at $19,500 was the Marklin La Dague steam-powered torpedo boat, circa 1904, extensive detail and professionally restored, 30 inches long, and noted in the catalog that “its beauty is remarkable.”
A Karl Bub auto, Germany, lithographed tin with green body and gray roof, seated driver, electric lights, clockwork mechanism, circa 1930s, 14 inches long, went for $2,875, just over the high estimate, while a Marklin steam-powered, horse-drawn fire pumper, early 1900s, hand painted red body with black and yellow trim, one standing and one seated fireman, exceptional example with only minor wear at boiler finish, went within estimate at $17,250. The next lot, the Bing steam-powered 1902 Spyder, rare example in exceptional condition, hand painted blue body, spoke wheels and rubber tires, 9½ inches long, missing spirit cup but otherwise in excellent condition, went just over high estimate at $12,650.
A circa 1900 Marklin railway station glass awning, Germany, patterned glass with beams and platform, 21 inches overall length, complete and original, pristine condition, went for the high estimate at $11,500, and interest in the trains remained strong when a Marklin gauge 1 train set, Germany, hand painted tin clockwork-powered steam engine and tender, two passenger cars and caboose, some seated figures, sold for $9,200, over the $7,000 high estimate. Two lots later a Bing I gauge train set, Germany, Express locomotive and tender, together with hand painted Speisewagon dining car in blue, and Wagon-Lits sleeping car in brown, beautiful preserved condition, sold well over the $3,000 high estimate at $12,650.
Bidding continued strong for lot 935, American Flyer President’s Special boxed train set, circa 1927, complete with locomotive, “West Point” Pullman, “Annapolis” observation and baggage car, all done in blue lithography, with track and transformer, that went for $11,500 against a high estimate of $2,500.
A Steiff Mickey Mouse doll, stamping on foot, button in ear, large four fingers, pie-eyed with whiskers, padded feet, tail not original, went just over high estimate, selling for $1,610. Three lots later a Steiff Minnie Mouse open mouth doll, button in ear, bright cloth dress, high heel shoes, 9 inches high, missing the tail and partial whiskers and hat, sold for $1,265, again just over high estimate.
Among the collection of roly-poly figures, Santa came out the winner, selling for $2,588, over the high estimate of $800. This large Schoenhut figure with molded pack of toys on his back, 10½ inches tall, was listed in excellent condition.
The red Monitor gun boat, early paper on wood floor toy, two revolving cannon turrets on deck, hatch opens for storage, 24 inches long, excellent condition for its age, went over the $3,000 high estimate, selling for $5,175. Seven Schoenhut Humpty Dumpty circus band members, each with instrument in hand and outfitted in red felt jackets and blue cloth pants, 7¾ inches tall, very good condition, surpassed the high estimate of $3,000 and sold for $6,900.
A number of Steiff bears were in the sale, including lot 1410, a large pre-World War I teddy, chunky with blank metal button in left ear, “shoe button” eyes, brown stitched mouth, nose and claws, 25½ inches tall, in very good condition. It sold just above the high estimate at $5,175.
Christmas and Halloween were in full swing for the Sunday session of the sale when 419 lots were sold, in addition to 119 uncataloged box lots.
A very large, 20½ inches tall, German Belsnickle candy container with dark red color on coat-long, possibly horse hair, beard, strong paint coloring to the face, very good to excellent condition, went for $5,175, well over the $2,000 high estimate. A clockwork reindeer with nodder Santa and his sleigh, circa 1950s, a store display with the sleigh laden with toys, sold for $3,450; a Dresden giraffe ornament, early German, 2½ inches tall, brought $1,495; and a dark green German Belsnickle candy container, 12½ inches high, composition hands and face, rabbit fur beard, with two tiny dolls in his basket, brought $4,313 against a high estimate of $1,400.
Among the Halloween lots, the Kokomolds large black witch in rocket, orange pumpkin wheels, opening behind the witch for candy, 8¼ inches long, pristine condition, went well over the high $450 estimate, selling for $1,035. Several lots later a German J-O-L top hat candy container, yellow cardboard hat with red silk bag for the candy, 3 inches in diameter, very good condition, sold over the $300 high estimate for $1,840.
For additional information, www.BertoiaAuctions.com or 856-692-1881.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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