Morphy’s Oct. 15-16 Premier Auction anchored by 50-year doll collection, Baird advertising clocks, O’Hearn toy collection part II

September 14th, 2010 by

DENVER, Pa. – The selection just keeps getting better in Dan Morphy’s Premier auctions, the next of which is slated for Oct. 15-16 and will feature the extraordinary Cristol/Glickman family’s doll collection, the advertising clocks of longtime collectors Jerry and Millie Maltz, and part II of the Michael O’Hearn vintage toy collection. The 1,850-lot auction will appeal to those who seek “fresh-to-market antiques with deep provenance,” said Morphy’s founder and CEO, Dan Morphy.

The opening session will feature an extensive lineup of toys, many coming from the collection of retired California architect Michael O’Hearn. The grouping includes more than 100 Japanese windup toys, 400+ Japanese car lots, 75+ character toy lots and more than 75 examples of pressed steel.

Circa-1954 lithographed-tin Ford Sunliner friction toy made by Haji, Japan, book example with original box, estimate $4,000-$6,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Among the toy highlights are a boxed, tin friction Ford Sunliner, estimate $4,000-$6,000; and many other boxed 1950s-’60s Japanese versions of Oldsmobiles, Plymouths, Buicks and other brands in near-mint condition. The wide-ranging O’Hearn collection also includes space toys, such as a boxed Moon Patrol Space Division No. 3 car, $1,800-$3,000; and a Bandai Space Patrol Super Cycle, $3,000-$6,000.

Within the comic character toy category, bidders will find a rare boxed Schoenhut Barney and Spark Plug figure in unplayed-with condition, $2,000-$3,000; and a windup Howdy Doody Band, near mint with its original box, $2,000-$3,000.

The fleet of pressed-steel vehicles includes all the big names, including Buddy ‘L,’ Wyandotte, Keystone and Steelcraft. A pressed-steel Lincoln made by Turner is estimated at $2,000-$4,000, while an example of the always-popular Buddy ‘L’ Transportation Bus is expected to cruise to a winning bid of $2,500-$3,500.

Day two will open with approximately 350 lots from the comprehensive 50-plus-year doll collection that was established by the late Martha Cristol and later jointly maintained with her collector-daughter, Merle Cristol Glickman. The collection is unique in that it was initially formed from mail-order purchases starting as early as the 1950s, with later acquisitions coming from Chicago-area auctions and tag sales.

Glickman recalled that it was never her mother’s intention to be a specialist. “She favored diversity and preferred to collect dolls of all types from all parts of the world,” she said. Antique French dolls, character dolls, and dolls made of wood, cloth, composition and hard plastic all found a welcome home in Martha Cristol’s collection. Some went on to become blue ribbon prizewinners at UFDC conventions.

Exquisite Bru Jeune bébé, French, circa 1880s, 15½ inches, bisque socket head marked Bru Jne 4, marked bisque shoulder plate, kid body, wood upper arms, bisque lower arms, estimate $18,000-$22,000. Morphy Auctions image.

The wonderful array of dolls to be offered in this session includes an exquisite Bru Jne bebe, $18,000-$22,000; and a Jumeau bebe, $6,000-$9,000. A rare circa-1910 Simon & Halbig fashion lady could fetch $3,000-$4,000. Additionally, bidders may choose from more than 30 Lenci dolls and 30 Madame Alexander dolls in near-mint condition, plus many other coveted types.

European tin toys are led by a fine Marklin steam-powered boat manufactured expressly for the French market, estimate $10,000-$15,000. “This boat is from the first series, and has a unique hull and four original lifeboats,” said Morphy’s CEO Dan Morphy. “It might well end up being the top lot of the sale.” Other European toys include an Ernst Planck #421A live-steam brewery in very nice condition, $2,000-$3,000; penny toys, 10 Noah’s arks and an assortment of German tin wind-up Lehmann toys.

Topping the list of mechanical banks are a beautiful, near-mint example of a Lion Hunter, $15,000-$20,000; and a near-mint-plus Boy Scout bank, $12,000-$15,000. Still banks include a J.M. Harper Nesting Dove, $2,000-$3,000, Shimer Toy Co. Electric Railroad Car, $3,000-$4,000; and a J. & E. Stevens Battleship Maine, $3,000-$4,000.

The antique advertising section of the sale offers a large selection of desirable porcelain and tin signs, and several rare Coca-Cola items. A large 1904 red-version Lillian Nordica poster is estimated at $4,000-$8,000; while a large 1908 World’s Fair Coke serving tray in near-mint condition is expected to make $3,500-$5,500.

Advertising clock created by Baird to advertise its own company; book example, considered “king of all advertising clocks,” estimate $20,000-$30,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Many collectors are eagerly anticipating the chance to acquire rarities from Jerry and Millie Maltz’s magnificent 34-year assemblage of Baird advertising clocks. The Maltzes are experts on the subject of early advertising clocks, and the 27 specialty clocks to be auctioned are actual examples pictured in Jerry’s 1998 reference book titled Baird Advertising Clocks. “This is a connoisseur’s collection,” said Dan Morphy. “The Maltzes left no stone unturned in their quest to find the rarest and best examples.” Among the highlights are an 1897 Baird Coca-Cola clock with double-spring Seth Thomas movement and Chicago label, $15,000-$20,000; and the most coveted of all advertising clocks – a design that Baird created specifically to advertise its own company. In 100% original condition and retaining its original key, the clock ($15,000-$20,000) is believed to have been displayed at Baird’s executive offices in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Other clocks in the Maltz collection represent a panorama of products including – to name but a few – Chief Bonus Tea, El Caza Honeymoon Cigars, Venus Soap, Ghirardelli’s Chocolates, Mischler’s Herb Bitters and the Toledo Blade newspaper, as well as many other goods and clothing retailers of a century ago.

Additional sale highlights include a Caille Eclipse 5-cent floor model standing slot machine, $15,000-$18,000; and an all-original 1960s Bowden bicycle, $3,000-$5,000.

All forms of bidding will be available for this sale, including live via the Internet through MorphyLive or LiveAuctioneers.com. For information on any item in the sale, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail dan@morphyauctions.com. Visit Morphy Auctions online at www.morphyauctions.com.

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