Stephenson’s announces July 15 Mid-Summer Auction featuring antique toys, dolls, trains & banks

July 11th, 2011 by

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Pennsylvania is known as a hotbed for antique and vintage toys, especially the triangle between Philadelphia, Lancaster and Philadelphia. That just happens to be a turf well known to the specialists at Stephenson’s Auctioneers in Southampton. Their toy auctions – with consignments from longtime private collectors and area estates – can be counted on for variety, quality and, almost always, a surprise or two.

 

A trio of antique wax dolls. Stephenson’s Auction image.

On July 15, Stephenson’s will present its 2011 Mid-Summer Dolls, Toys & Trains Auction, featuring approximately 300 lots of carefully chosen antique and vintage playthings. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

The auction will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time with a selection of 50 American and European dolls. Some of the dolls are of early manufacture, including wax examples and German bisque-head dolls by C.M. Bergmann and Simon & Halbig. Two sought-after Martha Chase painted cloth dolls – one measuring 30 inches tall; the other, 24 inches – will be offered, as well. The antique doll grouping is nicely complemented by an array of composition and hard plastic dolls, 1950s Toni dolls and several Barbies. Tea will be served from a period spongeware doll-size tea set.

 

Stephenson’s owner, Cindy Stephenson, said she believe collectors will be drawn to the two beautifully crafted room boxes entered in the sale. One of them replicates a general store of the early 20th century, 2½ feet high by 2 feet wide, and was probably constructed in the 1970s or ’80s. The store illuminates and is stocked with miniature store goods of all types and is occupied by two men playing a game of checkers, and a pet dog. The second room box, also illuminated, measures 15 inches high by 2 feet wide and depicts an early 20th-century kitchen. Generously accessorized, its furnishings include a table and chairs, hutch with china, a cast-iron stove, clothes tree and many miniature culinary accoutrements.

 

Colorful Chein tinplate mechanical toys. Stephenson’s Auction image.

The colorful parade of toys will be led by tin wind-ups and mechanical toys in excellent condition. Ever-popular Chein toys include several with a carnival theme, including a Ferris wheel, two roller coasters, and an Aero Swing; plus an Aquaplane and Marching Drummer. Other tin toys of note include a number of desirable Louis Marx productions, topped by a Moon Mullins and Kayo Hand Car (in pristine condition with track and original box), Cabin Cruisers, a Cowboy Whoopee Car, and a classic Police Motorcycle.

 

Always “strong to the finish,” a circa-1940 Popeye the Pilot clockwork airplane

Circa-1940 Popeye the Pilot tinplate windup toy. Stephenson’s Auction image.

features bright primary colors and has the primitive look that is so appealing to collectors of Popeye and character toys in general. Another cartoon favorite, Fred Flintstone, is represented by a wind-up Fred on Dino and a friction-powered Flintstone Flivver.

 

Robot collectors will have their chance to score one of the sale’s quiet gems – a Japanese Mechanical Walking “Robot with Spark” by S.Y. The figure’s silver body is trimmed in orange and blue, a quintessential motif in boomer-era space toys.

 

Other toy highlights include a Weeden steam engine, a large selection of battery-operated toys in their original boxes, and two tinplate penny toys: a Prussian soldier on a buckboard drawn by two horses, and a Toonerville Trolley.

 

An extensive selection of train sets, loco/tenders and train cars – many with their original boxes – will be offered. Stephenson’s Auction image.

Train aficionados will be spoiled for choice on auction day. Numerous train sets, loco/tenders and train cars will be offered, some accompanied by their original boxes. Among the brands on offer are Lionel, American Flyer, Ahern, Bachmann, Penn Line, Tyco, Varney and several others.

 

Next up will be a selection of toy soldiers and German miniature alloy-metal platform animals and people; followed by a lineup of 20 to 30 antique and vintage still banks. Most are of cast iron, with highlights being a Flatiron Building, a four-tower domed building, a pirate on treasure chest, and an Arabian safe bank with key, one of several banks shaped as safes.

 

Instantly identifiable to collectors, a Bear and Beehive copper-finish cast-iron still bank is ornately decorated in Black Forest style. It depicts a standing bear reaching for a beehive inside a shingled cottage, with the word “BANK” arched over the door.

Among the 20-30 still banks to be auctioned are a Bear with Beehive and Flatiron Building. Stephenson’s Auction image.

 

The auction will conclude with three spring-neck duck candy containers of German manufacture. Constructed of papier mache with glitter and fur trim, the early Easter novelties are in excellent condition.

 

“We look forward to greeting toy collectors to our sale,” said Cindy Stephenson. “It will be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours on a Friday afternoon, and we’re confident that collectors will be pleased with this selection.”

 

The preview will take place from 12 noon till 2 p.m. on Friday, July 15, immediately prior to the start of the auction. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail info@stephensonsauction.com.

 

All forms of bidding will be available, including live in the gallery, absentee, by phone or live via the Internet through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com. Visit Stephenson’s online at www.stephensonsauction.com.

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