’Tis the season for holiday antiques, Sept. 17 at Morphy’s

September 12th, 2011 by

Wire-wrapped glass Christmas ornament replicating a beetle, pictured in two reference books, est. $800-$1,500. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Snow-covered belsnickels and whimsical veggie folk will come together for a festive Holiday Auction at Morphy’s on Saturday, Sept. 17th. The 483-lot auction contains a very nice single-owner collection, select additional consignments of Halloween and Christmas antiques; and a small but choice array of vintage Easter goods.


The auction will open with a variety of Christmas ornaments, including rare examples made of glass, chalk and cotton. An unusual wire-wrapped glass beetle ornament pictured in John Lightner’s reference book “Christmas Rarities” could command $800-$1,500.


Ever-popular Dresdens will be offered, as well. An ocean freighter with cotton “smoke” billowing from its masts is

Dresden Christmas ornament of a freighter with billowing smokestacks, est. $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.

expected to make $2,000-$3000; while a horseless carriage with driver is estimated at $1,500-$2,500.


Chosen as one of the auction catalog cover images, a superb 22½-inch-tall belsnickel Santa candy container is swathed in a blue robe heavily adorned with sparkly mica. The bearded figure of monumental size holds a miniature Christmas tree with red ball ornaments. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000.


A beautiful 19-inch bearded Father Christmas candy container is “dressed” in a blue hooded robe with fur and holly trim, and holds a tiny tree. In excellent condition, it is entered in the sale with a $5,000-$8,000 estimate.


Belsnickel holding decorated fir tree and wearing mica-laden robe, 22½ inches, est. $6,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Another rare, fully robed belsnickel stands 21 inches tall, has a composition face with pious expression, composition hands, rabbit-fur beard and distinctively decorated hat. It is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.


“This sale contains a lot of very desirable figural and small chalk ornaments, as well as some candy containers I’ve never seen before,” said Dr. John Morphy, head of Acquisitions & Appraisals for Morphy Auctions. “An example would be the Halloween rooster witch in a black boot candy container with baby chicks peeping out of the side and toe. It’s extremely rare and might sell for as much as $4,000 at auction.”


Other unusual items Halloween items in the sale include a Victorian oil painting with a skeleton and jack o’ lantern theme, est. $3,000-$5,000; and a very rare Halloween Fortune Teller game that was chosen for the cover of the book “Halloween in America.” Estimate: $2,000-$4,000.


Another prized catch is the heavy composition witch and veggie man dancing toy. Both

Heavy composition witch and veggie man wind-up dancing toy, est. $4,000-$6,000. Morphy Auctions image.

figures are on a mechanical platform. When wound up, they move around in circles as though dancing. An early toy that is very seldom seen, it is cataloged with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.


All forms of bidding will be available for the Sept. 17 Holiday Auction, including live at the gallery, by phone or absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live (sign up at www.morphyauctions.com) or LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time.


For further information on any lot in the auction, call Morphy’s at 717-335-3435 or

e-mail serena@morphyauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online www.morphyauctions.com.