Archive for October, 2011

Premier Bill Powell antique advertising and toy collection leads ‘endless variety’ in Noel Barrett’s Nov. 18-19 auction

October 19th, 2011 by

Scarce circa-1885 full-color stone-lithographed paper advertising sign for Grand Chief Cigars, 28in. by 22in., est. $2,500-$3,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – “In this business there are only about a half dozen people who can honestly be described as having a golden eye. Bill Powell is one of them,” said Noel Barrett, whose Nov. 18-19 auction features Powell’s peerless personal collection of antique advertising and toys.


Those who have come to know Bill Powell over the years from his beautiful displays at major antique and Americana shows know him as the “go-to guy” for great trade signs, fabulous store fixtures and rare lithographed paper-on-wood toys, Barrett said.


“Bill is one of the great pickers. He would hop into his car and drive all night if something special awaited him at the other end. Whenever you would come upon his booth at a show, you’d know immediately whose it was. He has always favored antiques that are figural, unusual, and have marvelous colors and patina,” Barrett said.


Powell’s collection will be offered in approximately 400 lots during the auction’s

Painted tin on wood ice cream shop sign that advertises confections and beverages, 5ft. tall, est. $8,000-$12,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

second (Saturday) session. It includes many highly desirable late-19th- and early 20th-century painted-wood signs, each a unique creation. Some are monumental in size, like the 5-ft.-wide “Harness and Horse Collars” trade sign decorated with two stylized horses’ heads and made to fit over a barn door. Two Ingersoll Watch signs are of equally grand size, while several optician signs – one with an oversized pair of spectacles, complete with peering eyes, and the message “Glasses Fitted” – measure 4ft. from end to end.


Another exceptional trade sign is crafted as an actual sled, nearly 8ft. long and painted in red, white and blue with the name “Sonny-Boy.” Other dimensional trade signs include a stylish high-button shoe, a butcher shop bull’s head, and a milliner’s figure of a gentleman wearing a stovepipe hat.


Late-19th-century stone lithography created some of the most colorful signs and posters ever made. Favorites in Powell’s collection include “Laugh At Cigar,” which depicts a circa-1895 saloon interior; and “DeWitt’s Remedies,” with an elaborately detailed image of an early dry goods store.


1940s-vintage painted tin sign advertising Bud’s Service Center, artist signed, classic depiction of mid-century Americana, 61in. tall by 56in. wide, est. $8,000-$12,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

America’s early shipping and display containers bore colorfully illustrated labels. Powell’s collection includes many such tobacco barrels, cardboard boxes and tins; as well as wood shipping crates with applied paper labels.


In the same vein, Powell built an exquisite sub-collection of lithographed paper-on-wood toys. Many of his superb 19th-century American boats came from the collection of the late William F. Holland, a pioneer American toy collector. Vehicular toys include a wonderful S.A. Smith wheeled eagle with flapping wings, a Paris Mfg. Co. child’s hook & ladder wagon, and an all-original circa-1880 velocipede.


The “endless variety,” as Barrett describes it, also includes metal and porcelain signs; salesmen’s samples, early cigar boxes and figures; lithographed heavy cardboard signs, antique barber poles and primitive fire escape systems; advertising thermometers, and 10 early air rifles and BB guns.


The 400-lot Friday session offers a panoramic history of American patriotism with the Greg and Molly Caron collection.

Half-round leaded-glass window featuring Liberty figure, from a Hartford Insurance Co. building, 82in. wide by 44in. tall, est. $7,000-$10,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

One of the most highly prized pieces in this connoisseurs’ collection is a painted-wood shield from a War of 1812 warship. The shield was among the contents of the Barbour family’s White Birches Lodge at Follensby Pond in New York’s Adirondack region. It is thought to have come from a ship that operated on Lake Champlain; its counterpart bowsprit is held in the Shelburne Museum collection. The shield is estimated at $18,000-$22,000.


The Caron collection also includes an Adirondack twig table with flag, a painted camp chair with shield, early Uncle Sam parade costumes, a huge array of political and patriotic memorabilia; and a spectacular half-round leaded-glass window featuring a Liberty figure from a Hartford Insurance Co. building.


Selection of boxed antique clockwork character toys by the French maker Fernand Martin. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Adding the finishing touch to the Friday session is the Frank Mohr collection of classic 19th- and early 20th-century American and European trains and toys; extraordinary automata, and Continental toys by Fernand Martin, Lehmann and Gunthermann.


The Mohr collection features one of the largest selections of Ives clockwork toys to come to market in recent years. There are many dancers, including the seldom-seen revolving cakewalk couple; acrobats, boxers, a scarce circus horseback rider, General Grant Smoker, and numerous desirable forms with an African-American theme, such as Suffragette, Stump Speaker, Washerwoman and Nursemaid.


An impressive mid-18th-century Scottish dolls’ house is known by the name of its one-time owner, a Mrs. Farie. The Farie House was a 6-room cottage-style structure when it came into Mrs. Farie’s possession in the 19th century. She added a basement, third floor and finely crafted staircases and paneled doors. During the 20th century, the house was thoroughly cleaned, redecorated and electrified. It has been featured in several books by renowned doll authority the late Flora Gill Jacobs, and appeared in House & Garden magazine. Its auction estimate is $40,000-$50,000.


Noel Barrett’s Friday, Nov. 18 session will commence at 4 p.m., with a same-day preview from 9-4. The Saturday, Nov. 19 session starts at noon with a three-hour preview starting at 9 a.m. The auction will take place at the Eagle Fire Hall, 42 N. Sugan Rd., New Hope, PA 18938. Internet live bidding and online absentee bidding will be available through


For additional information call 215-297-5109 or e-mail Visit Barrett’s website at

Swann Galleries – Fine Photographs

October 17th, 2011 by
This sale is rich in classical landscapes, urban views, 19th-century images, and contemporary art. The cover lot is a silver print by Edward Weston titled Rose (Roland de Covarrubias), Mexico.

Fellows – Secondhand Jewellery & Watches

October 17th, 2011 by

Thursday 20th of October 2011

Sale Begins at 10am

Arbor Antiques – Dorothy And Herman Hitt Estate

October 17th, 2011 by

Arbor Antiques Services, Inc. provides an integrated plan of assistance for today’s buying and selling public with several methods available for the disposition of antiques and estate items. Clients are provided with multiple opportunities for the sale of their items and maximum profitability.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Seeking Consignments

October 17th, 2011 by

Leslie Hindman is now seeking consignments for their December 11th-12th Fine Art Auction. Modern and Contemporary Art | American and European Art, Old Master, Modern, Contemporary Prints and Photographs

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Ebony Fashion Fare Collection

October 17th, 2011 by

Preview now open – Catalogue online

Bertoia’s Nov. 11-12 Toys on Tour auction blends the best of European and American toys from premier collections

October 17th, 2011 by

Yonezawa tin ‘Atom Jet’ racer, 26½ inches. Est. $6,000-$8,000. Bertoia Auctions image.

VINELAND, N.J. – There’s a Grand Tour planned for Nov. 11-12, but no passports are required. This particular excursion will bring together from points afar 1,400 lots of rare and beautiful European and American toys, all to be auctioned at Bertoia’s comfortable and spacious New Jersey gallery.


Bertoia’s Toys on Tour auction promises an exciting mix of cast-iron automotive, early American tin, European and American dolls, toys and automobilia; as well as an outstanding collection of figural doorstops. As though that weren’t enough, the auction roster also includes 100 mechanical banks, approximately 100 choice penny toys and a fine collection of seldom-offered British and Continental biscuit tins.


“Much of the early American tin came from the late Ralph Tomlinson’s collection, and the cast-iron toys came from another advanced West Coast collector. There are so many highlights. Everything in this sale is extra nice,” said Bertoia’s associate Rich Bertoia.


The cast-iron vehicles to be offered run the automotive gamut from cars and busses to motorcycles and farm toys. “This

Circa-1932 Arcade cast-iron Mack side-dump truck, ex Larry Seiber collection, 9 inches, est. $8,000-$10,000. Bertoia Auctions image.

collector sought both quantity and condition,” said Bertoia. “Some examples are rated ‘pristine,’ and a few come with Larry Sieber provenance, like the Hubley Panama Digger toy.” The collection also includes a few Vindex sample autos formerly in the Donald Kaufman collection.


One of the top cast-iron pieces is a very rare Arcade panel truck advertising Jewel Coffees on both sides. Finished in deep brown with tan, the truck has ribbed white tires not commonly seen on Arcade vehicles. Rich Bertoia believes the toy is one of a kind. “No one has ever seen this truck before,” he said.


A fresh to the market collection of European penny toys will make a timely appearance, as will an estate collection of 100 figural British and Continental biscuit tins. Among the top tins are a racecar, a Crawford’s gold bi-plane, Huntley & Palmers trucks and two segments of Peek Frean’s castle.


Many Lehmann and Martin clockwork toys await the auction spotlight, together with European merry-go-rounds, a Doll et Cie. Ferris wheel, and a host of European limousines and cars by premier makers. An early Marklin water tank auto and a Bing fire hand pumper are worthy of special mention.


Marklin ‘Puritan’ ocean liner, handpainted, 20¼ inches, est. $25,000-$30,000. Bertoia Auctions image.

A fleet of handsome German-made ships and boats will be dropping anchor at Bertoia’s. Marklin rarities lead the way and include a Puritan oceanliner, Philadelphia battleship and several gunboats.


One hundred cast-iron mechanical banks will cross the auction block, among them an Acrobat, Boy Scout Camp, Butting Buffalo and boxed Calamity.


The auction will feature another fine assortment of American comic character

Circa-1930 lithographed tinplate Mickey Mouse ‘Slate Dancer,’ 6 inches, est. $6,000-$8,000. Bertoia Auctions image.

toys from the Ron and Sandy Rosen collection. More than 100 popular TV stars and Marx characters will be available, and as is the case with all of the Rosens’ toys, they are in the best condition anyone could ever hope to find.


Rich Bertoia tipped collectors to be watching for a few “surprise entries” in the early American tin section, which is already confirmed to include some George Brown designs, riverboats, and Ives clockwork trains and walking figures.


Bertoia’s has always enjoyed a strong following among collectors of holiday antiques, who regard the company’s annual November sale as a sort of mini convention. This year, Christmas enthusiasts can look forward to a fine array of early German-made goods. “Everything for the 12 days of Christmas can be found in this sale,” said Bertoia. “There are ornaments of every type – glass, spun cotton, more than 50 Dresdens, and some exceedingly rare moon-face ornaments that double as candy containers.” Trade stimulators and belsnickels round out the Christmas section. Easter and Halloween antiques have been added to the sale, as well.


English wooden doll, late Queen Anne or early Georgian period, 21 inches, est. $4,500-$6,500. Bertoia Auctions image.

Many lovely European dolls have been cataloged, from manufacturers such as Jumeau, Steiner and Kestner. Among the highlights are a mechanical bisque doll in original wood box, a very rare 17-inch French fashion doll, a 37-inch Tete Jumeau and a scarce 39-inch wide-eyed Steiner. The category also features several automata.


The Barbara and Chuck Cook cast-iron doorstop collection will debut during the Nov. 11-12 auction. Because the Cooks’ collection is so extensive, Bertoia’s will be auctioning it in three parts, with parts II and III to follow in future sales. Many exceptional florals are included, as well as several 1920s/’30s doorstops in the form of historic New England houses, each hand-painted by Sara Symonds. Additionally, the collection includes a large-size Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, a Wine Man, Hubley Grace Drayton designs and several Hubley Fish productions. A menagerie of animal-theme doorstops starts with “feathered” varieties such as a full-figure pheasant, a Turkey, and a large-size Bradley & Hubbard Rooster. The grouping concludes with depictions of various types of dogs.


Start times for Bertoia’s Toys on Tour auction are 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11; and 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12. Preview the entire auction inventory on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as from 9 a.m. prior to the Friday session and 8 a.m. prior to the Saturday session. All forms of bidding will be available for the auction, including live via the Internet through


For additional information, call 856-692-1881 or e-mail Visit Bertoia Auctions’ website at

Phenomenal archive of entertainment memorabilia to be auctioned Oct. 29 in California

October 17th, 2011 by

Collection discovered in abandoned storage locker numbers 40,000 pieces

Brigitte Bardot movie poster, one of approximately 1,000 film posters – both American and international – to be auctioned. Don Presley Auction image.

ORANGE, Calif. – A breathtaking 40,000-piece collection of motion picture and TV memorabilia, original animation art and other historically important entertainment collectibles will be offered to the public on Oct. 29 in an auction that is shaping up to be one for the history books. Purchased sight unseen from an abandoned self-service storage unit, the collection is described by California auctioneer Don Presley as “the find of a lifetime.”


Don Presley Auction Co. – best known for its high-profile auctions of antiques and fine art from prominent Southern California estates – is producing the sale together with Dave Hester (Dave Hester Auctions) and celebrity auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson. The Dotsons, who own American Auctioneers in Riverside, Calif., are known to millions of viewers as emcees of the hit TV show Storage Wars. Hester is also a regular on the show.


Presley said the collection to be auctioned is one of “tremendous quality and value.” He described the consignors as “two very hard-working individuals who have been business partners for 25 years. They routinely attend auctions to bid on the contents of storage lockers whose rent has gone unpaid, but they never expected to end up with a bonanza like this collection has turned out to be.” Storage-locker auctions can be a huge gamble, Presley said, because the bidders don’t know what they’re bidding on. They get a quick glimpse at the contents of a storage unit before bidding commences, he said, but boxes and other containers are kept sealed, so their contents are not revealed.


“At these auctions you might end up with something of genuine value or you might pay thousands of dollars for boxes of

A huge selection of Disney merchandise and memorabilia will be auctioned. Don Presley Auction image.

old office files that have to be hauled to the dump at the buyer’s expense,” Presley said. “In this case, the buyers hit the jackpot, fair and square.”


The prior owners of the collection, who are well-known motion picture industry executives, amassed the remarkable trove of Hollywood memorabilia over a period of several years. The collection was neatly boxed and kept under lock and key at a storage facility, but at some point in time, the rent on their storage unit fell seriously into arrears. Despite repeated notices, the rent remained unpaid until such point the contents were deemed “abandoned” and sent to a storage-locker auction to be sold to the highest bidder.


The two business partners who placed the winning bid on the goods have been buying and reselling storage-locker contents for more than 25 years. However, they had never before come across anything quite as special, or as valuable, as the entertainment archive.


Mark E. Rogers concept art for the film ‘The Runestone.’ Don Presley Auction image.

“At first, we knew nothing about the identity of the collection’s prior owners, and we had only a vague idea of what the items were worth. It was only later that we learned it was a very famous and valuable collection. We wanted to make sure there were no legalities that could prevent us from selling its contents,” one of the purchasers said.


The purchasers decided to seek advice from longtime friends in the auction business whom they knew they could trust – Dan and Laura Dotson.


“The Dotsons know that we are hard-working people who run an honorable

Animation cel from Disney/Hyperion’s ‘The Brave Little Toaster,’ one of thousands of animation cels to be auctioned. Don Presley Auction image.

business,” one of the purchasers said. “I called Dan and said, ‘I’ve got some really good stuff that I want to sell, but I need your help.’” After being briefed on the situation, Dotson called a respected Los Angeles law firm that specializes in intellectual property and collectible art and memorabilia, and arranged for a consultation to take place. After studying the case, the attorneys confirmed that the purchasers were, indeed, the legal owners of the collection and that they were perfectly within their rights to sell the contents, if they so desired.


The 40,000-piece entertainment and pop culture collection will be auctioned on Oct. 29th in 400 group lots – a method that presents a buying opportunity like no other before it. The collection’s contents include movie memorabilia, props, costumes, posters, scripts and other ephemera; movie production items (including Disney and Bollywood), thousands of Disney animation production cels, original Tim Burton art, unreleased publicity photos, and many autographed theatrical posters, prints and artworks.


Dorothy and Toto cookie jar, one of thousands of pieces of ‘Wizard of Oz’ memorabilia spanning nearly the entire 20th century. Don Presley Auction image.

A specialty collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia spans the entire 20th century and includes posters, prints and lobby cards, autographed and foreign-language Oz books, film compilation reels with footage of decades of Oz productions, and movie production publicity stills that were never released to the public.


Additionally, the collection features Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia, and thousands of examples of highly desirable Japanese animation art, with highlights including original paintings from manga and sci-fi legend Go Nagai, and fantastic concept art by author/illustrator Mark E. Rogers (The Runestone).


“We think there will be massive international interest in this collection,” said Don Presley. “I have been an auctioneer since the 1970s, and in my opinion this is Hollywood’s premier archive of entertainment memorabilia. It’s filled with unique treasures ranging from the silent-film era through modern-day productions. A collection like this comes along only once in a lifetime.”


The Saturday, Oct. 29 auction will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific time/1 p.m. Eastern time. Don Presley Auction’s gallery is located at 1319 W. Katella Ave., Orange, CA 92867. All forms of bidding will be available for the auction, including live via the Internet through and For additional information or to book a phone line for bidding, contact Don Presley Auction, tel. 714-633-2437 or e-mail Online:


October 17th, 2011 by

Highlights of this sale include one of 4 known copies of the 1555 Salamanca Biblia Sacra, a suppressed edition of the Vulgate; Cristóbal de Morales, Missarum liber primus, Lyon, 1546; Jacobus Philippus de Bergamo, Supplementum chronicarum, Venice, 1490; a 1917 Autograph Letter Signed from Sir William Osler, thanking the addressee for condolences on the death of Osler’s son in the First World War; and Benjamin Franklin and William Heberden’s Some Account of the Success of Inoculation for the Small-Pox in England and America, London, 1759.

Sotheby’s London – Contemporary Art Evening Auction Sale Results

October 17th, 2011 by

The Contemporary Art Evening Auction of October 13, 2011 totalled £17.8 million / $28 million – the third highest total for an October sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London. The sale was 77 per cent sold by lot and nearly 80 per cent sold by value.

The top-selling lot was Lucian Freud’s portrait Boy’s Head of 1952 depicting Charlie Lumley, which sold for £3,177,250/$4,999,085.

Another School of London highlight was Leon Kossoff’s A Street in Willesden of 1985, sold for £690,850 / $1,086,983, almost double its low of £350,000-450,000 setting a new record for the artist at auction.