Signed portraits of early astronauts, 17th-century Virginia map lead Waverly’s Dec. 8 auction in suburban Washington

November 17th, 2011 by

440-lot sale features of fine and rare books; autographs, maps

Original pencil drawing of Astronaut John Glenn, one of a set of six drawings of early US astronauts by Ruth E. Johnston, who worked for NASA and in the White House. Five of the drawings are autographed individually by the astronaut subject. Group estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Waverly Auctions image.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – A set of original 1960s autographed pencil portraits of early US astronauts and a 17th-century map of Virginia with quaint spellings of geographic locations are among the highlights of Waverly Auctions’ Dec. 8 sale in suburban Washington, D.C. The 440-lot event features fine and rare books, autographs and manuscripts, maps and atlases.


A selection of 381 lots of books dating from the 16th century to present day will open the sale. Desirable early imprints are included, with the best of the first editions being an 1826 British 3-volume edition of James Fennimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757. Published by John Miller, London, the set is expected to make $1,000-$2,000 at auction.


Several especially collectible Presidential signatures will be offered, with most of them appearing on portraits or other ephemera such as photographs, documents or Christmas cards. A long-forgotten trove of Harry S. Truman autographed ephemera will be presented in four groupings. Waverly Managing Director Anson Brown said the collection had been “buried for decades” and came from one of Truman’s college classmates, Donald S. Dawson, who also served as the president’s executive assistant from 1947 to 1953.


Within the Dawson archive are numerous photographs signed by Truman and members of his Cabinet, including many personally inscribed to Dawson. “The personalization adds value to the signed photos because the recipient was a member of the president’s inner circle,” Brown noted.


The star lot of the sale is a set of six original 1960s pencil on art paper portraits of pioneering American astronauts as sketched by Ruth E. Johnston, who worked for NASA and also in the White House Social Office under Presidents Nixon and Johnson. The photorealistic portraits were drawn from actual NASA photos and include depictions of John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Walter “Wally” Schirra, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Scott Carpenter and Gordon Cooper. Five of the matted and framed portraits are individually autographed by the astronauts seen in the drawings, and four are personally inscribed to the artist. Each is accompanied by the original halftone photo Johnston used as the basis for the drawing. The personal archive is to be auctioned as one lot with a presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000.

Map of Virginia and Delmarva Peninsula, circa 1684-1696, Nicolaum Visscher. Titled in Latin, outline hand-coloring, additional coloring of engraved decorations. Estimate $4,000-$6,000. Waverly Auctions image.

Approximately 15 American, European and Middle Eastern maps have been cataloged in the Dec. 8 sale, with the top lot expected to be a map of Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula from the period 1684-1696. Titled in Latin, the Nicolaum Visscher map features outline hand coloring and colored engraved decorations [wild animals, structures, etc.], plus an especially attractive cartouche with a profile view of “Nieuw Amsterdam [Manhattan]” – complete with a Dutch windmill, wood houses and open fields.


“What makes this map important is that it is an early Virginia map with names for various locations that quickly changed. ‘Pennsylvania’ is spelled phonetically on the map, and the Delmarva is shown off scale, which is interesting. We expect a lot of local curiosity in this lot,” said Brown. The map is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.


Full-length drawing of ‘The Cat in the Hat’ by Theodore Geisel, a k a Dr. Seuss, black and red felt tip pen, 20 3/8 inches by 10 3/8 inches. Estimate $1,000-$3,000. Waverly Auctions image.

Pop culture is represented by an Elvis Presley signed LP, an Andy Warhol signed pen-and-ink drawing of a Campbell’s soup can, and a “Cat in the Hat” full-length drawing signed by Theodore Geisel, a k a Dr. Seuss. The latter artwork is executed in black and red felt tip pen and measures 20 3/8 inches by 10 3/8 inches. The inscription reads “Best Wishes! from the Cat in the hat and Dr. Seuss,” with a black squiggle immediately under the signature. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000.


Waverly’s Dec. 8 auction will be held at the Quinn’s & Waverly gallery located at 431 N. Maple Ave., Falls Church, VA 22046. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Eastern. All forms of bidding will be available. For additional information call 703-532-5632 or e-mail Visit Waverly’s online at


DiMaggio and Koufax jerseys, Bill Russell All-Star uniform headline Grey Flannel’s Holiday Auction closing Nov. 30

November 15th, 2011 by

Charities to benefit from sale of Holyfield robe, Ty Murray Championship saddle

1948-49 Joe DiMaggio NY Yankees game-used flannel road jersey. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Grey Flannel Auctions’ Holiday Auction 2011 is now under way and the heat is already on, with collectors placing early bids on Premier Lots including a 1948-49 Joe DiMaggio game-used Yankees jersey and a Sandy Koufax game-used jersey from the superstar pitcher’s 1966 Cy Young Award season with the Dodgers.


In all, 841 lots have been selected for the absentee and Internet auction that closes for bidding on Nov. 30, 2011. Virtually every major professional sport is represented in the complimentary printed catalog, as well as great Americana. In addition to game-used apparel and equipment, important autographed equipment and balls; awards, championship jewelry and personal ephemera that came directly from athletes are up for bid.


1966 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers game-used and autographed flannel road jersey. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

The aforementioned DiMaggio jersey, worn by Joltin’ Joe while on the road with the Yankees, has the number “5” on its back, “NEW YORK” on its front, and a grey felt strip tag with “DiMaggio” embroidered in navy blue chain stitch. It is accompanied by a photomatch of DiMaggio wearing the shirt in 1948. Written on the photo itself is “$100,000,” a reference to DiMaggio being the first baseball player ever to earn that amount for a single season. The jersey has already surpassed its reserve of $25,000.


Another frontrunner is the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers flannel road jersey game-worn and autographed by pitching ace Sandy Koufax. “This jersey is especially significant because it comes from the World Series season in which Koufax won his third Cy Young Award by unanimous vote. It was also his final season in professional baseball,” said Richard E. Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions. In magnificent condition, the jersey has nearly doubled its $10,000 reserve in only a few days of bidding.


1927 NY Yankees ‘Murderers Row’ World Championship team-autographed baseball. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

Athlete-signed Yankees equipment includes a 1966-67 Mickey Mantle game-used and autographed bat; and a coveted 1927 “Murderers Row” World Championship baseball signed by the team whose lineup of batters is considered “the best…ever.” The six hitters who struck fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Their signatures are written in blue ink and appear alongside those of their teammates on this ball, which opened with a $5,000 bid.


A hardcourt highlight is Hall of Famer Bill Russell’s NBA All-Star Game-used uniform from 1967, which is already well beyond its $10,000 reserve. With career distinctions that include NBA MVP (5 times) and NBA All-Star (12 times), Russell holds the record for most championships won by an athlete. “He was the nucleus of the Celtics dynasty, and his importance to the game of basketball cannot be overestimated,” said Russek.

Circa-1968 Gale Sayers Chicago Bears game-used home jersey. Grey Flannel Auctions image.


Other items of game-used basketball apparel that are off to a running start include a rare 1973-74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee Bucks jersey, a circa-1971 Rick Barry New York Nets home uniform (only one known), and a 1977-78 Dennis Johnson Seattle SuperSonics NBA Finals road uniform (only one known). A very scarce 1966-67 ABA worn shooting shirt from the Anaheim Amigos comes with impeccable provenance in the form of an LOA from the player himself.


The excitement of football seasons past is embodied in such items as a Gale Sayers’ 1968 Chicago Bears game-used home jersey and a photomatched 1962-63 Navy Midshipmen’s jersey worn by Roger Staubach during his Heisman Trophy season. Other football highlights include game-used jerseys worn by Joe Namath (circa 1973, New York Jets), Len Dawson (circa 1972, Kansas City Chiefs) and Dan Marino (1986, Miami Dolphins).


Evander Holyfield fight-worn robe from Jan. 16, 2010 WBF Heavyweight Title bout against Francois Botha. Consigned by Holyfield to benefit his charitable foundation for inner-city youth. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

Championship jewelry has been a very popular category in past Grey Flannel sales. This time, a 1998 New York Yankees World Series ring of Al Ferrar and a 2004 Stanley Cup Championship ring awarded to Bill Wickett, Sr. VP Communications of the Tampa Bay Lightning, are included in the Premier Lots. Other top-ranking jewelry items include Bobby Jones’ 1983 Philadelphia 76ers Championship player’s ring, Tony Caldwell’s 1983 Los Angeles Raiders Super Bowl XVIII Championship player’s ring, and the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers World Championship ring awarded to team executive Al Campanis. The latter is accompanied by an LOA from Al’s son, former Major Leaguer Jimmy Campanis.


Richard Russek said his favorite Holiday Auction lots came directly from two “famous and exceptional athletes, Evander Holyfield and Ty Murray,” with almost all of the proceeds earmarked for their favorite charities. The items up for bid are a Holyfield title-fight-worn robe (2010, vs. Francois Botha in South Africa; auction reserve $10,000) to benefit the boxing legend’s foundation assisting inner-city kids; and Ty Murray’s 1998 Houston Livestock Show All-Around Champion saddle (auction reserve, $5,000) benefiting the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Texas, of which the rodeo star and his wife, Jewel, actively promote.


1998 Ty Murray Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo All-Around Championship saddle trophy. Consigned by Murray and his wife, Jewel, to benefit a Texas children’s charity. Grey Flannel Auctions image.

“In addition to receiving their unique items, the winning bidders will each receive video provenance as a bonus. One of the videos shows Evander consigning the robe, and the other is of Ty and Jewel consigning the saddle award,” Russek said.


Every effort was made to confirm authenticity and secure provenance for the 841 items in Grey Flannel’s Holiday auction. A highly experienced team led by Nick Coppola authenticated each jersey, and all autographed pieces were inspected and given the stamp of approval by James Spence Authentication. In the case of game-used bats, each was inspected and authenticated by John Taube of PSA/DNA. Every game-used glove was inspected and authenticated by Denny Eskin of PSA/DNA. All game-used hockey jerseys were inspected and authenticated by Milt Byron. Appropriate letters of authenticity from these specialists will accompany all jerseys, bats, gloves and autographed items.


Bidding in Grey Flannel’s Holiday Auction will close on Nov. 30, 2011. All forms of absentee bids are being accepted, including by phone and online through Grey Flannel’s Web site at Printed catalogs are free to all registered bidders. The fully illustrated electronic version of the catalog is available to view online at For additional information, call 631-288-7800, ext. 223; or email


Mosby & Co. revisits Civil War era with Nov. 11-12 auction of important 60-year collection

October 28th, 2011 by

Left to right: Civil War Union Army jacket, Indian Wars officers frock coat, United Confederate Veterans frock coat. Mosby & Co. image.

FREDERICK, Md. – America’s enduring fascination with the War Between the States is never more evident than in our nation’s auction rooms. Authentic Civil War clothing, artifacts and memorabilia of the type to be offered at Mosby & Co.’s Nov. 11-12 sale is consistently in demand with collectors, said the firm’s owner, Keith Spurgeon.


“In particular, buyers are seeking out items that come from long-established collections with deep provenance. That’s exactly what we’ll be auctioning in November – a collection from Texas that was started when the consignor, who is now in his seventies, was only nine years old,” said Spurgeon. All Civil War auction items were vetted and cataloged by Brian Akins, a renowned specialist dealer who produces Civil War collector shows.


Examples from a selection of more than 40 swords. Mosby & Co. image.

In all, more than 920 lots will be presented over the auction weekend, with approximately 400 Civil War lots comprising the entire Friday session. Roughly 99% of the militaria comes from the Texas consignment, with pieces representing both Confederate and Union armies. Basic categories include uniforms, hats, weapons, swords, flags, corps badges and saddles. Additionally, there are relics recovered from battlefields, buttons and soldiers’ miscellaneous personal effects.


In terms of volume, the strongest part of the sale is the swords, with more than 40 fine-quality examples entered. Highlights include several eagle-head swords from both the Union Army and pre-Civil War eras.


Civil War 24th Louisiana Crescent Regiment battle shirt. Mosby & Co. image.

Several rare and desirable Union jackets will be auctioned, with examples dating to periods before, during and after the Civil War. Other top clothing lots include a United Confederate Veterans general’s frock coat and a Confederate battle shirt from the 24th Louisiana Crescent Regiment. The latter item comes with provenance from the collection of the late artist, author and historian Randy Steffan. Another special inclusion is a complete 1860s lady’s lace over silk mourning outfit described in the auction catalog as being in “spectacular” condition.


More than 20 lots of corps badges will be offered, including two with period engraving that directly links them to specific soldiers. “It’s tough to find identified corps badges, so those two, in particular, should do very well,” said Spurgeon.


Flags include a Confederate ceremonial flag from a major, and a 34-star Civil War Union flag in superb condition. It measures an impressive 10 ft. by 6 ft.


Union and Confederate Civil War weapons, hat, miscellaneous items. Mosby & Co. image.

Among the other notable lots are four saddles, including a Grimsley and a McLellan-design of the Civil War period; and an 1861 cavalry recruiting broadside illustrated with a man on a rearing horse. The firearms section is led by an original Spiller & Burr Confederate frame, serial #10 – one of probably three known surviving examples. Also to be auctioned are an 1844 Waters pistol with a Fayetteville conversion, in outstanding condition; and a battlefield pick-up of a bullet-struck gun. Other battlefield relics include numerous gun barrels, bridle bits, buttons, knives, a cannon barrel and soldiers’ personal articles.


Rare 1934-35 Tippco Nazi plane with lithographed Mickey Mouse on both sides of nosecone. Mosby & Co. image.

The Saturday session will be brimming with colorful antique toys, country story and advertising pieces; Americana, black memorabilia, and an array of posters that includes circus and sideshow types.


Seldom-seen toys await bidders at Mosby’s, including a circa-1870 Ives Carrie clockwork rowboat and oarsman figure with exceptional original paint. Another true rarity is the 1934-35 Tippco airplane with swastikas on the tail and Mickey Mouse lithographed on both sides of the nosecone. “This is only the second one of its type that I’ve seen in 25 years as a toy dealer and collector,” Spurgeon said.


Superior-condition Ives ‘Carrie’ circa-1870 clockwork rowboat. Mosby & Co. image.

Everyone’s favorite cartoon sailor will make his presence known in the form of a Popeye Rowboat and a Popeye eccentric airplane with original flag – the latter being the example depicted in Robert Lesser’s 1975 book A Celebration of Comic Art and Memorabilia. Both Popeye toys retain their correct original boxes. Other standouts within the panoramic toy section include a mint/boxed “Santee Claus” and a 1914 tinplate clockwork ambulance sweets tin.


The country store lineup is anchored by a fine late-19th century chestnut counter, 85 inches long with original finish. Several country store showcases – both floor and countertop styles – serve as appropriate auction companions, as do a J.P. Priwley Gum cabinet and National No. 313 brass candy-store-size cash register.


Rare 1918 floor model phonograph lamp by the Electric Phonograph Co. Mosby & Co. image.

An excellent assortment of advertising incorporates signs and figural displays of tin, porcelain and paper. A 1930s plaster Santa, counter-size panda figure touting What-A-Pop lollipops and several advertising clocks are among the featured lots.


The roster of Black and American historical memorabilia starts with slave-related articles, such as shackles, manillas (bronze bracelets used in the slave trade), slave documents including bills of sale, and freedmen’s passes. KKK articles to be auctioned include a Klansman’s uniform.


A stand-alone auction highlight is the very rare 1918 floor-model phonograph lamp manufactured by Electric Phonograph Co. “When these phonographs turn up, they’re almost always tabletop models,” Spurgeon said. “I have not been able to locate a floor model like the one in our sale in any antiques book. It is 100 percent correct and comes from a 50-year collection in California.”


Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus sideshow poster. Mosby & Co. image.

Mosby & Co. is known for its expertise in the field of circus and sideshow posters. Spurgeon noted that sideshow posters, in particular, are very difficult to locate but said he was able to secure several very desirable examples for his sale: Ubangi Savages, Giraffe-Neck Women from Burma, a German-printed Museum of Oddities poster with “Tiger-Skin Women,” and others.


1912 inscribed presentation photo from magician Harry Houdini. Mosby & Co. image.

The widely varied poster selection spans the period from 1900 through the 1970s and documents many forms of entertainment, from minstrel shows and vaudeville to magic shows. An additional magic highlight is an inscribed1912 presentation photo of Harry Houdini, and a signed Houdini letter on Society of American Magicians letterhead from the period during which the legendary illusionist was its president.


Other poster highlights include a beautiful 1906 “Montana Frank” poster in Wild West Show style, a 1926 window card for the Lillian Gish silent film The Scarlet Letter, and a poster for the cowboy silent film King of the Saddle, with Bill Cody.


Window card from the silent film ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ with depiction of its star, Lillian Gish. Mosby & Co. image.

Mosby & Co.’s fall auction will be held on Friday, Nov. 11 commencing at 5 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday, Nov. 12 starting at 10 a.m., at the company’s new gallery at 5714-A Industry Lane, Frederick, MD 21704. Preview hours are noon-5 p.m. on Friday, 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, and by appointment during the week prior to the sale. Catered food service will be available during both auction sessions.


All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through either or For additional information, call 240-629-8139 or e-mail Visit Mosby & Co. online at

Monsters, Hollywood ‘bad girls’ and a bounteous array of toys are on the menu at Old Town’s Nov. 18-20 Thanksgiving auction

October 28th, 2011 by

An example of original artwork from the Bill George collection, featuring scream queens and monsters. Old Town Auctions image.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Matt Protos has amassed a sterling lineup of toys and 20th-century pop culture items for Old Town Auctions’ Nov. 18-20 auction titled “Monsters, Wheels and Girls on Film.”


“This is the best lineup of collections we’ve ever offered, and a lot of the material is rare and exotic. It’s unlike anything you’re likely to see at other auctions,” said Protos.


Approximately 200-250 lots are from the collection of Bill George, the original editor of Femme Fatales magazine whose now-closed private museum in Baltimore was devoted to horror film and B-movie “scream queens.” The collection contains numerous monster-theme Aurora model kits, movie posters, collectibles from Universal monster films, and original artwork from the genre. Additionally, there are many B-movie starlets’ autographs and related items of ephemera; sci-fi and horror toys and collectibles – including some fairly rare Marx productions – action figures, and an extensive selection of promotional items that were available only to industry insiders.


A special inclusion in the Bill George consignment is the collection of original sculptures and paintings by Daniel Horne, known for his fantastic cover art on the magazines Dungeon and Dragon, and other projects. Among the subjects depicted are Frankenstein, Wolfman and Space Monster. Resin monster figures by other artists will be sold, as well. Many were produced in limited editions of 200 or less, and some are artist’s proofs.

From the Jay Kaufman collection, three of more than 80 pressed-steel trucks and vehicles. Old Town Auctions image.


Another featured collection in the Nov. 18-20 auction consists of pressed-steel automotive toys amassed over many

years by Jay Kaufman of Scottsdale, Arizona.


“Jay is a well-known collector of fine classic and vintage cars. His mindset has always been attuned to perfection, so just like his full-size cars, many of his toys are beautifully restored – he thinks like a car guy,” said Protos. While most of the toys to be auctioned have benefited from top-quality restoration, many others are in all-original condition.


A sampling of the many scarce Buddy L toys, boats and trains, plus (upper right) a rare 37-inch Orkin battleship. Old Town Auctions image.

The Kaufman collection includes all of the big names – American National, Buddy ‘L,’ Keystone, Structo, etc. Highlights include a coveted Buddy ‘L’ Tugboat and a complete Buddy ‘L’ Outdoor Garden Railway.


Nautical toys also found a welcome place to dock in the Kaufman collection. There are many large-scale, highly detailed boats and ship, including a 37-inch Orkin battleship, a few boats by Fleischmann and some large wooden clockwork dreadnoughts.


More than 100 cap guns and 100+ BB guns will fire away, including a large selection by Daisy. Old Town Auctions image.

An immense variety of other toys appealed to Kaufman, including airplanes and aviation items, tin wind-ups of all kinds,

boxed battery ops, Western toys and a toy gun collection that includes BB, space-theme and cap guns. Watching over the collection was an eye-catching life-size Popeye store mannequin made of heavy composition, with movable arms and head, and dressed in a cloth sailor suit and hat.


The auction will feature a choice collection of die-cast vehicles, including early mint/boxed Matchbox, Dinky, Hot Wheels and Corgi toys. Slot cars and sets, and an estate collection of 120+ plastic promotional cars will cross the auction block, as well. “These sorts of promotional cars were given out at automobile dealerships,” Protos explained. “This collection contains some really good ones that you don’t see every day.”


More than 100 Erector sets and factory displays will be auctioned, including the rare Zeppelin set (lower right), robot and amusement park sets. The overhead monorail display has more than 80 feet of track. Old Town Auctions image.

Another tightly focused collection consists of more than 100 high-quality, complete Erector and construction sets. Among them are robot sets, a boxed Zeppelin, and early truck, carnival and circus sets, plus some Erector store displays.


Also of interest to the scientifically minded bidder is the collection of early Apple computers and other primitive computer items. “Computers from Apple’s early days have become extremely collectible. There’s no shortage of people looking for them, and prices for rare models are increasing rapidly,” Protos said. Along the same lines, the auction will feature a computer-driven Heath Kit robot, complete and never assembled.


A huge selection of antique and vintage tin wind-ups will be offered, including Lehmann and Marx toys; plus smaller-scale automotive toys, aviation toys including a Blue Angels display with airplanes still affixed; Occupied Japan figural pieces, a grouping of Marx playsets and a collection of James Bond 007 and other spy toys from the 1960s.


A collection of miniature working engines includes hit-and-miss style engines, and engines for a Harley-Davidson "Knucklehead" and Chevy small block V8. Old Town Auctions image.

The auction action will start revving up when a collection of miniature gas-powered engines is introduced. The mini engines, which include Chevrolet V8, Harley-Davidson and racing motors, are in full working order. Some are farm-style hit-and-miss engines.


An absolutely unique piece is the 1967 all-metal electric-powered monorail made for display at Expo ’67 in Montreal. The actual monorail car is 6 feet long and runs along 100 feet of track. It is complete and comes with custom-fitted storage cases. “We’ll have this set assembled and operating at the auction,” said Protos.


One of the most intriguing items in Old Town’s June sale was the funky folk robot from creator Steve Heller’s range of “techno art.” This time around, Old Town will offer Heller’s rendition of a robot girlfriend named “Marilyn” for the previously auctioned robot, plus a rocket ship – for a robot honeymoon, perhaps?


French poster and Lucy/Desi figures rom an important and extensive collection of ‘I Love Lucy’ posters and collectibles. Old Town Auctions image.

This year marks what would have been TV legend Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday. For his November sale, Protos secured a voluminous collection of Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy memorabilia and ephemera, plus other movie-related posters. The Lucy archive includes posters and lobby cards, a TV Guide No. 1 featuring Ms. Ball on the cover, the manuscript for a book written about the iconic actress, and many other fascinating career items pertaining to America’s favorite redhead.


An amazing mini collection of six musical instruments easily qualifies as American folk art. The instruments and their cases are skillfully hand-painted – some with automotive themes – and are branded “Kollege Kids.” The collection – whose origin is a mystery – includes a violin, banjo, drum and other instruments.


Among the many other categories represented in the Nov. 18-20 event are: exonumia and medallic art – some with a transportation theme and one designed by Norman Bel Geddes – several coin-op machines including a Wurlitzer 1015 jukebox and speakers, a few figural animated store displays (e.g., giraffe, seal), a small selection of black Americana, and American Indian sterling silver souvenir spoons.

Among the many great toys in the auction, a rare Giant Sonic Robot with its original box. Old Town Auctions image.


The discoveries will be plentiful both before and after each sale session, as uncataloged and late-entry lots are offered to in-house bidders only. “This has become a very popular feature, and it’s one of the reasons why some people will travel long distances to attend our sales. They know we cater to the live-auction crowd. We’re going to keep on giving the people what they want,” said Protos.


Old Town’s Monsters, Wheels and Girls on Film auction will be held at the Grand Venice Hotel in Hagerstown, Md., and will start at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18; 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19; and 12 noon on Sunday, Nov. 20. A preview will be held two hours prior to each auction session.


In addition to on-site bidding, Old Town accepts phone bids (call in advance to reserve a line) and both traditional and Internet-assisted absentee bids (online cut-off time 24 hours prior to sale). There will be no Internet live bidding during any of the sessions.


For additional information on any item in the sale call Matt Protos at 301-416-2854 or email To view the fully illustrated auction catalog or leave absentee bids online, log on to or

Swann Galleries – Rare & Important Travel Posters

October 27th, 2011 by

Morphy’s Nov. 12 auction features antique doll collection of the late Lorraine Schoenthaler, private collection of rare teddy bears

October 25th, 2011 by

Steiff apricot center-seam bear, circa 1905, 28 in., excellent original condition. Est. $15,000-$20,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Fine antique dolls and rare German teddy bears will take center stage in Morphy Auctions’ sleek new saleroom on Nov. 12 in a specialty auction numbering 569 lots. Many of the dolls to be auctioned came from the collection of the late Lorraine Schoenthaler, a well-known collector from New Jersey.


“Mrs. Schoenthaler was known for her Schoenhut dolls. There are more than 50 of them in the sale,” said Morphy’s doll and teddy bear expert Jan Foulke. Within the grouping are molded-bonnet and carved-hair types; character dolls, dolly faces, babies and a mama doll, among others.


The Schoenthaler collection also includes German character dolls, babies and Polly

Beautifully dressed early Jumeau bebe doll, 14 in., French bisque socket head incised ‘Depose E 5 J.’ Est. $6,500-$8,500. Morphy Auctions image.

Heckewelder dolls, which are rag dolls that were made by the Moravian Church Ladies Society in Bethlehem, Pa., as far back as 1872. Foulke said the desirable Pennsylvania folk dolls are still being made from old patterns and that the examples in the Schoenthalter collection range from early productions to later ones.


While the auction summary reveals a broad chronology of doll production, the main focus of the sale is antique dolls. Highlights among the French dolls include an all-original Steiner Gigoteur, an E.J., and a portrait Jumeau.


German bisque character man, 15 in., known as ‘Rembrandt,’ appears to be a Simon & Halbig No. 1308 C. Est. $10,000-$15,000. Morphy Auctions image.

An outstanding array of character dolls has been cataloged. A very unusual 14-inch Simon & Halbig bisque doll depicts a man with long curly hair, a moustache and a large hat. Its owner added a tag that said it was “Rembrandt from Holland,” and that it was a gift. Foulke said the doll appears to be an unmarked Model No. 1308, which is “a very rare number from around 1910.”


Another Simon & Halbig highlight is a No. 153 bisque boy dressed in a pink suit, nicknamed “Little Duke.”


A K*R No. 114 boy doll is unusual in that it has flocked hair and glass eyes. Most dolls with that model number have wigs and painted eyes.


Other character dolls include Kley & Hahn pouties, a Simon & Halbig 1488, Kestner 212, A.M. with intaglio eyes, Just

Kammer & Reinhardt 114 character boy doll, 20 in., bisque socket head incised ‘K*R 114 49.’ Est. $6,500-$9,500. Morphy Auctions image.

Me, SFBJ 226 and 247, and more.


Bisque babies include Tynie Babies, a Century Baby, Newborn Baby, Seigfried, Bye-los, a 2-faced Kley & Hahn doll, and many others.


Many artist dolls will be up for bid. Designers represented in this section of the sale include Martha Thompson, Martha Armstrong Hand and Dewees Cochran. Additionally, the auction inventory features a collection of Hitty dolls.


All-bisque dolls include mignonettes, a Simon & Halbig 886 with black stockings, large babies, and many small dolls. In addition to the aforementioned Polly Heckewelder dolls, the cloth doll offering includes multiple Kamkins and Chase designs.


Blond No. 1 Barbie Doll in box, 1959, near mint. Est. $6,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

For those who collect America’s favorite teen fashion doll, Barbie, there will be 25 lots of very nicely preserved examples. Highlights include a boxed No. 1 Barbie with blond ponytail, in very fine condition; a No. 4, a No. 5, and group lots.


The auction also features a private collection of irresistible antique and vintage teddy bears, including several rare, expensive productions from Steiff’s early days. In addition, approximately five Steiff dolls will cross the auction block at Morphy’s.


The most highly prized of all bears in the sale is a circa-1904 Steiff 20-inch rod bear. The bear is accompanied by an X-ray that visually confirms its interior rod construction, as well as a Teddy Bear and Friends magazine calendar illustrated with pictures of this particular bear. It is described in Morphy’s auction catalog as being one of the nicest, if not the nicest known example. Estimate $25,000-$50,000.


Other top bears include a circa-1912 Steiff 18-inch black “mourning” bear made to commemorate those who perished

Steiff ‘rod’ bear, circa 1904, 20 in., accompanied by X-ray confirming interior rod construction. Est. $25,000-$50,000. Morphy Auctions image.

on the Titanic, estimate $12,000-$20,000; and a circa-1905 apricot center-seam Steiff bear, 28 inches and in “stunning original condition.” It is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.


Jan Foulke summarized the sale’s contents as being “nice, fresh dolls – most coming from a single consignment – together with rare teddies and an excellent variety of other dolls to please even the most particular collector.”


The auction will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12, commencing at 10 a.m. Eastern time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live at the gallery, by phone or absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live (sign up at or


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

e-mail View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online at

Arbor Antiques – The Hitt Estate Sale

October 21st, 2011 by


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

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: