Arbor Antiques Services promotes a Spring and Fall Round Top Show every year during the nationally known Antiques Festival in Round Top, Texas. Our Round Top show site is located on eight acres at the American Legion Post #338 on Hwy. 237 off of Hwy. 290. We are just 2 miles from downtown Round Top. We offer dealer spaces in an air-conditioned hall and in several large big top tents. We have free admission, free parking and an on-site cafe. As an antique dealer or a shopper, you will not want to miss this antiquing experience in Round Top, Texas.
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
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online www.morphyauctions.com.
Cowens’ MVP Award takes top prize at Grey Flannel’s Basketball Hall of Fame Auction, sells for $156,000August 22nd, 2011 by admin
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The MVP Award won by Boston Celtics center Dave Cowens in the NBA’s 1972-73 season sold for an astonishing $156,000 at Grey Flannel’s Sixth Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction held Aug. 12 in Springfield. The 170-lot auction conducted onsite at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame grossed more than $1.8 million, inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium.
Hall of Famer Cowens’ MVP trophy was the first of its kind ever to make an appearance at auction. The 3ft. 9in. trophy was tipped to be the sale’s premier lot, and it did not disappoint, attracting 47 bids before hammering $156K.
“The price paid for the trophy shocked us,” said Grey Flannel Auctions’ president Richard E. Russek. “It was the last item in the sale, and after it hammered, the whole audience stood up and started clapping.”
Russek said phone lines were “jam-packed” throughout the auction, with bids coming in from many different countries. “Basketball is no longer just an American sport,” he said. “There are leagues in Europe and Israel, and it’s huge in Asia. It’s a great international sport, now, and the crush of bidders from other nations in our auction was tangible proof of that.”
The enduring popularity of superstar Julius Erving was evidenced by the $132,000 price paid for an ABA Eastern
Conference All-Star uniform game-used by “Dr. J” in 1974. The striking red, white and blue uniform embellished with stars, Erving’s name, his number “32” and “ABA” was one of a number of items in the auction that came from the collection of veteran TV commentator and 25-time Emmy® Award winner Al Trautwig.
Another item that generated tremendous bidding interest was the only Lenny Wilkens game-used St. Louis Hawks road jersey known to exist. “It had all the bells and whistles – rarity, provenance, the connection to a Hall of Famer and Top 50 player, and a letter of authenticity from Lenny himself,” Russek said. Entered in the auction with a minimum-bid requirement of $10,000, it soared to a winning bid of $78,000.
The competition for rare jerseys was “frenzied,” Russek said. “Collectors knew what they wanted, and they went for it full bore.” Among the top apparel lots was a 1971 Wes Unseld Eastern Conference All-Star game-used and autographed uniform, $60,000; and a 1984-85 Michael Jordan rookie Chicago Bulls game-used and autographed road uniform, $54,000. A Dan Issel ABA Eastern Conference All-Star game-used uniform was close behind at $51,000.
Celtics fans cross several generations. This led to five-figure prices on several items displaying the fabled Boston team’s green and white motif. A 1973-74 Dave Cowens Boston Celtics game-used home jersey, which was offered together with a pair of Dennis Johnson’s game-used home shorts, scored $39,000. A treasure from 1980 was the Celtics home warm-up jacket worn by former collegiate superstar “Pistol” Pete Maravich, who joined the Celts that year as a free agent after playing 17 early-season games. With the Celtics team name emblazoned on the front and the name “Maravich” on the back, the jacket’s visual appeal was further enhanced by a shamrock logo on each of the sleeves. Fans pushed the bidding on the jacket to $60,000.
Of the five championship rings offered in the sale, Robert Horry’s dazzling 2005 San Antonio Spurs World Championship ring fared best. The weighty 14K white gold player’s ring with diamonds totaling 2.55 carats came with its original wood presentation box and letters of authenticity. Described in Grey Flannel’s catalog as “the finest-looking NBA championship ring this auction house has ever seen,” it flew past its $5,000 reserve to reach $48,000.
The evening prior to the auction, Grey Flannel hosted a star-studded Reunion Dinner on Center Court at the Hall of Fame. It was attended by 2011 Hall of Fame inductees, returning Hall of Famers and a who’s who of other basketball dignitaries.
“This was our sixth year to host the pre-Induction dinner, but we’ve actually had a close association with the Hall of Fame
for 25 years,” said Russek. “Many of the players at the dinner thanked us for our support, which was very gratifying. The association we enjoy with the Hall of Fame is very important to us. We’re in it for the long haul.”
Grey Flannel’s next event will be its annual Holiday Auction, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 15, 2011. Additional information will appear soon on the company’s website at www.greyflannelauctions.com. To contact Grey Flannel Auctions, call 631-288-7800 or e-mail email@example.com.
VINELAND, N.J. – Hefty cast-iron trucks, banks and figural doorstops found favor with bidders who congregated at Bertoia’s New Jersey gallery for a lighthearted summer auction of ‘Toys with Character.’ The June 10-11 sale grossed $1,014,000, with above-estimate and even world-record prices achieved on many of the 1,481 lots offered. All prices quoted in this report include a 15% buyer’s premium.
Topping the roster of prices realized was a circa-1933 toy version of an Ingersoll Rand Mack truck with painted driver figure. Made by Hubley, the richly hued green and red truck with spoked nickel wheels featured an open-frame body that exposed a well-detailed nickel compressor. In pristine to near-mint condition, it rumbled past its $8,000-$10,000 estimate to settle at $13,800.
An extensive selection of still banks featured as its centerpiece the Guy and Kim Zani collection. The tightly focused collection consisted entirely of antique banks shaped as safes, some with padlocks, others with combination locks. A rare and unusual entry, a J.M. Harper safe bank topped with a well executed bust of President Grover Cleveland was described in the auction catalog as “reportedly one of two known,” and was bid to $11,500 against an estimate of $8,000-$9,000.
Just as desirable as the mechanical banks that were cast from it, a complex brass three-dimensional pattern for J. & E. Stevens’ “Cat and Mouse” bank was in excellent, complete condition. It earned more than twice the low estimate at $8,050.
Bertoia’s is known as a premier source for early cast-iron doorstops. The company’s owner, Jeanne Bertoia, is a noted expert on the subject and has spent years collecting, studying, writing about and selling the very best doorstop examples at auction. Some 75 doorstops were entered in the summer sale, and predictably, a Hubley Art Deco design of two bathing beauties under a parasol, signed “Fish,” created a bidding frenzy.
“The Bathing Beauties doorstop is an extremely popular form with collectors, and this example was in particularly nice
condition,” said Bertoia. “It was estimated at $3,000-$4,000 and sold for $10,350, which we believe to be a world auction record.”
Another doorstop that may well have set an auction record was the Hubley/Fish Messenger Boy. A classic depiction of a Deco-era bellboy holding a wrapped bouquet of flowers, its bright colors and near-mint condition helped elicit a winning bid of $8,050 against an estimate of $4,000-$5,000.
A flotilla of handsome toy boats commanded a first-class fare from bidders. The flagship turned out to be an early 20th-century Bing (Germany) clockwork King Edward gunboat. Made of hand-painted tin and measuring an impressive 29 inches in length, it retained its original guns, funnels, masts and lifeboats. The boat sold within estimate for $8,625. Both a Bing Leviathan painted-tin clockwork oceanliner and Buddy ‘L’ pressed-steel tugboat achieved a closing price of $6,900.
Tinplate character toys finishing in the top dozen lots of the sale were led by an all-time favorite with Disney collectors – a Distler (Germany) tinplate clockwork Mickey Mouse Hurdy Gurdy with tiny dancing Minnie Mouse on top of the barrel organ. A highly sought-after toy, it exceeded estimate to close at $8,050. Joining the beloved mice were two other coveted German clockwork toys: a boxed Lehmann Masuyama, which depicts a Japanese woman being transported in a rickshaw; and an extremely rare Eppie Hogg in Auto, made by Nifty. Each of the toys made $6,090.
Collectors had a superb array of comic and other character toys from which to choose at the June auction, since the section contained part one – approximately 300 toys – from the renowned Ronnie and Sandy Rosen collection. Bertoia’s is auctioning the Rosens’ wonderfully varied 1,200-piece personal collection in three segments, with parts II and III yet to come.
Bertoia’s will conduct a Sept. 23-24 auction featuring the cast-iron automotive toy collection of the late Fred Castan, and the eclectic American and European toy collection of the late Ralph Tomlinson. Additional information is available online at www.bertoiaauctions.com. Tel. 856-692-1881 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LANCASTER, Pa. – Beautifully designed and richly illustrated, the 2011 edition of Jan Foulke’s Guide to Dolls is now available for purchase through Synapse Publishing’s website or amazon.com. Nearly 300 pages in length, this immaculately organized full-color reference is an indispensable resource for any level of doll buyer, seller or collector.
Written by the most trusted authority on antique and vintage dolls, Jan Foulke, the book includes reliable, up-to-the-minute market values on more than 2,000 antique, vintage and modern collectible dolls. More than 600 dolls – many of them from premier private collections – are shown in full-color photographs.
Main doll classifications are broken down into subcategories arranged alphabetically by manufacturer. Doll productions from each of the makers are further sorted by doll type, size and/or model number.
Foulke added an introductory section to each doll factory or studio category, providing a thumbnail history, basic description of the manufacturing technique, and additional tidbits of information, such as cautions about reproductions.
A detailed main index enables the user to look up virtually any doll by name, and it is followed by a second index that helps identify dolls by numbers incised into the molds from which they were created. Foulke didn’t stop there; she also included a glossary of terms to help beginners and non-doll specialists with trade terminology, such as “paperweight eyes,” “gusset joint” or “mignonnette.”
With nearly 40 years of experience in the doll business, Foulke relishes the opportunity to share her knowledge and does so with an extensive section on how to assess quality, condition, clothing and originality. It is followed by a detailed narrative packed with tips on buying and selling dolls, including at auction. Throughout, these tutorials are written in a clear and conversational style with no filler.
Jan Foulke’s Guide to Dolls 2011 softcover edition is quite likely the only book any doll enthusiast requires for doll identification and accurate market values. The book is available to purchase online for $26.95 through Synapse Publishing’s dedicated web page www.jansdollbook.com or amazon.com.
Morphy’s to auction premier Bob Levy collection of antique, vintage coin-op machines in Sept. 2-3 saleAugust 4th, 2011 by admin
DENVER, Pa. – On Sept. 3, 2011, Morphy’s will be transformed into an arcade of color and sound as the central Pennsylvania company auctions the late Bob Levy’s revered personal collection of gambling and coin-op machines. The painstakingly amassed collection of 400 antique and vintage machines will be offered unpicked and in its entirety during the second session of Morphy’s Sept. 2-3 Coin Op, Antique Advertising and General Store sale.
Bob Levy was a renowned expert on coin-ops who bought and sold only the rarest and best examples. For many years he based his antiques business “The Unique One” in a Pennsauken, N.J., showroom, but his clientele was a global one. He was a fountainhead of coin-op knowledge and such a presence in the hobby that collectors far and wide referred to him as simply “the slot machine guy.” In October of 2009, Levy joined the Morphy Auctions team to manage sales of gambling and coin-op machines.
“After Bob passed away in February, we were informed that, in his estate planning, Bob had entrusted us to auction his collection of prized machines, which he called his ‘keepers,’” said Morphy’s CEO Dan Morphy. “Bob was our good friend. Our goal is to represent him in a way that honors what he did for the coin-op collecting hobby.”
Perhaps the most important piece in the collection is the Superior 5-Cent Horse Race slot machine described in the catalog as “the best of the best.” One of the most coveted machines in coin-op collecting, it has a confection-vending feature and gold medal designation, and carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000.
A Caille Centaur upright slot machine, 65 inches tall with black-oxidized, finished cast-iron trim, is expected to make $16,000-$20,000; while a Mills 5-Cent Dewey upright slot in all-original condition with earlier paneled oak cabinet is estimated at $14,000-$18,000.
The decorative details on the Mills 2-Bit Jackpot Dewey coin-op machine make this particular model very special. It has extra-fancy castings that include lion heads on its legs, owls on its handles, dogs on its façade and figural ladies on its head. The 65-inch-tall machine commands an estimate of $12,000-$16,000.
A Mills floor model Black Beauty $1 machine could realize $3,000-$5,000. “It is unusual to find a factory Mills $1 machine that has a ‘hand-load’ jackpot, as this one does,” said Morphy.
The Bally Reliance 5-Cent dice machine has a clever design that allows the user to play craps. The payout machine boasts various awards. Although a complex machine, the Levy example is in fully functional condition and is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
Beautifully restored, a Buckley Bones 25-Cent dice slot machine is similar in concept to the Bally Reliance and is also very appealing to collectors. In working order, the Buckley Bones could fetch in the vicinity of $8,000-$10,000.
Perhaps one of the greatest and most ornate of all cast-iron poker machines, the Mills Little Duke machine is noteworthy for its intricate castings, even on the rear door. The example in the Levy collection retains its original marquee and reel strips – always a plus. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000.
Seldom found in excellent working order, a wooden Jennings golf ball vending machine operates with 25-cent coins. This particular model was installed primarily in country clubs, where golfers could try their luck at winning a pay-off in golf balls. It could make $3,000-$5,000 at auction. A counter-top golf ball vending machine from Jennings is in excellent condition and estimated at $3,500-$5,500. Yet another golf ball vendor is the Mills floor model “Extraordinary” slot machine with motor-driven dispenser. Fully functional and in excellent condition, it has a $6,000-$8,000 estimate.
Carrying on the sports theme, a Mills 5-Cent Baseball slot machine is complete with its original marquee, reel strips and mint rolls. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.
An ever-popular Baker’s Pacers Racers horse race machine has a beveled glass panel that allows viewing of the internal mechanism. It could bring $4,000-$6,000. Made by Bally, a Ray’s Race Track gambling machine is also estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
The Saturday, Sept. 3 session also includes 300 antique advertising lots, figural cast-iron antiques and 75 mechanical banks. Leading the banks are a J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope ($16000-$22,000) and Professor Pug Frog ($10,000-$15,000). Both are in excellent-plus condition.
The Friday, Sept. 2 session features more than 150 antique occupational shaving mugs, including a rare example depicting a steam-powered railway shovel, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; as well as 180 tobacciana lots and 350 lots of soft drink advertising. Of the latter category, 170 pertain specifically to Coca-Cola. Highlights include a 1908 serving tray with the image of an ethereal semi-nude woman holding a bottle of Coke ($4,000-$7,000) and a 1923 cardboard trolley sign with images of a young woman holding a glass of Coke and dressed for each of the four seasons ($2,000-$4,000).
Additional advertising items include a Rough Riders cigar box featuring an image of Teddy Roosevelt leading a charge, presumably up San Juan Hill ($1,500-$3,000), a 1940s Eastside neon sign with eagle motif ($1,500-$2,000) and a beautifully illustrated 1923 Orange Crush calendar with full calendar pad.
All forms of bidding will be available for the Sept. 2-3 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 additional information, call Morphy’s at 717-335-3435 or e-mail email@example.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com.
DENVER, Pa. – Mickey Mouse, a formidable legion of comic book Superheroes, and a classic 1950s Lavender Robot will all be on board when Morphy Auctions presents an Aug. 12-13 auction of antique and vintage toys, banks, marbles and comics. More than 1,100 lots will be offered in the mid-summer sale, which will be held in Morphy’s plush new gallery on the Adamstown antique strip, one hour northwest of Philadelphia.
The fun begins with a selection of 80 cast-iron mechanical and still banks. The mechanical group is led by a coveted Kyser & Rex Mammy with Spoon (red-dress version) estimated at $4,000-$7,000, and a J. & E. Stevens football-theme Calamity bank, $4,000-$6,000. The “stills,” on the other hand, will be following a whimsical leader – a French cast-iron Standing Mickey embossed with the words “J. Manil Vieier Au Court.” Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.
A fleet of boxed, early to mid-1950s Banthrico still-bank vehicles will join a varied lineup of other vehicles that includes a Hubley cast-iron fire pumper ($600-$900) and a delightful Kyser & Rex cast-iron Santa with double-reindeer sleigh toy ($1,500-$3,000).
The bus stops at Morphy’s on Aug. 12 for the sale of one of the most comprehensive toy bus collections known. The Wayne Mathias collection includes more than 100 toy depictions of Greyhound, Continental Trailways and other buses. A scarce plastic mold of a Greyhound Scenicruiser – one of several that were sent to Greyhound’s top 50 sales offices in the late 1950s – is expected to make $1,000-$3,000.
American and European trains – both prewar and postwar – will be next across the auction block, with highlights including a standard gauge 400 series loco and tender ($1,500-$2,500) exemplifying the largest steam engine ever made by Lionel. A one of a kind, museum-quality motor coach train made in 1932 by Russel Nord of Quincy, Mass., was modeled after one of the first known passenger trains, the DeWitt Clinton. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000.
Displaying unmistakable Continental style, an array of 25 European tin toys includes such favorites as a Lehmann Zig-Zag
($800-$1,200) and a menagerie of fabric-over-tin Schuco wind-up toys. Two German-made Carette cars – one with a roof rack for luggage; the other an open tourer – come with figures of drivers and passengers. Their estimates range from $1,200 at the low end to $2,500 at the top.
The session’s second featured collection – coming from toy soldier aficionado Bud Ritter – features more than 50 sets of vintage and contemporary soldier, animal and civilian figures. Many of the sets were made by Britains and retain their original boxes.
Japanese old-store-stock tin friction toys and wind-up vehicles will motor past the podium, with premium lots to include an 18-inch 1961 Yonezawa Cadillac Fleetwood and an 11-inch red Cadillac convertible by Alps. Both are accompanied by beautiful pictorial boxes and carry individual estimates of $800-$1,200.
More than a dozen robots await their day at auction, with the premier entry being a 15-inch Masudaya Non-Stop (a k a “Lavender”) Robot with its original multicolored pictorial box. This striking member of the Japanese large-bodied, postwar robots known collectively as the “Gang of Five” could realize $4,000-$8,000.
Saturday morning starts off with 150+ lots of marbles, including sulphides, swirls and lutzes. A very rare sulphide with the suspended figure of a flying bat could reach $2,000-$3,000.
A great assortment of Schoenhut painted-wood character figures, animals and circus accessories has been apportioned in 35 lots. Two old-timers from the comic pages, Boob McNutt and Happy Hooligan, are dressed in their original clothing and are in excellent condition. Each was produced in 1924 and is estimated at $300-$600. The Schoenhuts are followed by 10 lots of Palmer Cox Brownie memorabilia.
Saturday’s session also contains a fine selection of 1960s-1980s old-store-stock toys, mostly in sealed boxes or on header cards, Flintstones and Jetsons figures and vehicles, 15 lots of military toys from a single collection, including rarely seen Soldier of Fortune sets; and early Disney tin and celluloid toys, watches and other memorabilia. A Capodimonte porcelain tableau depicting Snow White and Seven Dwarfs at the dinner table was created by Italian designer Enzo Arzenton, and is estimated at $1,500-$2,500.
An exceptional and complete Lionel Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Circus Train has its original tin wind-up train, colorfully decorated circus tent, gas station and other accessory pieces, including the all-important composition figure of circus barker Mickey. Described in the catalog as “one of the nicer sets we have ever offered for sale,” the factory-boxed set comes to auction with a $4,000-$8,000 estimate.
The Saturday session concludes with more than 300 lots of 1940s comic books, all from the original owner who purchased the comics brand new. All are fresh and ungraded, but there are several good candidates for grading, including 1948 Phantom Lady #17 ($600-$800), 1947 All Star Comics #33 ($700-$1,000), and 1941 Startling Comics#49, whose cover art features an
Alex Schomburg image of a robot wading through water with a frightened woman in his arms ($800-$1,200).
All items auction items are currently available to preview at Morphy’s gallery. All forms of bidding will be available for this auction, including in person, by phone, absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or LiveAuctioneers.com. For further information call 717-335-3435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online www.morphyauctions.com.
DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions’ CEO Dan Morphy has announced the addition of a full-service sports memorabilia department to his company’s growing roster of specialty divisions. The new department is supervised by Morphy’s chief operation officer Tom Sage Jr.
“We decided to open a sports department because of the increasing number of requests from collectors who wanted to consign their collections and game-used items,” said Sage. “We’ve incorporated sports memorabilia into our general and toy sales regularly over the past six or seven years, and we’ve also referred business to companies that specifically handle sports memorabilia, but we reached a point where there were so many inquiries, it was clearly time to start holding our own specialty sales.”
The plan is to conduct dedicated semiannual auctions of items from all major sports, including football, baseball, basketball, hockey, boxing, golf and more. In particular, Morphy’s sports sales will focus on Major League and collegiate game-used jerseys and other apparel; sports equipment, rings and jewelry; photographs and ephemera; and other quality collectibles with a connection to professional athletes.
Sage, a lifelong antique dealer and collector who began his career selling baseball cards in 1977, said a strong emphasis will be placed on provenance and authentication. “Buyers expect, and will receive, letters or certificates of authenticity when they buy game-used or autographed items from Morphy’s. We will be using the services of some of the sports memorabilia industry’s top authenticators in vetting the merchandise we sell.”
Morphy’s debut auction of sports memorabilia will take place this fall, with another sale to follow in spring of 2012. Consignments are currently being accepted. Call Tom Sage at 717-335-4571 or e-mail email@example.com.
Military firearms are highly collectible antiques that peak a lot of buyers interests. One rare antique that fits this category is the matchlock weapon. The matchlock first came into existence in the 14th century. The significance of the matchlock was that it had a mechanism or “lock” invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. Its design removed the need to lower by hand a lit match into the weapon’s flash pan. The matchlock also made it possible to have both hands free to keep a firm grip on the weapon at the moment of firing, and, more importantly, to keep both eyes on the target.
The classic European matchlock gun held a burning match in a gun that was known as the serpentine. A variety of matchlock was also developed called the snapping matchlock, in which the serpentine was spring-loaded and released by pressing a button, pulling a trigger, or pulling a short string passing into the mechanism. This type fell out of favor with soldiers, but was often used in fine target weapons. One weakness of the matchlock was the necessity of keeping the match lit. The sole source of ignition for the powder was the match. If the match was not lit, then the mechanism was useless and the gun became little more than an expensive club. This was mainly a problem in wet weather for the matchlock gun. It became an issue when the damp match cord was difficult to light and to keep burning. Another drawback was the burning match itself. At night, the match would glow in the dark, possibly revealing the carrier’s position. The distinctive smell of a burning match-cord was also a dead giveaway of a musketeer’s position. This was one reason why soldiers in charge of transporting and guarding ammunition were amongst the first to be issued self-igniting guns like the wheel lock and snaphance. The matchlock was also uneconomical to keep ready for long periods of time. The matchlock first appeared in Europe in the middle of the 15th century. By the 16th century, the matchlock was universally sold everywhere. The Janissary corps of the Ottoman army adopted matchlock arms from Hungary gradually from the 1440s onwards. Improved versions of the musket were transported to India by Babur in 1526 and then to Japan by the Chinese. The Japanese were technically able to produce tempered steel such as swords and blades. However, they preferred to use work-hardened brass springs in their matchlocks. The low cost of production, simplicity, and high availability of the matchlock kept it in use in European armies until about 1720. Both the Qing Dynasty and the Joseon Dynasty used matchlock arms as late as the 1850s and 1870s. They used these during the Second Opium War and the United States expedition to Korea. Improvised matchlock guns were last used by pro-Indonesia Timor Leste militias in the 1999 conflict.
Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers’ May Jackson Rooms Auction is finally here! You’ll see a variety of beautiful pieces – far too many to list here! But here are a few of the many pieces available at this amazing auction:
- A Fine Selection of English Furniture and Decorative Art including a Harvest Table, Welsh Dresser, Pew, Cupboards, Bookcase, Terra Cotta Chimney Pots and Mirrors
- Exceptional Painted French Louis XV Style Armoire with Beveled Edge Mirrors, Louis XV style Marble Top Bombe Chest, Pair Louis XV Belle Epoque Armchairs and a Louis XV Belle Epoque Settee
- Antique American Bookcases, a Baker Armoire, China Cabinets, Contemporary Design Furniture and Wrought Iron and Patio Furniture and Outdoor Elements
- Oil Paintings and Prints including a large Floral Oil by Sebouten
- Asian Decorative Art, Lamps & Chandeliers
- Handwoven Carpets and Area Rugs, Sterling and Plated Silver
- Flo Blue, Ashworth Bros., Mottahedeh, Limoges, Staffordshire, Waterford, Baccarat and More
- Large Selection of Silver, Costume and 14k Gold Jewelry
- American Samplers and Longaberger Baskets
- Toys & Collectibles, Much More!