In The News

Old Toy Soldier Auctions chalks up ‘best sale to date’ as Thompson, Graham collections score top prices

July 16th, 2010 by

Haffner Frederick the Great and troops, prewar, 21 pieces, $3,186. Old Toy Soldier Auctions image.

PITTSBURGH – Ray Haradin’s Old Toy Soldier Auctions operates in a world of miniature antiques, but prices on top lots were strictly big league in the company’s May 1 auction featuring the collections of John Graham (part III), brothers Bill and Don Thompson, and other consignors.

“At $229,000 with 99 percent of the lots sold, it was, by far, our best sale to date,” said Haradin. “I was thrilled with the result.”

The 645-lot auction inventory featured an extraordinary toy soldier collection that was established in the 1940s by two brothers from Chicago, Don and (the late) Bill Thompson. When their family moved to California in 1947, the boys’ carefully wrapped and boxed toys made the journey as well, but they would remain in quiet storage until 2009, when they were unwrapped and assessed for auction purposes.

“We got terrific prices on the Thompsons’ soldiers because they were very desirable, early pieces in fabulous condition,” Haradin said. “I think condition was the reason there were so many new bidders for this sale. I suspect many of them were younger people, too, since 47 percent of the purchases were made through the Internet.”

Extremely rare version of Britains Set #1476, Coronation Coach with single figure of uncrowned King Edward VIII, made in 1937, $5,015. Old Toy Soldier Auctions image.

Among the highlights from the Thompson collection was an exceptionally rare version of Britains’ 1937 Coronation Coach Set #1476 containing a single figure of the uncrowned King Edward VIII. The 28-piece boxed set, which also included grooms, footmen and Yeomen of the Guard, topped its high estimate to settle at $5,015 (all prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium).

Another lot with an Edward VIII connection consisted of a figure of the British monarch in his purple, ermine-trimmed Coronation robes. Made by Britains prior to the King’s abdication, the figure came in a box with both a yellow manufacturer’s label marked “King Edward VIII” and a Marshall Field department store $1 price sticker. In Old Toy Soldier’s sale, it concluded its bidding run majestically at $3,422.

There was widespread interest for a Haffner (German) 21-piece military set featuring Frederick the Great with mounted troops, two drummers, a flag bearer and other figures. The very rare ensemble mustered a winning bid of $3,186 against a presale estimate of $1,200-$1,500.

Competition was keen, as well, for knights produced by the British firm Courtenay. A signed and numbered (XX1) hand-painted figure known as “Le Borge de Prie” was pushed well beyond its $400-$600 estimate to close at $1,062.

An early production by the still-active British company King and Country depicted a dashing corps of Seaforth Highlanders in foreign active service dress, complete with piper and mounted officer. The 26-piece set garnered a within-estimate price of $590.

Unlike W. Britains, whose origins date to the mid-Victorian era, King and Country was a late entry on the toy soldier playing field, Haradin said. “They started in the early 1980s but didn’t become popular till the mid-1990s. Now they rival Britains in sales and maybe even surpass them. There’s a very dedicated following for this brand when it’s offered in our auctions. Newer collectors want to buy the pieces that came out before they got into the hobby.”

Cherilea 22-piece postwar baseball set, $4,425. Old Toy Soldier Auctions image.

Speaking of the playing field, bidders came from all directions to pursue a seldom-seen Cherilea postwar baseball set featuring 11 figures, including a black-suited umpire. In its original, colorfully lithographed box and with each of the pieces still tied in place, the like-new set estimated at $1,800-$2,400 crossed home plate in championship style at $4,425.

Other notable boxed sets in the auction included a Britains 8-piece prewar “Los Rurales de la Federaction” Mexican Infantry Set #186, $1,770; a 1937-1941 British Army Active Service Display Set #1328, also by Britains, $1,298; and a postwar Mignot (French) 6-piece “Gardes du Corps du Roi” set #294 featuring an officer, trumpeter and standard bearer, $325.

“What impressed me most about this sale was that it was strong across the board. We made sure we catered to every type of collector, and we didn’t note softness in any category,” Haradin said.

Old Toy Soldier Auctions is expanding its operations. Joe Saine of Toledo, Ohio, an expert in both new and old toy soldiers, is joining the company’s staff to assist with future sales. Additionally, OTSA will conduct its first-ever two-day sale over the weekend of Nov. 20-21. The auction will feature part I of the late Fred Wehr’s collection, which contains many rare, early Britains, approximately 140 King and Country sets, German-made Heyde figures, and an extensive selection of figures by Bill Hocker, a boutique manufacturer from California whose contemporary toy soldiers are often favorably compared to Britains.

To contact Ray Haradin and Old Toy Soldier Auctions, call 412-343-8733 (tollfree: 800-349-8009) or e-mail Visit the company online at

Michaan’s Auction partners with expert Reyne Haines for 20th Century Design Sale

July 14th, 2010 by

Michaan’s Auction in Alameda, California is pleased to announce their partnership with decorative arts expert, Reyne Haines. Their first auction will be held in November and includes 20th Century Decorative Arts, Furniture, Jewelry and Fine Art from the Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and Mid-Century periods. They are currently accepting consignments for the inaugural sale.

Ms. Haines founded Houston’s eponymous Reyne Gallery, as well as The Finer Things in New York City. These two firms emphasize fine 20th century design in art glass, pottery, furniture, fine art and jewelry. Ms Haines expertise ranges from vintage watches to art glass to decorative arts. She has written for and has been interviewed extensively by publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Home and Garden, Traditional Home, and 002 Magazine. She is the author and contributor to a number of books about auctions, appraising and collecting.

Michaan’s Auctions is the leading full service auction house on the West Coast. Specializing in the appraisals and sale of antiques and fine art, Michaan’s has specialists in the fields of Furniture and Decorative Arts, Modern, Contemporary Art, European and American Paintings and Prints, Books and Manuscripts, Jewelry, Asian Works of Art and Ethnographic Art.

Established in 2002, Michaan’s Auctions holds up to thirty sales each year attracting a broad base of buyers and consignors from all over the world. With one of the largest facilities in Northern California and the Bay Area’s lowest buyers premium, Michaan’s offers buyers and sellers the opportunity to preview and bid on many unique and desirable property. Some of these pieces realized world record prices. In 2005 A.D.M. Cooper’s oil painting, “Three Graces 1915” sold for a record $21,060 and an Eduard Gaertner oil “German City Street Scene 1831” sold for $266,000.

Michaan’s has built its reputation on its ability to accept single items, groups or entire estates with its “no risk consignment policy” free of hidden fees and charges. Michaan’s specialists are dedicated to staying current on the latest issues and developments in the market and are committed to providing personalized and professional attention throughout the entire auction process.

For more information, additional photographs or to consign your own fine property contact Reyne Haines at 713.253.7505 or For a complete listing of Michaan’s other Fine and Estate Auctions visit:

Press Office Contact:
Talesa Santos

Bonhams & Butterfields – Sunset Estate Auction

July 14th, 2010 by

Auction July 25th, 2010

Los Angeles

Featuring Fine Art, Books and Manuscripts, Rugs and Carpets, Asian Works of Art, Africa and Ethnographic Works of Art, Silver and Silverplate, 20th Century Furniture and Decorative Works of Art, Furniture and Decorative Arts


July 13th, 2010 by

Fairfield, Maine, June 22-23, 2010 - For the few weeks leading up to their auction, the Julia firm was filled with pride, anticipation, and trepidation. Pride because they had been told on numerous occasions that their upcoming glass and lamp auction was perhaps the largest, finest, and most diverse grouping of this type that had ever been offered at one auction anywhere in the world for the last couple years. Anticipation because they had a considerable amount of monetary value and the potential for doing well. Trepidation because this is a different world today and the world economy and collecting fraternities of the world are not what they were three years ago. This is a buyer’s market, not a seller’s market. It is exceedingly difficult to predict what is going to happen. They of course knew that because this was such a high profile auction, a great number of collectors would be watching the performance. If they were successful, it would bode well for their company and for the glass and lamp world as a whole. Healthy prices create confidence in buyers, and the positive cycle continues. Poor sales results exacerbate doubt and insecurity in the market. The auction was a cross-section of the art glass marketplace, consisting of objects found in the booths and shops of leading dealers throughout the world. As such, the value ranged from a few hundred dollars to $100,000+ and included art nouveau, 20th Century American art glass, paperweights, KPM plaques, lamps of all types, miniature lamps, French and English cameo glass, Fairyland Lustre, and more.

When the smoke cleared, it was clear the market was still healthy and active. Just over 1,000 lots were offered and the low estimate of the items sold of approximately $1.6 Million with a final selling price of just under $2 Million. This was over $300,000 over low estimate and certainly a statistic to be proud of.

SoMa Estate AuctionSoMa Estate Auction

July 12th, 2010 by

Featuring property from the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art
July 18 & 19, 2010 10am
220 San Bruno Avenue, San FranciscoSan Francisco


July 2nd, 2010 by

(Northbrook, IL) A signed lithograph of his son by Pierre-August Renoir (French 1841-1919) is one of two Renoirs that will cross the block when Universal Live Auctioneers hosts an online high end fine art auction on Friday July 9 at 3:00PM Central Time. The sale will include 275 lots of original paintings, signed lithographs, sculptures and statues representing some of the best known names in the art world. Also to be offered is an extensive selection of antique and vintage posters.

Martin Shape, President of Universal Live, described the auction as, “Far and away one of Universal’s most prestigious in its fifteen year history of conducting thousands of auctions. Opening bids have been kept competitive and there is the potential for outstanding value in this sale.”

Included in the inventory is a second Renoir signed lithograph, an oil on canvas by Alfred Manessier (French 1911-1993), five Peter Max renderings (one original), signed Warhols, a signed nude and others by Wessleman and works by Rashenburg, Jim Dine, Chagall, Miro and Dali as well as Rockwell sculptures and Pescara statues.

Shape said he believes that less than 50 final full-color renderings of Renoir’s “L’Enfant au Biscuit” Child with Biscuit were produced in 1899. Renoir outdid himself and produced what is unquestionably the artist’s finest print. The colors have a pastel tonality and a delightful mat finish. Many trials must have been made before Renoir was satisfied. Some proofs exist of the drawing alone in grey-black; others have a light pink for the face. Unfinished versions were also produced in varying degrees of color. We know of only three final color stone lithographs, and this is one of those few,” Shape said. The other Renoir is “Le petit garcon au porte-plume” Little Boy with Quill Pen. In it Renoir skillfully used background shading in order to centralize the focus and the impact of his son within the composition. This intriguing portrait study of Renoir’s young son, Claude, is shown here, deep in childish thought, as he writes (or draws) with his quill pen. H!
is gaze is that of a child’s. The overall portrait is a study in concentration, beautifully rendered with thoughtful lines and form.

Just as important is the Alfred Manessier original rare early oil on canvas Sea. The scene portrays rough waters at sea, with seagulls catching the wind above. The artist also later worked in stained glass, and a hint of that can be seen in the pattern of the waves catching the light. His last work for auction was sold for $54,000 in 2007. Manessier’s art today is found in some of the most prestigious private collections and museums.

Representing a “Pop Art” rendering is one of the better known artists, James Rizzi, in It’s Time to Buy a New TV. He captures the excitement of shopping for a new television in this fantastic three dimensional artwork. It consists of many individual cut out pieces that were pasted on the background at varying heights, making the vibrant scene really “pop out”. The Artist deviated from his usual small renderings and produced a 26 by 36 inch image size. According to Shape it is rare to find a large Rizzi.

The fully illustrated catalog and registration for absentee or live bidding are available through at

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Martin Shape at 847-412-1802 or email

Litchfield County Auctions – American and European Antiques & Art Auction

July 1st, 2010 by

Over 750 lots of American Paintings, Folk Art, Furniture & Decorations and European Antiques & Fine Art from estates and collections in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey

DuMouchelles Art Gallery – July Auction Preview

July 1st, 2010 by

Preview June 30th – July 2nd, July 6th – 8th

Auction July 9th – 11th

DuMouchelles Art Gallery

409 East Jefferson Ave Detroit, Mi 48226


Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas Sept. 28- Oct. 2

June 30th, 2010 by

Extreme Sport or Down-Home Fun?

6/30/10 –Round Top, TX – At the Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, there’s more than one way to bag the bounty on Sept. 28- Oct 2.

Some shoppers will take off with tape measures, paint colors, designers and lists. Blankets for packing fill their SUVs. Roll’en Hills Moving & Delivery is on their speed dial and lunch is a low priority. Or at least it will be a late lunch, with a Marburger margarita or an iced coffee, re-charging for another assault.

Other shoppers will stroll in, two and three generations together, on vacation, a re-union, a tradition of being together in a beautiful setting surrounded by the top antiques anywhere. Lunch will be lingering over lemonade or a cold beer. The new herd of longhorns at Marburger Farm will delight them. The good prices will surprise them. They too will take home all that will fit. And Roll’en Hills will deliver the rest.

Whether attacking the ten tents and twelve buildings as an extreme sport, or whether venturing in for inspiration and fun, shoppers know that the best antiques, at the best price, in the best displays can be found at Marburger Farm.  With nearly 400 exhibitors from 38 states and countries, there will be plenty of inventory and inspiration to go around.

And this fall there will be more time to find it. On Tuesday, September 28, Marburger Farm will stay open until 7 pm for extended antiques shopping and as a benefit for the Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “We are delighted,” says Marburger co-owner Rick McConn, “to partner with this extraordinary organization for the first time.”

Also on Tuesday September 28, designer Carolyn Westbrook will sign copies of her new book, The French Inspired Home, (CiCo Press), as well as share tips on “How to Shop French at Marburger Farm.” Photographed by Keith Scott Morton, the pages of The French Inspired Home sparkle with Westbrook’s finds at Marburger Farm over the years.

“Glorious displays and diverse styles of French,” says Westbrook, “can be found at the Marburger Farm Antique Show—- from French Country to the more opulent, sophisticated French, which I love to mix together. My romance with French is fulfilled as I peruse the aisles of Marburger Farm for fabulous finds and great inspiration.

Whether shopping with a list or for leisure, shoppers anticipate new inspiration at Marburger Farm. What inspires a Marburger exhibitor?

“Repurposing inspires me,” says Destin, FL dealer Ann Miller Hopkins of Antiques on Holiday. “When we make something out of something else, it’s even more interesting— nothing run-of-the-mill.” Hopkins will alight with one-of-a-kind European antiques, many re-purposed for the American market such as aviaries made into chandeliers, drums made into coffee tables and garden artifacts for use in the home year-round.

“I’m bringing fantastic mirrors, painted back drops from an old theater, a pair of six-foot tufted leather ottomans from Holland and a large farm table that came from the kitchen of a 19th c. mountain spa in Belgium, with a wonderful wood patina. I’ll mix in a little industrial, like movie spot lights, with the fine antiques. What inspires me is layering different kinds of antiques in a room, layering pieces from different generations. It gives a more subtle and rich look, but it’s not prissy or pretentious.”

Part of the extreme sport of shopping Marburger Farm is the ability to buy the best pieces in the shortest amount of time—and make look like it has been gathered over multiple generations. And for more leisurely shoppers, it’s frequently the experience of buying an antique that will indeed be handed down to another generation, perhaps to the baby in a stroller at Marburger Farm.

Willoughby, Ohio exhibitor Marilyn Angel finds inspiration in the re-discovery of antiques by a new generation. “Lots of antiques that were overlooked are suddenly moving fast—like quilts and homey, sweet pieces, pieces with a story.” For the fall Marburger Farm show, Angel will offer a collection of gold-filled Victorian jewelry—bangles engraved with romantic names and designs, plus Victorian coral and Persian turquoise. “The younger buyers in Texas are not afraid to spend money on good pieces—and they are not shy about wearing them or using them.” Angel will also offer sterling, 1930s cut glass and pottery, such as hard-to-find McCoy umbrella stands. “The young people use them to display huge floral arrangements. I can hardly wait for Marburger Farm. I’m out every day buying for it.”

Dealer David Zabriskie of Lake Placid, NY finds inspiration in the splendid buying available in the current economy. “With a down-turn comes opportunity,” he says. “It’s a good time to buy for everybody. Prices are good. Quality antiques are on the market. I’m buying everything I can. I’ll bring a huge load to Marburger Farm. I’ll negotiate, I’ll sell fairly and I’ll go home with a very small load. That’s why I’m coming to Texas—Texans like everything.”

And everything at Marburger Farm includes inspiration by French, Swedish, Industrial, English, Asian, American or more. It includes art, jewelry, lighting, mid-century modern, folk art, silver, primitives, ceramics, advertising and more. Come to look, to buy, to be inspired and to enjoy a few days antiquing in Texas, whether out for plunder or out for pleasure—or both!

The Marburger Farm Antique Show opens Tuesday September 28 for Early Buying from 10 am until 2 pm for $25 admission. Regular $10 admission begins at 2 pm until 7 pm that day, with extended evening hours to benefit the Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Parking is free and your admission is good all week. Shopping continues on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 am until 5 pm and on Saturday, October 2, from 9 am until 4 pm. For maps, photos and information on tickets, groups, the Marburger Café, special events (and the Roll’en Hills Moving & Delivery number for your speed dial), see

Guyette & Schmidt, Inc. – Decoy Auction

June 25th, 2010 by

Decoy Auction July 29th & 30th, 2010

New Hampshire