Morphy’s Feb. 9-11 auction starts the company’s New Year with toys, trains, advertising, superhero comics

January 11th, 2012 by

1900 Coca-Cola serving tray featuring the soft drink company’s first model, Hilda Clark; 9½ in. diameter. Est. $2,000-$3,500. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – More than 2,000 lots of antique toys, trains, advertising and rare comics are primed and ready to make their appearance Feb. 9-11 in Morphy Auctions’ first sale of 2012. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet, with start times set for 10 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. for the Saturday session.

 

The fun begins with 350+ lots of Coca-Cola and other soda pop advertising. Highlights include a 1929 Orange Crush calendar with full pad, est. $700-$1,200; a 1900 Coca-Cola serving tray, $3,000-$4,000; and a complete set of 10 original Coca-Cola advertising pocket mirrors from the years 1906-1916. The set is expected to fetch $1,800-$2,500.

 

Following the soda pop section, there will be 150 general advertising lots, including an Ingraham Hills Liver Ticker reverse-on-glass clock with the image of a pretty girl, $3,000-$4,000; and a small grouping of dye cabinets, including examples promoting Peerless Dyes and Diamond Dyes.

 

Plaster Penfold smoking golfer advertising figure, 1930s. Est. $800-$1,200. Morphy Auctions image.

After a very successful initial outing in December at Morphy’s, part two of an advanced collection of advertising figures will cross the auction block, together with additional consignments of comparable quality. In all, there are approximately 100 lots of figures produced from the 1920s to 1950s.

 

“There’s a tremendous variety,” said Morphy Auctions associate Mike Karberg. “Any product you can imagine is included, from alcoholic beverages and sporting goods to clothing, food and consumer goods.”

 

Highlights include an extremely rare Mr. All-American Hot Dog figure advertising Jordan’s Franks, estimate: $1,000-$2,000. Also in the collection are four figural advertising pieces featuring Esquire magazine’s dapper mascot, Esky. From a different consignor comes a 1940s composition advertising figure depicting the “Kelvinator (Refrigerators) Lady.” Estimate: $800-$1,200.

 

The Friday session includes 50+ pressed-steel toys (e.g., Keystone, Buddy ‘L’) and 150 tin wind-up and battery-operated toys, with many key items from Marx and Linemar. A clean Buck Rogers Rocket Fighter in its original box, a Schuco teddy bear on scooter and a desirable boxed Batman battery op are among the top lots. A single-owner collection of approximately 80 Howdy Doody toys will be offered, as well.

 

1966 battery-operated walking Batman toy, tin with vinyl head and original cloth cape, original box. Est. $4,000-$8,000. Morphy Auctions image.

More than 150 European wind-up toy lots span automotive, nautical and other categories. Around 50 colorful penny toys, mostly Continental in origin, are in excellent condition and come from a long-held collection. There are numerous autos, motorcycles and specialty figurals, such as an articulated sailboat and soccer players. An additional European lot in this section is a large “Holland” biscuit tin ship.

 

Among the 200 character lots are 50+ vintage wristwatches, many in their original boxes. Characters represented include Mickey Mouse, the Lone Ranger, Davy Crockett and Donald Duck. A Howdy Doody wristwatch store display is a standout in this category.

 

The Saturday session begins with 50+ figural cast iron lots, including bottle openers, doorknockers and paperweights. Cast-iron mechanical banks are led by a Perfection Registering bank that Morphy’s CEO Dan Morphy says is “one of the nicest examples [he’s] ever seen.” Estimate: $25,000-$35,000. Other mechanicals include a Mammy with Spoon (blue dress version) and a near-mint Santa at the Chimney.

 

Cast-iron Perfection Registering mechanical bank, all original and in working order. Est. $20,000-$30,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Over 100 cast-iron toy lots will cross the auction block, with a large assortment of motorcycles, trucks and cars by Hubley, Arcade and Kenton.

 

A wonderful selection of more than 200 toy train lots awaits bidders, with many pieces coming from the Estate of Kenneth J. Rohrbaugh. “The trains in the Rohrbaugh grouping had been on loan to the Lincoln Train Museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,” explained Morphy’s Chief Operating Officer Tom Sage Jr.

 

The predicted top lot in the train section is an outstanding Lionel Mickey Mouse Circus Train set, complete with its original box and cardboard inserts. Additionally, there are many excellent prewar Lionel 0 gauge passenger sets with original boxes, an American Flyer standard gauge stadium set in original set box, and a number of more contemporary trains, including productions from MPC and MTH (Mike’s Train House.)

 

“There’s a good mix of trains,” said Sage, “including a standard gauge white Ives 3243 set, an American Flyer President’s Special set, Marklin and other European trains.”

 

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ No. 1 comic book, 1963, CGC-graded 8.5 with off-white pages. Est. $25,000-$30,000. Morphy Auctions image.

With the expert oversight of Brian Schutzer and Pittsburgh’s legendary Sparkle City Comics, Morphy’s will launch its new Comic Books division during the third session of the Feb. 9-11 event. More than 250 prized comics from an original-owner collection will be offered, including a 1963 The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1, CGC-graded in 8.5 condition, which is expected to realize $25,000-$30,000. Other anticipated top lots include a 1963 X-Men No. 1 and a 1963 Tales of Suspense No. 39 featuring the first appearance of Iron Man.

 

All forms of bidding will be available for Morphy’s Feb. 9-11, 2012 auction, including live at the gallery, phone, absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or LiveAuctioneers.com. The auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Feb. 9 and Friday, Feb. 10; and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or email serena@morphyauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com.

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Tonya A. Cameron to auction Asian art, antiques and historical ephemera from estate of Boston theater critic Dr. Caldwell Titcomb

December 30th, 2011 by

Brandeis professor emeritus was noted African-American history scholar

 

Giant in Tower mechanical bank, 1902, John Harper Ltd., from a collection of cast-iron banks to be auctioned in the opening session. Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers image.

SAUGUS, Mass. – Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers will present selections from the estate of theater critic, university professor and African-American history scholar Dr. Caldwell Titcomb in a Thursday, Jan. 12 evening auction at the company’s suburban Boston gallery. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.

 

The 350-lot sale, which will be divided into two consecutive sessions, includes important archival documents and other ephemera from Dr. Titcomb’s historical research, as well as Asian art and bronzes; furniture and several paintings. Additional private consignments from New England residences include collections of antique mechanical banks and toys; 19th-century rifles, fine diamond jewelry and American sterling silver.

 

“There’s more than enough in this sale to keep people interested and on their seats, but we also enjoy playing host to our guests, so there will be a complimentary hors d’oeuvres smorgasbord and beverages available for all who attend,” said Tonya Cameron.

 

Session I, starting at 5 p.m., features a single-owner collection of approximately 20 cast-iron mechanical banks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among them are an Eagle and Eaglets, Humpty Dumpty, Trick Dog, Teddy (Roosevelt) and the Bear, full-figure Uncle Sam, Artillery, and Uncle Remus. A coveted English production known as the Giant in Tower bank was made in 1902 by John Harper Ltd.

 

The bank collector also amassed a number of amusing battery-operated toys from the 1950s and ’60s. The grouping includes Shoeshine Bear, Mambo Elephant, Drinking Monkey, Clown Playing Xylophone, and Sneezing Bear. A Bubble Blowing Monkey is similar in design to the battery ops but functions via an electrical plug. The opening session also contains a few boxed space-theme and wind-up toys.

 

File copy of Dr. Caldwell Titcomb’s 1966 letter to Amherst College inquiring about the dates during which “famous Negro abolitionist Robert Purvis” may have been a student there. Archive of Dr. Caldwell Titcomb. Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers image.

At approximately 6:15 p.m., the 300-lot session featuring Dr. Titcomb’s estate items will commence. Tonya Cameron said she is honored that her company was chosen to auction the late professor’s collections.

 

“Dr. Titcomb was an intellectual fixture in Boston’s theater scene. He had been a professor at Brandeis University, was a longtime theater critic and a passionate musician and composer. On top of that, he was deeply interested in African-American history and left an extraordinary archive of letters – some historical and some his own – and other ephemera documenting decades of study in that field,” Cameron said.

 

A file copy of an Aug. 6, 1966 letter from the Titcomb archive attests to the late professor’s fastidious attention to detail. In that letter to Amherst College’s Alumni Records Department, Titcomb informs that he is researching “early Negro college students” and wishes to clarify a possible historical discrepancy. He asks if Amherst’s records can confirm whether or not “the famous Negro abolitionist Robert Purvis” attended, but did not graduate from, Amherst College prior to 1826. In his letter, Titcomb explains that he wishes to confirm a published statement he had seen regarding Purvis’ matriculation at Amherst, noting that the timeframe stated seemed “odd, since Purvis was not born until 1810.”

 

The ephemera highlights also include a typed manuscript for a play Titcomb wrote, and five personally assembled scrap albums of obituaries, biographies and other materials pertaining to theatrical luminaries from around the world. “It’s a remarkable time capsule,” Cameron observed.

 

Pair of large, bronze foo dogs, Estate of Dr. Caldwell Titcomb. Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers image.

Dr. Titcomb embraced many cultures and traveled extensively across Asia, acquiring 18th, 19th and 20th century antiques. The auction selection includes many bronzes in the $500-$1,000 range and several in the $200-$500 range. The top lot of this category is a pair of large bronze foo dogs estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

 

Ceramics include Imari and Moriagi productions and a beautiful Kutani porcelain vase in an orange and blue colorway. Carved hardstone figurals will be offered in group lots.

 

Louise Davies Webber abstract watercolor painting. Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers image.

Also coming from the Titcomb estate are abstract paintings by Maine landscape and still life artist Louise Davies Webber, a Chinese sword with decorated handle and scabbard; and an Indian sword with figural hilt.

 

Private consignments yielded an extensive Reed & Barton 24-place-setting sterling silver flatware set in the Burgundy pattern. While a few of the settings lack their salad forks, the silver suite includes desirable butter pats and knives; and many unusual serving pieces such as a stuffing spoon and large meat fork. The set is housed in a mahogany chest and carries a presale estimate of $4,000-$5,000.

 

Gorham 6-piece coffee, tea and water kettle set with tray, 1950s. Est. $4,000-$4,500. Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers image.

Another silver highlight is a Gorham 6-piece coffee, tea and water kettle set. The midcentury service, complete with tray, is expected to make $4,000-$4,500.

 

Firearms are led by a G. Hyslop antique flintlock Kentucky long gun and Thompson/Center 50 caliber flintlock. Other collectible weapons include an 1880s-era Turkish flintlock pistol and an Allen Thurber & Co. pocket pistol with an 1845 patent. Civil War books and etchings complete the section.

 

(Top) 1880s-era Turkish flintlock pistol and (bottom) Allen Thurber & Co. pocket pistol with an 1845 patent. Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers image.

The auction’s broad variety of goods also includes 18th century Spanish Colonial paintings, Abe Blashko drawings, bronzes by listed artists, a fine campaign chest on pedestal, five vintage Brunswick ivory-tipped pool cues with pearl and ivory inlay; and gold and diamond estate jewelry.

 

Tonya A. Cameron’s auction featuring selections from the estate of Dr. Caldwell Titcomb will take place on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, at the company’s gallery at 113 Bennett Highway, Saugus, MA 01906, commencing at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Preview: Jan. 11 from 12-5 and Jan. 12 from 12-4:45.

 

All forms of bidding will be available, including telephone, absentee and online through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information, call 781-233-0006 or e-mail tac602@gmail.com. Visit Tonya A. Cameron Auctioneers online at www.tacauctioneers.com.

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Sotheby’s New York – Important Jewels

December 29th, 2011 by

A wonderful group of Art Nouveau jewels, including works by Fouquet and Lalique, highlights the Important Jewels sale in New York this February.  The sale also offers vintage and contemporary signed pieces from leading jewelers such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb and Buccellati.  Collectors looking for fine diamonds will find a wide selection of white stones under 10 carats and a beautiful heart-shaped fancy orangy pink diamond that leads the sale this season.

Los Angeles: 5-6 January 2012
San Francisco: 9-10 January 2012
Philadelphia: 10 January 2012
Chicago: 18-19 January 2012
Ft. Worth: 24 January 2012
Dallas: 25 January 2012
Los Angeles: 25-26 January 2012
Houston: 26 January 2012

 

 

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Rago Arts and Auction Center – Discovery Auction

December 29th, 2011 by

Fri., Jan. 13 @ 11am:
Discovery Day One / Early 20th C. &
Estates Goods

Sat., Jan. 14 @ 11am:
Discovery Day Two /
20th C. Modern

Previews

Jan. 7-11, noon-5pm
Jan. 12, noon-7pm
Open Jan. 13/14 @ 9am

 

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Phillips de Pury – Modern & Contemporary Editions Catalogue Now Online

December 29th, 2011 by

Auction 25 January 2012 1pm
450 Park Avenue, New York

Viewing 18 – 25 January
10am – 6pm Monday — Saturday
12pm – 6pm Sunday

 

 

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Nest Egg Auctions to host Gala Holiday New Year’s Auction on Jan. 7

December 29th, 2011 by

Tiffany & Co. grandfather clock, Guy Wiggins painting among sale’s highlights

 

Late-19th-century Tiffany & Co. carved mahogany grandfather clock, 100 in. tall, with Winterhalder & Hofmeier German movement, sun/moon dial, eight bells, Westminster chimes. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Nest Egg Auctions photo

MERIDEN, Conn. – The Brechlins are home for the holidays and will celebrate as the Connecticut family’s Nest Egg Auctions presents its annual Gala Holiday New Year’s Auction on Saturday, Jan. 7. The sale will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

 

Those attending the 209-lot auction will be offered festive hospitality, with complimentary food and drink; and live music.

 

“Everyone comes to our New Year’s auction,” said auctioneer Ryan Brechlin. “Hey, free shrimp!”

 

Along with the food and entertainment, guests will be able to enjoy previewing an outstanding lineup of antiques and collectibles on display prior to the auction.

 

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding for those who cannot attend the sale, which will be held at Nest Egg Auctions’ gallery at 30 Research Parkway in Meriden.

 

Ryan Brechlin will oversee the event together with his sister Jennifer Brechlin and their mother Mary Ellen Brechlin. All three family members work full time for the second-generation auction house. Present in spirit will be the family patriarch, Carl Brechlin, who died in 2008.

 

The Jan. 7 auction will be Nest Egg’s first sale of 2012. What better way to ring in the New Year than with a late-19th-century Tiffany & Co. grandfather clock that stands an impressive 100 inches tall and has all the bells and whistles expected of a fine Tiffany timepiece.

 

“It has a good German movement [Winterhalder & Hofmeier] and a beautifully carved mahogany case,” said Ryan Brechlin. “It’s enormous. People who want a Tiffany clock like them big.”

 

With a sun and moon dial, eight bells and Westminster chimes – all in running condition – the clock is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

 

Circa-1902 National cash register Model 92, custom designed for Barton & Hoysradt department store in Columbia County, N.Y. Est. $1,000-$2,000. Nest Egg Auctions photo.

Another large mechanical marvel in the sale is a Model 92 National cash register, which was custom made for a New York department store, Barton & Hoysradt, around 1902. The register is fully functional and includes all keys and its original instruction book. The entire piece – register and attached cabinet – measures approximately 19 1/2 inches by 26 inches by 36 inches and has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.

 

“It’s a cool piece, one of the biggest registers National made. The drawers all integrated to the different departments in the store,” said Brechlin.

 

Another choice mechanical device in the auction is a Mills Novelty Co. American War Eagle nickel slot machine from the mid-1930s. From an Old Saybrook, Conn., estate, the classic one-arm bandit in working order is expected to make $1,000-$2,000.

 

Guy Carleton Wiggins (American, 1883-1962), ‘New York Library in Storm,’ signed lower left, 12 x 16 in. sight, 20 x 16 in. in signed Fredrix NY frame. Est. $5,000-$10,000. Nest Egg Auctions photo.

The auction’s high point may come with the introduction of a Guy Carleton Wiggins (American, 1883-1962) oil-on-board painting of the New York Library in a winter storm. The artwork executed in quintessential Wiggins style carries a $5,000-$10,000 estimate.

 

“It has everything you want in a Guy Wiggins painting – New York in winter, snow and American Flags,” said Brechlin. “This one has two flags.”

 

Brechlin noted that the 12-inch by 16-inch Wiggins painting is from the Alfred Cheney Johnston Collection. Johnston was a famed New York City-based photographer known for his portraits of Ziegfeld Follies showgirls as well as of 1920s/1930s actresses. The final 65 lots of the auction consist exclusively of Johnston photos of this type.

 

“This will be the last of the Alfred Cheney Johnston estate photographs, which we’ve spread over three auctions during the past year. Because they’re the last offering, I’m hoping people will go a little crazy for them,” said Bechlin.

 

High-gloss print, approx. 10 x 13 in., identified on verso as “Marie Stevens” with ACJ stamp. Est. $500-$1,000. Nest Egg Auctions photo.

Some of Johnston’s beautiful subjects were noted silent film stars. These particular images will be sold individually. Many other lots include multiple images. Estimates range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

 

While the subject matter was risqué for its time, Johnston’s work was technically and artistically superb, and is highly collectible today. The enlargements, many 10 inches by 13 inches, are in excellent condition.

 

An especially desirable collector’s item in the sale is an Art Deco porcelain figure of a woman made by Lenci of Torino, Italy. The sultry blonde, wearing a short dress and carrying a basket of flowers, stands 9½ inches high. With minor damage, it has a $500-$1,000 estimate.

 

Lenci (Torino, Italy) Art Deco figurine, 9½ inches tall. Est. $500-$1,000. Nest Egg Auctions photo.

“Lenci was a small Italian pottery and their best pieces are highly sought after,” said Brechlin. “We sold a Lenci piece earlier in the year for around $13,000.”

 

A line from the popular 1934 hit Winter Wonderland – “Gone away is the bluebird” – comes to mind when considering a taxidermied passenger pigeon displayed in a period display case. The trophy, an example of a wild species that was hunted to extinction by 1914, is the size of a typical pigeon. The custom-crafted glass and wood case measures approximately 12 inches by 13 inches by 19 inches.

 

“We’ve done well with some taxidermy,” says Bechlin, who hopes to make $3,000-$5,000 with this former museum piece.

 

Taxidermied now-extinct passenger pigeon in handcrafted glass and wood case. Est. $3,000-$5,000. Nest Egg Auctions photo.

Three scarce Arts & Crafts Movement books on papermaking by Dard Hunter, a one-time associate of Elbert Hubbard, will be sold. One, published in 1927 and dealing with primitive papermaking, is number 83 of an edition limited to 200 copies. It has a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.

 

The Literature of Papermaking 1390-1800 by Dard Hunter, published in 1925, is numbered 76 of 160 and signed by the author. The illustrated volume is hand printed in type of Hunter’s own design on handmade paper. It carries a $500-$1,000 estimate.

 

Hunter’s Papermaking in Indo-China, a limited edition published in 1947, exhibits similar handcraftsmanship and also has a $500-$1,000 estimate.

 

For additional information on Nest Egg Auctions’ Gala Holiday New Year’s Auction, call 203-630-1400 or toll-free 800-448-0692; or e-mail ryan@nesteggauctions.com. All forms of bidding will be available. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com. The catalog may also be viewed on Nest Egg’s website: www.nesteggauctions.com.

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Sotheby’s New York – Important Tiffany

December 23rd, 2011 by

Auction results online now at Sothebys.com

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Sotheby’s New York – Contemporary Art

December 22nd, 2011 by

The March 9th Contemporary auction features an appealing selection of works from post-1945 to the present. The sale includes works from celebrated artists Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, along with exceptional examples by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine. This sale captures the international interest in the movements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptualism and Pop Art.

 

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Sotheby’s – Masterworks

December 22nd, 2011 by

Sotheby’s is delighted to offer a special selection of highly important and rare English and European furniture, tapestries and objects in its Masterworks sale to be held on January 27, 2012.  Highlights from the sale include a very large and rare Regency Blue John krater vase, a set of four early 18th century Royal French Gobelins tapestries, a magnificent English paste-mounted ormolu automaton musical clock made for the Chinese market and a Royal ormolu-mounted Sèvres fond violet porcelain vase garniture.

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Keen competition for antique signs, early European toys at Noel Barrett’s $1.2M auction

December 22nd, 2011 by

Soda shop sign from Atlantic City’s glory days takes top-lot honors at $46K

 

Painted tin on wood sign advertising confections and beverages, 5ft. tall, top lot of the sale at $46,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – Antique toy expert and Antiques Roadshow senior appraiser Noel Barrett hosted a Nov. 18-19 auction featuring clockwork toys and automata from the Frank Mohr collection. The sale also included early advertising signs and toys from the personal collection of Bill Powell, a Tennessee-based dealer known for his well-cultivated taste in antiques of many types.

 

The auction realized $1,187,000 (all prices quoted inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium), with Saturday’s sales exceeding the session’s total high estimate by a whopping 40%.

 

“It was like an old-fashioned sale in terms of turnout. It drew about the same size crowd we had in the very same hall 23 years ago, at our first auction in New Hope. You don’t see that sort of turnout nowadays, with so many people opting for the convenience of phone and Internet bidding. It was one heck of a crowd,” said Noel Barrett.

 

“The auction took us full circle in a number of ways. I was able to point to a poster in the sale and say, ‘I sold this 23 years ago, and now it’s come back to us,’” Barrett continued. “That’s what the Bill Powell collection represented – antique toys and signs that had been off the market for decades. It was very exciting to see such a full house. All of the major buyers turned out.”

 

The Automatic Foot Race, 1880s, William Britain & Sons (England), featuring two cloth-dressed figures that trot around a paper-litho metal cylinder, $18,400. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Friday’s 386-lot toy session was dominated by a British toy, an 1880s William Britain “Automatic Foot Race.” The clockwork toy featuring two quaint, cloth-dressed figures that trot around a paper-litho metal cylinder crossed the finish line at $18,400, against an estimate of $5,000-$12,000. The buyer was an American participating by phone.

 

Another early Britains production that finished near the top of the toy session was a Don Quixote and the Windmill Parlour Game. The scarce toy featuring a painted-wood windmill with tin blades and an armor-clad rider on horseback even retained its original box lid. The game outpaced its estimate of $2,000-$3,000 to end its run at $8,625. A Britain’s Drinking Highlander automaton garnered an identical winning bid.

 

An unusual 19th-century pull toy of painted tin with cast-iron wheels featured a uniformed cadet figure pulling a platform topped by a maypole with circling boy and girl figures. It finished just above its high estimate at $12,650.

 

The Automatic Foot Race, 1880s, William Britain & Sons (England), featuring two cloth-dressed figures that trot around a paper-litho metal cylinder, $18,400. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Another toy that found favor with bidders was a French horse-drawn tin omnibus floor toy emblazoned with “Compagnie Generale Des Omnibus” and a point of departure and destination sign reading “Gare d l’Est – Montrouge.” Very nicely detailed and carrying 12 painted composition passenger figures, it breezed past its $2,500-$4,500 estimate to settle at $11,500.

 

The auction’s overall top lot was an appealing painted tin-on-wood sign believed to have come from a shop on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. It advertised “ice cream, fancy cake and all kinds of soft drinks,” the types of treats so popular with beachgoers both a century ago and today. The gold lettering and image of a mound of ice cream being served up on a silver utensil were remarkably clean, suggesting the sign had avoided exposure to harsh elements. Against an estimate of $8,000-$12,000, the sign was bid to $46,000.

 

19th-century, full-color wood sign advertising Chas. F. Wagner Furs, $26,450. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A 19th-century, full-color wood sign advertising Chas. F. Wagner Furs featured a painted cartouche with the three-quarter image of a woman wearing an ermine-collared fur vest, her hands concealed in a fur muff. Against an estimate of $15,000-$18,000, the 58-inch-tall by 29-inch-wide sign achieved $26,450.

 

Both a J. F. Wiessner Lager painted-tin sign with the image of a foaming pint, and a “Glasses Fitted” optician trade with a suspended pair of oversize spectacles commanded individual prices of $12,650.

 

An elaborately detailed watchmaker’s trade sign shaped like a pocket watch with Roman numerals brought a surprising $11,500 – more than seven times its high estimate. But even Noel Barrett didn’t expect the intense interest in a painted-wood fishing lure trade sign replicating a speckled fish, estimated at $1,500-$2,500. “There were a lot of people on the phones for that sign, and one of them ended up being the buyer at $19,550,” Barrett said.

Painted-wood fishing lure trade sign replicating a speckled fish, $19,550. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

 

Sometimes the type of product being advertised on a sign can be just as important as the graphics. A case in point was the lithographed cardboard sign touting Hansen’s Auto Gauntlets and illustrated with the image of a liveried driver wearing a pair of the sturdy gloves. “Sometimes automotive items can be totally surprising, because the field is so strong. I had never seen this sign before, and it had a great image,” said Barrett, commenting on the winning bid of $9,775 (est. $400-$800).

 

Provenance played a role in the success of an “Allegiance to No Crown” oil painting from the Greg and Molly Caron patriotic Americana

Before the Pierce-Arrow automobile, there were Pierce Cycles, as seen in this 1898 poster, 86in. tall, $11,500. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

collection. The artwork with provenance from the legendary Bernard Barenholtz collection ignited a bidding battle amongst six phone competitors. The painting of a sailor holding an American Flag and Victory holding a laurel wreath above his head flew past its $2,500-$3,500 estimate to sell for $8,625.

 

While the packed room and bank of busy phones were the source of furious bidding on many lots, the Internet was a huge presence, as well, with 1,000 registered bidders taking part through LiveAuctioneers.com. In the end, online bidders accounted for 17% of the gross and 32% of the lots sold.

 

Noel Barrett will conduct his next sale on Nov. 16-17, 2012, the weekend before Thanksgiving. For additional information call 1-215-297-5109 or e-mail toys@noelbarrett.com. Visit Barrett’s website at www.noelbarrett.com.

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