Posts Tagged ‘collectibles’

Coca-Cola beauties, Mr. Peanut among American icons in Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-op Auction

September 16th, 2013 by
Caille Puck 5-cent upright slot machine with music, pre-1900, stocked with great American tunes, plays well. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Caille Puck 5-cent upright slot machine with music, pre-1900, stocked with great American tunes, plays well. Estimate: $18,000-$22,000.

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-Op auction contains more than 1,100 top-quality lots from several major collections. There are dozens of early coin-op, slot, penny arcade and pinball machines in the sale; as well as 60+ lots of superb tobacco tins from the David Hirsch collection, and one of the most comprehensive Moxie collections ever amassed, that of the late Jan Miller Bacci of Boston.

The Hirsch collection includes many of the finest known tobacco tins. “All of them are in beautiful condition, and some are believed to be the only ones of their type in existence,” said Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions.

Lot 8, a Century Tobacco flat pocket tin is estimated at $1,000-$1,500; while Lot 11, a pre-1900 Old Abe Chewing Tobacco flat tin is estimated at $1,200-$1,600. Images of American Indian chiefs adorn Lot 7, a Prairie Flower Chewing Tobacco tin, $1,000-$2,000; and Lot 12, an extremely rare Kipawa Cigar tin, $2,000-$4,000. Perhaps the star of the collection is Lot 13, an Alcazar round cigar tin picturing a world famous racehorse from which the brand took its name. Near mint, it is expected to make $6,000-$8,000.

Over 150 lots of soda pop advertising will be available, including many coveted, early pieces promoting Coca-Cola and its little-known offspring – Coca-Cola Chewing Gum.  Launched around the turn of the 20th century, Coca-Cola Chewing Gum wasn’t a commercial success for the Atlanta-based company.

1914-1916 Coca-Cola Gum cardboard cutout with Dutch boy image

1914-1916 Coca-Cola Gum cardboard cutout with Dutch boy image, Estimate: $15,000-$25,000.

Lot 459, a 1914-1916 cardboard cutout sign depicting a Dutch boy running in his clogs and clutching an oversize pack of Coca-Cola Peppermint Pepsin Gum is another Petretti book example. Vibrant and colorful, the 29 by 22in sign is described in Morphy’s catalog as “important and rare.” It is expected to make $15,000-$25,000 on auction day.

Saturday’s session opens with the third offering of occupational shaving mugs from the collection of the late Ray Jones and his wife, Theresa. Ray Jones’ navy career is reflected in many of the mugs he acquired, including Lot 641, shipbuilder, $800-$1,200; Lot 702, deep sea diver, $2,000-$3,000; and Lot 736, USS Philadelphia warship, $1,200-$1,500.

Coin-op and arcade machines will follow, with top entries including two prized Caille machines: Lot 795, a pre-1900 Puck 5-cent upright slot, $18,000-$22,000; and Lot 760, a 5-cent Bullfrog upright slot, $25,000-$30,000. The selection also includes many arcade games of skill and 15+ pinballs from the 1950s/60s. A Pace FOK slot machine is actually new/old stock and retains its original shipping crate. The coinage for this machine is the French franc, which is the same size as a US quarter. The machine left Chicago in the late 1930s, bound for Shanghai. It made it as far as Paris, but the outbreak of World War II prevented it from ever making it to China. It is estimated at $7,000-$8,000.

Several vintage jukeboxes stand ready to create lively mood music for the auction. Lot 838, a Wurlitzer Model 81 on “Mae West” stand, is estimated at $12,000-$15,000. It will be followed by a Wurlitzer Model 800, $7,000-$9,000.

Rare Planter’s point-of-purchase copper and steel peanut roaster topped with papier-mache figure of Mr. Peanut, design introduced in 1920. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Rare Planter’s point-of-purchase copper and steel peanut roaster topped with papier-mache figure of Mr. Peanut, design introduced in 1920.

Mr. Peanut will take his turn in the auction spotlight, as well, with Lot 825B, a 1920s peanut roaster topped by a papier-mache figure of the iconic dancing goober, leading the Planters selection. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Lot 825A, a fully functional Hamilton stand-on scale, 44½in tall, with a fantastic painted iron figure of Mr. Peanut, could weigh in at $7,000-$10,000.

Within the 100+ general store lots are numerous hunting and fishing-related advertising signs. Lot 922, a 1907 Winchester paper-on-linen poster realistically depicts four hunting dogs, $3,500-$5,000. Lot 920, a 1910 cardboard cut-out sign with the image of a shell dog and two quail, could realize $2,500-$4,000.

Morphy’s Oct. 4-5 Premier Advertising & Coin-Op Auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on both days. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live, Artfact and LiveAuctioneers.

Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517. Tel. 717-335-3435 or e-mail View the auction catalog online at, or

Waverly Rare Books Auction Will Take Place on September 19th

September 11th, 2013 by

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries in suburban Washington DC, will deliver a wealth of local nostalgia to the auction block on Thursday, September 19th. The centerpiece of the sale is a remarkable selection of gelatin silver photographic prints by Theodor Horydczak (Polish/American, 1890-1971), whose specialty was documenting in black and white the architecture and social activities in our nation’s capital primarily during the first half of the 20th century.

Elvis Presley inscription and autograph on record-album sleeve. Est. $300-$500.

Horydczak was especially adept at capturing attractive angles of government buildings and landmarks, both inside and out. He enjoyed being in the heart of the action and was there with his camera for such events as the 1933 World Series and Washington’s World War II preparedness campaigns. The vast majority of Horydczak’s work – more than 14,000 photos in all – became part of the permanent collection at The Library of Congress after his family donated the extensive archive.

“Theodor Horydczak was an accomplished commercial photographer whose photos were turned into postcards, calendars and other printed ephemera. In our research, we came across a rare Mount Vernon souvenir postcard featuring one of Horydczak’s photos, which leads us to believe he also sold his photos to museums and cultural institutions,” said Monika Schiavo, director of Waverly Rare Books.

There are 35 large-format Horydczak photographs in the September 19th auction, some of them measuring over 6 feet. Three are pencil-signed and some are stamped on verso with Horydczak’s studio name and reproduction notice.

“The consignor of the Horydczak photographs purchased them years ago as a box lot at a country auction in Virginia, then stored them away,” Schiavo said. Estimates range from $300-$500 for a gelatin silver print of the National Cathedral Sanctuary, to $1,500-$2,500 for a dramatic after-dark image of the US Capitol and Reflecting Pool, pencil-signed by Horydczak. Beautiful photos of the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon are also among the signed lots.

The auction will recall America’s days as a new nation in the form of an archive of historical documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion. The 1798 uprising of German-American farmers near Philadelphia, led by John Fries (circa 1750-1818), protested a federal real property tax enacted by President John Adams to finance an anticipated war with France. In July of 1798 Fries led the group of dissenters to a jail in Bethlehem, Pa., demanding the release of prisoners who had been arrested for resisting the tax.

U.S. District Judge Richard Peters issued warrants for the tax protestors and sent U.S. Marshall William Nichols to Northampton County in February of 1798. Nichols arrested 20 violators and held them in the Sun Tavern in Bethlehem prior to their removal to court in Philadelphia. Fries led a company of men to the tavern and negotiated with Nichols, who eventually released the prisoners; whereupon Fries and his company dispersed. Later, Fries was captured and tried twice. Both times he was convicted of treason and sentenced to hang, but in 1800 he was pardoned by President Adams.

Group Lot 436 contains 31 documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion, including the written appointment of Capt. William Rodman of the Bucks County Troop of Light Dragoons to the post of Deputy Marshall, troop rolls, lists of equipment, payments to soldiers, and correspondence requesting payment for expenses for forage and stores. The archive is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

A compelling slice of 20th-century British history is encapsulated in Lot 371, a set of three custom-cased, blue cloth albums originally belonging to Edward the Prince of Wales (briefly King Edward VIII until his abdication; later Duke of Windsor). The albums contain 117 photographs relating to Edward’s British Army service in Egypt and Sudan during March and April of 1916. The photos include such subjects as British military personnel in a rowboat crossing the Suez Canal, Indian military men on camels, two photos of a monkey on board the ship that transported Edward to Sudan, two photos of trains, and many pictures of the prince on horseback, with honor guards and other officers. Additionally, there are photos from the palace of the Governor-General of Sudan, and images of Sudanese commoners, some with livestock. The bound albums are embossed in gold: “Windsor Photographs Vol. 159/160/161.” Estimate: $400-$700.

Edward isn’t the only royalty represented in Waverly’s September 19 auction. Memories of America’s own “king” – Elvis Presley – are captured in Lot 434, a record-album sleeve personally inscribed “To Sue/Thanks./Elvis Presley.” In very good condition, the autographed sleeve is expected to make $300-$500.

Among the top entries in the Art & Illustrations section is Lot 192, a cased 1898 folio of Pierre Bonnard lithographs titled La Lithographie Originale en Couleurs (Paris: Andrew Mellerio). Two original lithographs by Bonnard are among those included. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Also, Lot 203, a set of six French art and literary journals, features original lithos by Chagall, Calder and Tapies. The six issues of Derriere Le Miroir (Paris: Maeght) are from as early as 1966, the period during which Calder’s star rose to prominence worldwide. Estimate: $200-$300. Lot 276, The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein – A Catalogue Raisonne 1948-1993 by Mary Lee Corlett, is estimated at $150-$200.

A boxed set designed by Jasper Johns as a tribute to Gertrude Stein is cataloged as Lot 53. The compartmented set was created for a 1971 museum exhibition in Germany and includes paper rolls that introduce and list the contents of the exhibit; as well as an advertisement for Johns’ “lightbulb” works, and a red plastic rose. The lot is affordably estimated at $80-$120.

Waverly Rare Books’ September 19 auction will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The preview is on from September 14 through and including auction day (see website for hours). The gallery is closed on Sundays.

All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee or live via the Internet through For information on any lot in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail Visit Waverly Rare Books online at

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at

Morphy’s to auction premier Bob Levy collection of antique, vintage coin-op machines in Sept. 2-3 sale

August 4th, 2011 by

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.


Superior 5-Cent Horse Race slot machine, $20,000-$25,000. Morphy Auctions image.

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.


Caille’s Centaur upright slot machine, $16,000-$20,000. Morphy Auctions image.

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.


Mills Dewey 2-Bit Jackpot coin-op machine, $12,000-$16,000. Morphy Auctions image.

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.


J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope cast-iron mechanical bank, $16,000-$22,000. Morphy Auctions image.

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).


1908 Coca-Cola serving tray, $4,000-$7,000. Morphy Auctions image.

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 or The sale will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time.


For additional information, call Morphy’s at 717-335-3435 or e-mail View the fully illustrated catalog online at