Posts Tagged ‘toys’

Bertoia’s eagerly awaited Fall Auction presents diverse categories of toys, banks, trains and holiday antiques

October 20th, 2016 by

Bertoia’s eagerly awaited Nov. 11-13 Annual Fall Auction presents diverse categories of toys, banks, trains and holiday antiques with blue-chip provenance

2,100+ lots include the best of Tony Lasala’s cast iron, Jay Schoedinger’s pressed steel, and Aussie Paul Hale’s steam engines + trains from Jim Fergusson and Warren Heid

VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia’s is a house of many collector specialties, but it’s a rare occasion when all of those specialty categories come together under one roof in one fabulous sale. That will be the case on Nov. 11, 12 and 13 when Bertoia’s presents its perennially popular Annual Fall Auction featuring selections from many premier collections of toys, trains, banks and holiday antiques. More than 2,100 lots will be offered, and those who cannot join the fun in person are encouraged to take part by bidding absentee, over the phone or live online.

An overview of the expansive three-day event reveals that, by the number of lots offered, there are 160+ containing European and American trains, 150+ European autos, boats and airplanes; 100+ European clockwork toys (including Lehmanns and Martins), 150+ comic character toys, 98 steam plants, 100 penny toys, 190 heavy and light pressed-steel vehicles, and 67 featuring antique advertising. On top of that, the cataloged portion of the auction will be followed by a box-lot selection of holiday antiques available only to those attending at the gallery.

The event is highlighted by Part I of Tony Lasala’s superb collection of cast-iron automotive toys. An astute collector for many years, Lasala was able to acquire a many rare and desirable pieces from early dealers and auctions.

“The Tony Lasala collection is unquestionably an important one. Any toy associated with his name will continue to gain instant respect from knowledgeable collectors. The rarity and quality are obvious,” said Bertoia Auctions’ owner, Jeanne Bertoia.

Day 1 is devoted primarily to American toys and banks, and will open with cast iron. Two of

Circa-1870s J. & E. Stevens ‘New Bank’ mechanical bank, est. $1,600-$2,000

Circa-1870s J. & E. Stevens ‘New Bank’ mechanical bank, est. $1,600-$2,000

Lasala’s favorites are Lot 58, a Kenton City Telephone truck estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and Lot 66, a circa-1929 Arcade white Bekins moving van, $4,000-$6,000. Both were formerly in the Donald Kaufman collection.

Prestigious provenance accompanies many of the American tin toys chosen for the Nov. 11 session. Two highlights that were pictured in Blair Whitton’s 1981 book American Clockwork Toys 1862-1900 are Lot 718, one of only two known circa-1870 George Brown Automatic Waltzers, $10,000-$15,000; and Lot 712, an extremely rare Goodwin carriage – the only one Bertoia’s has ever seen with a seated child, $6,000-$8,000.

Two other tin toys with gilt-edged provenance were once in the prestigious Perelman Antique Toy Museum’s collection. Lot 714, S. Wenner’s Girl on Swing (pat. 1872), is estimated at $6,000-$8,000; while Lot 732, a rare version of the Walking Zouave (pat. 1850s), could stroll away with a winning bid of $1,800-$2,250.

Moving into the American bell toys section, Lot 692, an Ives Leap Frog, is estimated at $7,500-$10,000. “This is only the second Leap Frog bell toy we’ve ever seen,” said Jeanne Bertoia. “When we sold Max Berry’s Leap Frog in 2014, it was the only one known. Then, after the sale, we received a call from someone who said they had one, too, so we are fortunate to be able to bring a second Leap Frog to the marketplace.”

A fine array of banks will be available. Mechanicals include Lot 534, an all-original Calamity bank with no breaks, $8,000-$12,000; Lot 538, an all-original Panorama, $4,000-$6,000; and Lot 614, a near-mint Pelican (thumbs nose), $4,000-$5,000. Still banks include Lot 500, a large Boston State House, $2,000-$3,000; and Gingerbread House (ex Andy Moore collection), $1,200-$1,500.

Figural cast-iron doorstops from a long-held collection are led by several Bradley & Hubbard designs: Girl Holding Dress, Turkey, and Rooster. There are two Salem Witch variations, Lobster, Wine Merchant, Elf Under Mushroom and several other very unusual doorstops.

Saturday’s session will open with a colorful array of comic character toys, including Mortimer Snerd, a boxed Marx Merry Makers Band with marquee, boxed Lionel Mickey Mouse Handcar, and many other classic character depictions.

A fleet of high-end European automotive toys includes Lot 1165, a large deluxe Carette limo with all figures inside, $7,000-$9,000; Lot 1050, a German three-man tandem bicycle, $4,000-$7,000; Lot 1170, an ultra-desirable circa-1935 Tippco Mercedes Autobahn Kurier, $5,000-$7,000; and Lot 1238, an early, hand-painted M&K zeppelin, $2,000-$3,000.

Five sought-after Batman cars, including a sleek-looking ASC production with box, add a modern accent to the Japanese toy lineup. Among the earlier Japanese vehicles are Lot 1179, a boxed, near-mint black Chrysler Imperial, $10,000-$14,000; Lot 1195, a Modern Toy Laboratory motorcycle, $5,000-$7,500; and Lot 1169, a boxed Yonezawa Champion Racer, $2,000-$3,000.

Bertoia’s will set sail with several large, extremely desirable Marklin boats. Lot 1212, a fantastic steam-powered Amerika liner, is fresh to the market and comes to auction from the grandchildren of the original owner, who received the boat as a child in the 1920s. In spectacular, all-original condition, it is expected to reach $40,000-$60,000. Other Marklin highlights include Lot 1211, a circa-1929 Rheingold 30-inch paddleboat, $35,000-$45,000; Lot 1215, a circa-1910 New York battleship, $20,000-$30,000; and Lot 1217, a display piece replicating the Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen that was made by the revered German toy manufacturer under commission for a travel agency, $10,000-$14,000.

Lehmann toys include boxed examples of an Echo motorcycle, $5,500-$7,500; Baker and Sweep,

$2,750-$3,750; and Paddy and the Pig, $2,000-$3,000. Several coveted, French made Martin wind-ups will be offered, as well.

From the Land Down Under comes the Paul Hale steam engine collection, incorporating numerous steam plants, horizontals, verticals, and more. Lot 1401 is a possible salesman’s sample steam tractor engine, estimated at $2,500-$5,000. Lot 1339, a Marklin steam plant impressively sized at 18 x 20 x 24 inches, carries a $6,000-$9,000 estimate.

Bertoia’s will be bumper to bumper with upscale European trains and accessories from the Warren

Heid collection. Standouts include: Lot 1442, a Marklin Central Station in superior condition,

$15,000-$20,000; Lot 1408, an original Ernst Plank hot air trolley, $15,000-$18,000; Lot 1409, an early Carette train in original wood box, $4,000-$6,000; and Lot 1462, a King George V O-gauge train reputedly made by Marklin for Bassett Lowke, $4,000-$6,000.

Fans of American-made trains will want to be on board for the excellent lineup of productions by American Flyer from the Jim Ferguson collection. Additionally, there are many desirable trains and accessories by Voltamp, Lionel, Ives and Carlisle & Finch. Top entries include: Lot 1524, an early Voltamp 2100 B&O train; Lot 1529, a Carlisle & Finch suspension bridge; and Lot 1578, an Ives O-gauge engine with tender and Brooklyn and Buffalo cars.

Saturday’s proceedings will wrap with an eye-pleasing selection of antique petroliana and motoring memorabilia. The grouping includes Lot 1635, a large, Art Deco-style Richland Gasoline auto-themed poster; and Lot 1636, a Francisco Heater automotive sign in outstanding condition.

Boxed roaring-engine Batman car, FMG Japan, est. $1,500-$2,000

Boxed roaring-engine Batman car, FMG Japan, est. $1,500-$2,000

The Sunday session will be brimming with beautiful pressed-steel vehicles – both heavy and light gauge – from the renowned Jay Schoedinger collection. There are some great Buddy L’s, some having provenance from the Don Kaufman collection; plus Kingsburys, a boxed Marx G-Man car, and a boxed Girard Fire Chief car. Additionally, nine pedal vehicles, including a Gendron fire truck, will roll confidently across the gallery floor.

Because Bertoia’s November auction traditionally launches the holiday season for toy collectors, there is always a glittering section of Christmas antiques from which to choose, and this time is no exception. There are Dresdens, Santas of various types, kugels, and glass ornaments. Other holidays represented are Halloween, Easter and Valentine’s Day. Following the cataloged portion of the sale, Bertoia’s will present over 100 holiday box lots for auction attendees only.

Bertoia’s Annual Fall Auction will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 11, 12 and 13, 2016 at Bertoia Auctions’ gallery, 2141 DeMarco Dr., Vineland, NJ 08360. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone or live via the Internet through

Start times: 10 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday, Nov. 11; 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12; and 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. Preview the week of Nov. 7-10 from 9am-5pm; on Saturday from 8am, and on Sunday from 9 a.m.


To contact Bertoia Auctions, call 856-692-1881; email Additional info is available online at

Bidders spend $610,000 at Morphy’s well-attended June 1 Antique Advertising Auction

June 17th, 2013 by

Puss in Boots Fortune-Teller fulfills its prophecy of success, sells for $21,000

DENVER, Pa. – A storybook cat with a talent for prognostication leaped to the top of prices realized at Morphy’s June 1st auction of antique advertising and coin-op machines. Made by Roover Brothers sometime between 1897 and 1904, Puss in Boots the Fortune-Teller was encased in a glass, wood and metal penny arcade machine and offered complete with 100 fortune cards. The psychic feline garnered a winning bid of $21,000 and led the day’s lineup of 537 lots, which grossed $610,000. All prices quoted are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium.

Pace’s “Kitty” slot machine in vibrant primary colors on metal, $7,200. Morphy Auctions image.

Although one of Morphy’s smaller events, the specialty auction drew “a packed house,” said company CEO Dan Morphy. “Advertising signs attracted the lion’s share of bidding,” he added.

There was strong interest in a scarce circa-1910 to 1920 Phoenix Pure Paint curved porcelain corner sign with the image of a Native-American boy holding a hand mirror and applying paint to his face. The colorful sign exceeded its presale estimate and closed at $15,600.

An 8-piece Coca-Cola prototype window display depicting Rip Van Winkle and the Jolly Elves “pausing for refreshment” was bid to $7,800 against an estimate of $3,000-$4,000. In the breweriana section, a 1900-1910 framed poster advertising Lorelei Beer of Helena, Montana, with an image of the fetching mermaid-like maiden of nautical lore, achieved an above-estimate $3,900.

Other signs that finished well in the money included an appealing Eveready Flashlights/Batteries/Mazda Lamps figural flange sign, which doubled its high estimate in realizing $6,000; and a self-framed tin sign advertising Frazer Axle Grease, with a wonderfully detailed image of two horse-drawn wagon drivers discussing a wheel mishap, $4,800. Another standout was a Boston Locomotive Works 4-color chromolithographed builder’s print, dated 1858, with the image of a steam-powered passenger engine. It sold for $4,200.

More than 150 gambling, vending and other coin-operated machines were offered. A Pace’s “Kitty” slot machine in vibrant primary colors on metal reached $7,200; while a beautiful Wurlitzer Model 71 countertop jukebox made the midpoint of its estimate range at $5,400. Manufactured around 1940-1941, the Model 71 in Morphy’s sale played selections correctly and, according to Dan Morphy, “had a great sound.”

Morphy’s next auction featuring antique advertising will be held on August 6th. A General Antiques auction is slated for August 20th, and a major Toys & Sports Memorabilia sale will follow on September 7th. For additional information, contact Morphy Auctions by calling 717-335-3435 or e-mailing Visit Morphy’s online at