Morphy Auctions’ June Premier Antique Toy, Doll, Marble, and Figural Cast Iron Sales Event To Feature Remarkable Selections From The World’s Most Desirable Brands And Categories.
This three-day auction includes over 2,100 carefully curated lots of exceptional vintage playthings, many from private, museum-quality collections from all across the country.
Morphy Auctions, the finest auction destination for fresh to the market collections, is pleased to announce this million-dollar Toy, Doll, Marble, and Figural Cast Iron sale to be held on Friday, June 24th through Sunday, June 26th, 2016. The bidding starts promptly at 9:00 AM each day. All lots from this event are on display in Morphy’s Denver auction gallery and available for preview now.
This auction starts in fifth gear with a breathtaking selection of over 350 antique vehicles from the Jack Herbert collection. Mr. Herbert, who contributed regularly to Antique Toy World for four decades, is an internationally recognized and respected expert known for his encyclopedic knowledge of toy ships, cars, airplanes, trains, omnibuses, and other wheeled playthings. Until quite recently, his breathtaking collection was showcased in his tiny Greenwich Village, NY home, which was by all accounts a lovingly assembled and carefully curated museum.
Mr. Herbert had a remarkable eye for American-made tin transportation toys. Two highlights in this category from the manufacturer Francis, Field & Francis will put collectors into overdrive. The first is lot #259, an absolutely remarkable omnibus pulled by two white horses. This 15 -1/4″ long rolling wonder, estimated at $15,000-35,000, is the wheel-deal with its gloriously painted side panels, stenciled roof, and elaborate coachman’s seat and rear stair entry supports. Only a handful of these early and original omnibuses are known to exist today. And the second is lot #258, an incredibly rare 1850-1860-era sidewheeler boat in all original, very fine plus condition. This petite treat is only 10 -1/4″ long but is lavishly detailed with an oversized sailor, smoke stacks, a walking beam and fancy railings, a multi-colored hull, floral wheel covers, and an American flag at its stern. It is sure to make waves with its $15,000-25,000 estimate.
The Herbert collection also features a phenomenal selection of European-made vehicles. It’s first class all the way with lot #140, a large French hand painted tin limousine. This appealing and authentically detailed red and black automobile, estimated at $5,000-10,000, features four detailed headlamps, a click/clack hand starter crank, a fabric covered chauffer’s seat, spoked rims and rubber tires, and fanciful roof edging. And battle lines will be drawn over lot #241, a Marklin 1st Series Battleship “Connecticut,” estimated at $12,000-18,000. This early 20th century clockwork warship, measuring almost 30” long, flexes its muscles with a “ram front” prow, large and small gun turrets, painted wooden decking, twin lifeboats, large masts with crows nests, and a wheeled base painted with simulated waves.
Additional Herbert collection highlights include lot #41, a Japanese friction tin 1962 Chrysler Imperial, estimated at $4,000-8,000. Truly fit for royalty, this rare blue colored example was made by A.T.C. (Asahi Toy Company) and is one of the most sought after Japanese post war cars ever produced. And its all aboard with lot #128, an exceptional, late 19th century French hand painted clockwork train in very fine plus original condition. This meticulously designed, manufactured, and detailed set has an engine and cars reminiscent of the 1850-1860’s period and is estimated at $10,000-20,000.
A remarkable selection of fine plush animals and antique dolls highlights the second day of this event in the most playful way possible.
Collectors will find the 125 lots of vintage Steiff German collectibles on offer simply cute as a button. Many of those from the mid-20th century onward are from the collection of Dick Franz – the beloved former Archivist for Steiff North America – and include several extraordinary window displays, charming automatons, and other rare treasures from his half century of service to the brand. Collectors interested in more vintage button-in-ear pieces will be bowled over by lot #826, a museum quality, all original set of 1905/06 Steiff velvet skittles made for the European market. Remarkably, each of the nine different animals in this assortment retains its tiny blank button and is in practically unplayed with condition. This example, unquestionably the finest set of early Steiff skittles to come to auction in memory, is estimated at $8,000-15,000.
The 160 lots of antique and collectible dolls presented in this sale will have collectors feeling like kids again. It’s a clothes call with all the finely dressed French, German, and American examples on offer from quality makers including Kestner, Simon and Halbig, Heubach, Käthe Kruse, and Kammer & Reinhardt, among many others. Lot #989, a cabinet sized Jumeau doll with beautiful even bisque, large blue paperweight eyes, and finely painted facial features, is quite the looker. This exceptional example of the E.J. mold is marked DEPOSE E.4 J. and is in very fine plus condition. She comes with a delightful provenance and is estimated at $3,000-5,000.
Good things come in threes, with the third day of this sale focusing on fine marbles, cast iron rarities, and collectible banks.
It’s time to knuckle down and check out this auction’s fantastic offering of vintage and artisan marbles. Everyone can be a holy roller with the 160 lots of fine glass, china, and sulphide examples available. A sparkling highlight in this category would have to be lot #1818, an outstanding large glass marble. This 1 – 33/64″ diameter work of art, estimated at $2,000-3,000, features a solid green base with loads of lutz metallic luster.
This event offers more than a penny for your thoughts with its extensive selection of almost 300 banks for sale. Mechanical, still, and vending examples should generate enormous interest with collectors. It’s an embarrassment of riches with lot #2184, a J. & E. Stevens Calamity mechanical bank, estimated at $15,000-25,000. This very desirable piece features two football players that tackle a third when it is activated by a coin deposit. Its complicated mechanism, absolute rarity, excellent condition, and great presentation make this bank the Superbowl champ in this exciting and well-represented auction category.
Character toys, space and robot playthings, lunch boxes, and pressed steel, cast iron, and tin items – as well as many other specialty categories – round out this comprehensive three-day auction event.
According to Tommy Sage, Jr. Morphy Auctions’ Head of Toy & Train Division, “We are honored to offer many fine selections from Jack Herbert’s world-famous collection of toy transportation vehicles. Many of these offerings are simply breathtaking in their appearance, rarity, and condition. I am certain that enthusiasts from all over the world will welcome the opportunity to add a piece of his legacy to their own personal collections.” Jay Lowe, Morphy Auctions’ Head of Doll Division adds, “We are pleased to offer our customers this fine selection of antique dolls sourced from outstanding private collections. My team and I have worked tirelessly to find, catalog, and present a full range of items from the most sought after makers so that every enthusiast should be able to fall in love with at least one treasure at this sale. This event’s collection of Steiff items is quite exciting as well; as far as we can tell, it’s the first time that several of these button-in-ear rarities have appeared at auction ever!”
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