Among many other featured categories, the auction will also contain 300 lots of advertising and coin-operated machines, 250 examples of fine and decorative art, 70 lots of napkin rings, part III of the Pat and Lowell Wagner steam toy/steam engine collection, and an outstanding collection of rare occupational shaving mugs. Additionally, the toy section will incorporate 70 dolls, 30 mechanical banks and 300 lots of early Mattel Hot Wheels vehicles – one of the largest groupings of its type to reach the auction marketplace.
Following tradition, the auction will open with a fine selection of marbles. The 60-lots to be sold include a boxed set of 25 Christensen agate “Guinea” marbles, estimated at $8,000-$12, 000, and many handmade onionskins, Lutzes and sulphides. Top sulphide lots include a painted number “3” and a tricolor painted rooster.
The extensive collection of African art was cataloged by noted specialist dealer and appraiser Oumar Keinde. Keinde confirmed that all of the art in the sale was carved in Africa and is geared mostly toward entry-level buyers or those who wish to decorate their homes or offices with collectible original tribal art. “These items are mostly from the period between1950 and the late 20th century, and are known as ‘original replacements.’
A grouping of 60+ timepieces is led by a circa-1870 French bronze enamel clock, $2,500-$3,500;
Next up will be lighting, featuring 15 slag-glass and 20 student lamps; followed by a fine grouping of more than 70 silver figural napkin rings. “This is a very nice assortment – the cream of the crop from two napkin ring collections,”
Fine antique dolls await bidders in the Spring Sale, among them a Jumeau fashion poupee peau, $1,500-$3,000;
A wide variety of antique advertising will cross the auction block, including approximately 100 complete sets of English tobacco collector cards, presented in sheets and in near-mint-plus condition. A large assortment of other tobacciana items will be presented, including many pocket tins. The latter category is highlighted by a Torpedo tin estimated at $1,400-$1,800;
An occupational shaving mug collection described by Dan Morphy as “one of the best collections to hit the market in a long time” contains around 50 mugs, many of which are featured in reference books. The centerpiece of the collection is a mug that belonged to early 20th-century athlete Ed Farrell, who played with the Giants, Braves, Cardinals and Cubs before leaving to earn his dental degree. “Later, he decided to return to baseball and in 1932 signed on with the New York Yankees,” Morphy said.
Coin-op collectors will want to test their strength with the “Spear the Dragon” machine. Other machines in beautiful condition include Monkey Lift and Fortune Teller. Perhaps the rarest piece in the coin-op category is a handsome steam-driven popcorn machine that is one of only five known.
Morphy’s chief operating officer Tom Sage Jr., an expert on postwar toys, said the collection of 300 Mattel Hot Wheels and other die-cast vehicles to be auctioned is “old store stock – items that were bought new and kept in a storage center until this year. The person who originally bought the toys never sold anything. There’s an original Redline car and many blue-carded cars that are worth up to $300 or more per car.” In total, the 300 die-cast lots in the sale contain as many as 10,000 toy vehicles.
Collectors of early steam toys have been well accommodated with parts I and II of the Pat and Lowell Wagner collection, previously auctioned by Morphy’s, but more outstanding goods from the Wagner trove will become available in the May sale, as part III crosses the auction block. All of the premium names will be represented:
The general toy section includes a Captain Marvel 4-car set with original box, $4,000-$6,000;
Drop a penny into any of the 30 cast-iron mechanical banks on offer and receive an entertaining visual surprise in return. The array of money boxes to be auctioned includes a Jonah and the Whale on pedestal bank that came from its original owner, estimate $20,000-$30,000. Other figural cast iron highlights include a Mermaid lawn sprinkler and a 100-item specialty collection of appealing Scotty dog items designed to function as bookends, doorstops and paperweights.
All forms of bidding will be available in Dan Morphy’s May 13-15 Spring Auction, including live via the Internet – see Morphy Web site for details, www.morphyauctions.com. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail email@example.com.