Auction of the Week: The Bertoia Auctions Signature Sale September 2018
This week's featured auction is the Bertoia Auctions Signature Sale, featuring a treasure trove of antique toys from the renowned Marklin train and accessory collection of Mr Ben Michel; the magnificent Douglas Jackman still bank collection of Stephen Douglas Antiques; and the Frank Mohr collection of automata and American tin clockwork toys. Here are 10 of our favourite lots on offer...
Leather Covered Walking Dog
Estimate: $500 - $750
A terrier dog toy covered with leather and finished with large glass eyes. It features a clockwork walking mechanism that propels the dog forward on wheels, with a coordinated movement of the head and legs.
Ives Columbus Egg With Original Box
Estimate $5,000 - $7,500
A highly rare toy sold during the Chicago World's Fair and Chicago Columbian Exposition, an event held in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492.
When carefully wound and tapped, a spring loaded model of the Santa Maria, complete with delicate cloth sails, pops out of the top of the egg.
Ives See-Saw on a House Top
Estimate $5,000 - $7,500
This Ives clockwork toy features a pair of boys who move up and down on the see-saw, as the head of an old woman slowly appears from inside the chimney.
General Butler Still Bank
Estimate $4,000 - $6,000
This still bank, manufactured by J. & E. Stevens, depicts Union General, Governor of Massachusetts and U.S Presidential candidate Benjamin F. Butler.
Butler ran for office with support from the Greenback Party, which favoured the use of non-gold backed paper money, commonly known as 'greenbacks', which was issued by the North during the American Civil War.
Throughout his political career Butler was often portrayed by his opponents as a frog, a caricature on which this bank is based.
Marklin English Café Station
Estimate $10,000 - $15,000
This 1 gauge cafe station was made by German manufacturer Marklin in the early 20th century.
Aimed at the English market, the station features a clock tower complete with weather vane and a corrugated dome roof; a ticket booth and waiting room; and outside cafe seating beneath a delicate canopy.
Boxed Martin Weight Lifter
Estimate $6,000 - $9,000
This clockwork circus strongman toy, known as 'L'Hercule Popularaire', was made by the French company Fernand Martin circa 1914.
The wind-up toy moves its arms up and down to lift weights, and comes complete with its original box.
Marklin Schlitz Beer Car
Estimate $15,000 - $20,000
A highly sought-after 1 gauge train car manufactured by Marklin between 1907 and 1915.
The detailed car features the logo of the famous Milwaukee brew Schlitz beer, along with simulated wood panelling and opening doors with hand painted hinges.
George Brown Boy in a Clockwork Hoop
Estimate $10,000 - $14,000
This clockwork toy depicts a young boy inside a double hoop, carrying an American Stars and Stripes flag.
It was made circa 1880 by George W. Brown, a celebrated toy designer from Connecticut who first introduced moving clockwork mechanisms to tin toys in the USA in the 1850s.
Aubade a la Lune Musical Automaton
Estimate: $12,000 - $20,000
Rare 19th century French musical automaton, featuring a paper-mache Pierrot serenading the quarter moon with a mandolin.
The clown features a turning head, retractable tongue and arms that move as he plays his song, and the moon opens and closes its mouth and winks in response.
The Pierrot appears to be wearing its original clothing, and the automaton remains in good working order despite being more than 100 years old.
Ives Cutter Sleigh with Rider
Estimate $100,000 - $150,000
This Ives Cutter Sleigh, made circa 1893, is considered by many collectors as the finest antique toy in the world, and had been described as "the pinnacle of toy artistry".
The beautifully-crafted toy features a fully articulated walking horse, and is the only known example with its original seated figure.
This museum-quality sleigh is one of just a handful in existence, and has a provenance which includes some of the world's most important collections, including the Hegarty, Perelman and Max Berry Collections
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