Hedburn toy collection leads Morphy Auctions sale
The Hedburn Collection of early toys, trains and dolls is set to cross the block at Morphy Auctions next month.
The remarkable collection, amassed over the course of 60 years by the late Chicago couple Katie and Paul Hedburn, will be sold as part of the company's Toys, Marbles and Dolls sale in Denver, Pennsylvania.
“If the Hedburns had a motto, it was to buy and keep on buying, but never sell,” said Jay Lowe, head of Morphy’s Doll division. “Most of the dolls in their collection were purchased in the 1960s and ’70s from dealers who set up at general antique shows around Chicago. That was a time when obscure dolls could still turn up on a dealer’s table. Probably 80 percent of the Hedburns’ dolls were sourced from two dealers, in particular, who came up from the Kansas City area to sell at those Chicago antique shows.”
Highlights will include a rare A. Marque character doll, made circa 1914 and valued at $100,000-$200,000; a rare early Oriental Bru doll valued at $25,000-$35,000; and a 22-inch Kammer & Reinhardt 'Karl' doll estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
Aside from dolls, the Hedburn collection also includes a selection of rare and valuable trains, with examples across the board of scales from standard and O gauge to and European 1, 2 and 3 gauge.
"They acquired many nice, early Carlisle & Finch, Boucher and Voltamp productions, including a big Suburban Trolley, freight cars, engines and tenders,” said Tom Sage Jr., head of Morphy Auctions’ Toy & Train division. “The collection also contains American Flyer, Ives and Lionel trains, but I believe the European trains – the Bings, the Marklin 20th Century Limited cars made for the American market, and the odd-lettered, hand-painted Marklin cars – are going to do especially well.”
The sale will also feature a second collection, including a wealth of gas-powered race cars, comic character watches and vintage lunchboxes, acquired by an anonymous collector "scarcely known in the hobby but who always bought the best of the best from a few discreet dealers".
In particular, Sage described the lunchboxes as "the best lunchbox collection I’ve ever seen,” and commented “some will do five figures, and it’s my guess that the Superman lunchbox could land in the $8,000 to $12,000 range."
The Morphy Auctions Toys, Marbles and Dolls sale takes place on September 10-12.
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