Just reading the press release from Bertoia’s May auction is enough to get any collector’s heart racing. With 1400 lots, there is a Lot to look at and I will!
The May 9-10 auction has trains, toys, comic characters, tin toys and even a new-to-Bertoia category of Country Store items. So what are you waiting for, pop over to their website and see what’s happening!
A special highlight of the sale is Part II of the renowned Frank Loveland train collection, which will be offered during the Saturday session. Also featured is Harvey Funderwhite’s exceptional collection of horse-drawn cast-iron bell toys.
The Loveland trains should create quite a flurry of bidding activity, said Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia, since the grouping contains more than 100 of the earliest American trains made by Carlisle & Finch and Voltamp. “It’s unusual to have the chance to purchase 2-inch gauge American electric trains,” Bertoia said. “Even at a large toy show, a collector would be lucky to find even a couple of them.”
In addition to being a long-time member of the Antique Toy Collectors of America, former college professor Frank Loveland is an antique train scholar. Both he and his collection are well respected in the train hobby. Loveland’s collection spans the history of American train production and also includes very rare United Electric trolleys, a few Howard sets, and early Ives trains and stations. Several of the Ives “inboard” examples in the Loveland grouping had only a one-year run, Bertoia said.
Sharing the railway yard at Bertoia’s on auction day will be a number of outstanding German train lots, both from Loveland and other collectors. Among the desirable Marklin advertising train cars are several perennial favorites: the Pabst Blue Ribbon car with oyster-platter motif, Budweiser, and Heinz 57 Varieties. Additionally, there are several Marklin Midland Railway cars, including a fruit car and chicken coop car.
Comic character toys were strong in Bertoia’s March 28-29 auction, so another 200 lots of top-notch examples have been rolled out for the Spring Toy Break crowd. In addition to toys based on classic characters of radio, TV and comic strips, the offering includes an array of timeless Disney and Popeye characters. There will be many wind-up dancing toys, as well, like Dapper Dan, Jazzbo Jim, Tombo and Spic & Span; plus Amos & Andy and other whimsical tin cars such as Whoopee, Snoopy Gus, Coo Coo Car and Joy Rider.
The American tin section of Bertoia’s gallery displays such a panoramic variety, it looks like a toy showroom. The Marx vehicles include an ambulance, boxed G-Man Pursuit Car and a fleet of vans and dump trucks. They’re accompanied by a nice single-owner collection of racers, including a Champions Racer and at least 20 others.
Frank Loveland’s collection makes an encore appearance in the sale in the form of paper- on-wood toys. A diverse selection, it incorporates menageries, arks, building, trains and panoramas from Reed, Bliss and Milton Bradley. Also included are several Crandall’s sets, which are especially favored by collectors, and a number of early games.
The European toy category ranges from a Marklin torpedo boat to a JEP Talbot auto to a fabulous Schoenner live-steam pumper named “The Boston.” Forty penny toys will be auctioned, as well as elaborate table games with penny toy player tokens. Additionally, there is a small grouping of attic-fresh Heyde soldiers.
Although not a category regularly seen at Bertoia sales, country store items will be showcased alongside the parade of antique toys. Literally anything that one would see inside a well-outfitted turn of the 20th century general store will be available, including dye and spool cabinets, glass candy jars, tobacco-related items and colorful, profusely graphic paper and tin litho signs with great themes and quaint wording. Handsome oak upright display cases, some with curved glass, will be auctioned, as well.
In keeping with the Spring Break theme, there will be a selection of Atlantic City souvenirs and memorabilia from carefree holidays of long ago by the boardwalk. The lots include photos, dinner menus, magazines, decorative objects, saltwater taffy items, and numerous mementos of paper, tin, glass and ceramic materials.