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Buddy “L” Outdoor Railroad
This large-scale pressed steel train was designed for use outdoors on track; it was a push toy. Each piece will be sold separately, and the total estimate for the group pictured is $12,000-16,000.
Ernst Plank Set with Box
This live steam-powered train set in its original wooden packing carte was made by Ernst Plank around 1900. The estimate for this wonderful set is $30,000-40,000.
Happy Hooligan Patrol Wagon
Ward Kimball collected toys as well as trains. In the cast-iron category is this Happy Hooligan Police Patrol wagon. As the toy moves, the policeman whacks the hapless Hooligan with his nightstick. Made by Kenton in the early 1900s, it has a presale estimate of $1,800-2,200.
Ives Gauge I #40 Passenger Set
Classic trains by Ives, one of the most important train and toy maker of the late 19th and early 20th century, will be well represented in the sale. This Gauge I passenger set has an estimate of $20,000-25,000.
Ives Trains and Station
Classic trains and stations by Ives, one of the most important American train and toy makers of the late 19th and early 20th century, were among Ward Kimball’s favorites. Here is a station with glass canopy (est. $10,000-12,000), together with two gauge I trains: a freight set (est. $12,000-15,000) and a passenger set (est. $20,000-25,000).
Marklin Central Station
This Marklin Central Station with elaborate double-roofed glass canopy was one of the largest stations made by the famed German toy maker. It measures 29in long and is estimated at $30,000-40,000.
Marklin Gauge II F&E Live-Steam Passenger Set
One of the true highlights of the Kimball collection is this Marklin gauge II passenger set. It is powered by a steam engine which is fed water from a water tank in the tender. It is an impressive 67in long overall and has an auction estimate of $20,000-25,000.
Marklin Loc. and Tender with Box
This English-style locomotive has its original wooden box. It is gauge III, and the loco and tender together are 32in long. This beauty is estimated at $25,000-30,000. The steam engine that propels the train draws water from the reservoir in the tender.
MkTroll,857 Un Trac (Trolley)
This gauge I trolley by Marklin is extremely rare. This example is even scarcer since the name on the side - Union Traction Co. – indicates it was made for the American market. It estimated at $20,000-30,000.
PHILADELPHIA - Attention train collectors: Please have your tickets ready to give to your conductor, Noel Barrett. The train will soon be leaving the station, bound for Philadelphia and part II of the world-famous Ward Kimball Train and Toy auction.
Barrett had the hobby buzzing last November when part I of the famed Disney animator’s collection crossed the auction block to fetch $2.75 million. Now the second and final installment of Kimball’s collection will be offered without reserve in a 900-lot event on Friday and Saturday, May 27-28 at the Philadelphia Airport Ramada Inn ballroom.
Because of the sheer volume of what Barrett has dubbed “Ward’s Wonderland” – the collection of American and European trains and toys Kimball kept in a massive train shed behind his California home – the inventory has had to be divided between two sales.
“We basically broke every category in half, with only a few exceptions,” Barrett explained. “We put all the classic-period standard gauge Lionel and American Flyer trains, and all of the Disney toys in the first sale. Ward’s collections of Ives trains and railroadiana were held back so they could be offered exclusively in the May sale. Other than that, the upcoming auction will feature more from the same desirable categories that were offered in the first sale.” Those categories include: early two-rail electric trains, early Lionel, European, American tin and cast-iron floor trains. Additionally, there will be more European and American windups, comic character and lithographed paper on wood toys, as well as steam engines and steam toys and accessories.
“After the abundance that was seen in the first sale, one thing that will surprise many people is how many European train stations, buildings and bridges are cataloged in this session – and they’re of astounding quality and rarity, certainly not leftovers.” One of the star lots is Kimball’s prized Marklin Central Station with ornate detailing and a glass canopy, estimate: $30,000-40,000. “It’s 30in long and said to be the longest building Marklin made, and it’s absolutely fantastic.” Also in the European section are other scarce stations, nearly two dozen other types of buildings and and three large Marklin bridges. German rarities abound, and in all, Barrett estimates more than 140 pieces in the sale were made by the premier manufacturer of the Golden Era, Marklin.
Sure to quicken the pulse of any European train fan is the array of boxed sets in the sale, including an early set by Ernst Plank. From Barrett’s experienced point of view, the maker’s gauge 3 American-profile, steam-powered Vulcan train with track and original wood factory container is “a real gem … These American-profile trains that were made expressly for the U.S. market are quite rare.
”Another scarce German-made set to be offered with its original wood crate is Bing’s European-profile gauge 3 Charles Dickens set, with engine/tender, baggage postale, sleeper and dining cars, all with opening roofs and fully outfitted interiors. The Dickens set is estimated at $15,000-18,000.
Marklin also made wonderful English-profile trains. Within the Kimball collection is one of the finest: a live steam, gauge 3 loco and tender with original wood box for the locomotive. The lot carries a $25,000-30,000 estimate.
The name Ives represents the pinnacle of 19th and early 20th century American toy train manufacture, and to collectors, the most coveted examples are those produced during the Connecticut company’s formative years. “Their gauge 1 sets had cast-iron engines with a clockwork motor,” said Barrett. “The engines had to have some really powerful motors inside them to pull such a heavy locomotive around the track, and I don’t think the sets were very successful. As a result, now they’re rarely seen and very desirable.” An example of this type of first-series Ives train with clockwork cast-iron loco/tender and lithographed tin cars will be presented at the auction with a $20,000-25,000 estimate. More than 100 Ives lots have been cataloged, including approximately half a dozen early stations and buildings, and a number of accessories.
Another American classic in the Kimball collection is Hubley’s cast-iron elevated railroad. “In scale-model form, it brought the earliest form of New York City mass transit to a child’s playroom.
”As any collector who was privileged enough to visit Kimball’s home would attest, the Academy Award-winning animator and director loved trains of all types and sizes. He even had his own life-size, steam-powered locomotive at the rear of his home in a three-acre orange grove. On special occasions, Kimball would fire up the engine and commandeer his locomotive down the track, to the toy-filled train shed and past his Victorian-replica train station. His locomotive even inspired Lehmann to model one of its engines after it for the postwar LGB toy series. “As a result of that association, Ward ended up with a number of pieces from the LGB toy line. We will have that entire collection in part II.”
If Kimball was in the mood to try a different form of train travel in his garden, he could always turn to his Buddy “L” outdoor railroad, which also will be offered in the sale. “These trains are quite large. The loco and tender, alone, are 46in long. Buddy “L” sold the cars separately, and Ward had one of the most complete sets – almost every car they made,” Barrett said. Each of the components, from boxcars to tankers and operating cars with dredges, derricks and pile-drivers, will be auctioned separately because of their value.
Also, collectors will have their pick of many more of the blue-chip late 19th and early 20th century European and American trains Kimball favored by manufacturers such as Voltamp, Carlisle & Finch, Knapp, Howard and others. “This category did really well in the first sale, but it was too rich to offer all at one time. We wanted to give the collectors some time to catch their breath.”
While on the subject of money, Barrett also issued a reminder that bidders will not have to pay a penny in sales tax on any lot in the sale, since single-owner collections auctioned in the state of Pennsylvania are exempt from the tax, usually assessed at 6 percent.
Unique to part II is the colorful vintage railroadiana collection that decorated Kimball’s train station, a focal point in the nostalgic 1949 Disney film So Dear to My Heart. Among the items to be sold are conductor’s caps, railroad lanterns, posters, signs, brass oiling cans and early lithographed-tin railroad timetable display boxes.
Approximately 300 lots will be offered on Friday night, including a small selection of “discovery” box lots. The discovery lots, which will not be cataloged, comprise distressed items that will be made available only to live bidders, not to Internet, phone or other remote participants. The Saturday full-day session will consist of approximately 600 lots.
As was the case with the November sale, Barrett anticipates keen international interest in the May sessions. Sales to overseas buyers in part I totaled $844,000, with German bidders bagging close to one-quarter of the lots. Among the other impressive statistics achieved by the November sale of the Kimball collection: 967 registered bidders (with 567 of them participating online), 289 successful bidders, and goods shipped to 13 countries on three continents.
Within the last-dance, last-chance environment of the May sessions, Barrett said it would not be surprising if similar results were achieved this time around, both in total and on individual lots. “In the first sale, more than 50 lots finished above $10,000; and 21 lots topped $25,000 apiece. “The May sale is every bit as strong and features new categories that will draw even more collectors to what is sure to be an exciting two days in Philadelphia.”
All forms of auxiliary bidding will be available (except on the aforementioned box lots): absentee, phone, fax or live via the Internet through eBayLiveAuctions. Two to three weeks prior to the sale, the fully illustrated auction catalog will be available to view online, either at www.LiveAuctioneers.com or Barrett’s website: www.noelbarrett.com.
The auction will commence at 5 p.m. Eastern U.S. time on Friday, May 27 and 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28. Preview hours are: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday, May 26; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, May 27; and 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28.
For additional information, phone (215) 297-5109, fax (215) 297-0457, email or write to Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions, Ltd., P.O. Box 300, Carversville, PA 18913. Website: www.noelbarrett.com
Reed Mother Goose Train
Among American-made toy trains, those constructed of lithographed paper on wood are seldom found in great condition. This 41in long (overall) Mother Goose train by Reed shows how colorful these toys could be. It is estimated at $2,000-3,000.
Kimball collected all manner of what is referred to as “railroadiana.” The Friday evening sale session will include some of these treasures – everything from posters and oiling cans to conductor caps and colorful tin schedule boxes.