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Lot 1640 – Lincoln two-tone tin sedan with original box, 12in, made by Ichiko Japan, estimate $2,000-3,000.
Lot 1927 – Hubley 1927 cast-iron Say It With Flowers delivery motorcycle, 11in with civilian driver, estimate $15,000-20,000.
Lot 396 – 42 by 48in plastic composite Sears store display featuring Roy Rogers and his palomino, Trigger. Only one known in near-mint condition with original base, estimate $5,000-7,000.
Lot 1687 – 1920s pressed steel Buddy ‘L’ motor coach, 28in, 100 percent original with side-mounted spare tires and pull cord, estimate $10,000-15,000.
Lot 965 – Extremely rare 14in Cherry Chic syrup dispenser, near-mint condition, $7,000-10,000.
Lot 296 – 1963 Universal Pictures-licensed Wolf Man pencil and paint set, old dime store stock in near-mint, still sealed condition. Made by Hassenfeld Bros. Estimate $2,000-3,000.
Lot 1000 – One of many fine graphic porcelain door pushes in the sale, this one advertises Recruit Little Cigars, estimate $1,500-2,000.
Lot 1126 – Extremely rare 1920s-era Planters Salted Peanuts pocket tin, 3½in with primitive depiction of Mr. Peanut, estimate $7,000-9,000.
Lot 954 – Circa 1915 Herschell Spillman carousel exterior-row rooster, largest of three sizes carved by the North Tonawanda, N.Y., company, estimate $7,000-10,000.
DENVER, Pa. – Capping a spectacular first year of operation with a $1.4 million December sale, Morphy Auctions now looks forward to a powerful lineup of selling events in 2005, commencing with a 1,900-lot, no-reserve March 31-April 2 Spring Sale.
Several exciting collections have been secured for the auction, starting with a single-owner grouping of more than 200 boxed Japanese tinplate vehicles from the 1950s-’60s. The toys range in size from 8-24in, and most are from top manufacturers of the period, including Yonezawa, Ichiko and Alps. “This is one of the nicer collections of Japanese tin vehicles I’ve seen,” said Morphy Auctions co-owner Tom Sage Jr.
Among the leading lots in the Japanese vehicle collection are: an Ichiko 12in two-tone blue Lincoln, original box, $3,000-4,000; Ichiko 17in 1961 yellow and red Buick, original box, $2,000-3,000; Yonezawa 18in Cadillac, two versions – one in black and one in maroon, both with original boxes - $2,000-3,000 each; Marusan 12in gray battery-operated Chevrolet with electric headlights, original box, $2,000-3,000; Marusan 12in black Cadillac, original box, $1,000-1,500; and a boxed Bandai three-car Ranch Fleet set with original box and all inserts, consisting of a Chevrolet convertible, Chevrolet station wagon and Chevrolet pickup truck, $1,500-2,000.
Another outstanding collection comprises more than 300 Western-themed items. Among the lots are toys, collectible premiums and hard-to-find novelty items. Topping the group is the actual shirt worn by cowboy star Roy Rogers both at personal appearances and during the recording of the classic TV show theme Happy Trails. The shirt was made by celebrity Western clothiers Nudie’s of Hollywood, and it retains its original tags from the design shop. The lot, estimated at $2,000-3,000, includes a phonograph record whose sleeve pictures the legendary cowboy singer/actor wearing the shirt.
Another subgroup within the Western collection – which is so large it took five days for Morphy’s specialist to write the descriptions – is an assortment of more than 150 cap gun sets, most from the late 1940s through 1950s and many accompanied by their original boxes. “The lithography on the boxes is beautiful,” said auction house co-owner Dan Morphy. “In some cases the boxes are worth more than the guns because kids never kept these boxes. They threw them out and kept the guns. In this collection, which is very advanced, there are even some doubles.”
Also to be offered are an Aladdin Hopalong Cassidy electric table lamp with original shipping box (estimate $2,000-3,000) and an “autographed” Roy Rogers and Trigger lamp with cast iron base and parchment shade ($1,500-2,000). “That lamp is in fantastic condition,” Morphy said. “The collector was a condition freak.”
Rounding out the collection are numerous offbeat entries: a Daniel Boone pocketknife display with the knives still on it, a Roy Rogers Trick Lasso display with the original ropes ($1,500-2,000), and a Daisy Annie Oakley rifle outfit in the original box with Annie Oakley’s image on it.
More than 30 early pressed steel vehicles – all premium makes such as Buddy ‘L’ and Kingsbury – will roll across the auction block. Again, condition is key, with all lots chalking up at least 9 out of 10 on a tough grading scale. Among the Buddy ‘L’ lots are an Intercity bus, wrecking truck, aerial truck, repair-it unit with original box, and Express hydraulic dump truck.
In excess of 60 original cast-iron cars and motorcycles by Hubley, Arcade and Kenton have been cataloged, including the always-in-demand Say It With Flowers ’cycle with civilian driver. “The Say It With Flowers comes from the original owner, who received it when he was 12 years old,” Morphy said. “Hubley was based in Lancaster, Pa., and as a boy, the consignor worked on the Hubley family’s property, shoveling snow and raking leaves. It was given to him as a gift.” The coveted lot is in excellent-plus condition, and with its strong provenance adding to its appeal, it is a highlight of the motorcycle section.
Tommy Sage is a big fan of toys made for the average American boy in the postwar boomer era. Sage was especially excited over the consignment of contents of five-and-dime store in Harrisburg, Pa., which closed more than 20 years ago. Approximately 150 lots in the sale represent store stock from that particular establishment. Among the dime-store items are more than 20 sealed playsets by Marx and Ideal, including Marx’s Boys’ Camp, Construction Camp, and Cape Canaveral. Other standouts within the playset group are: U.S. Armed Forces Training Center, Western Town and West Gate Auto Center. A true collector’s prize is the store display for the dinosaur-themed Prehistoric Times playset, which was constructed to fit above the actual playset to call attention to the toy in retail environments.
A dream piece for monster collectors is the still-sealed 1963 Wolf Man paint by numbers pencil and paint set by Hassenfeld Bros. Inc., of Central Falls, R.I. In fine original condition and with a dramatic color image of Wolf Man on the box, it carries a $2,000-3,000 estimate.
Other toy highlights from the dime store cache include a selection of early plastic space guns in their original boxes, a boxed Linemar Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs van and trailer ($1,500-2,000), boxed Linemar Three Little Pigs van and trailer ($1,500-2,000), and a Marx Ride-er convertible sports car with original box.
An Ideal Toni doll in its unopened original box with all hairdressing accessories, also one of the dime store lots, will have plenty of playmates in the sale, since another high point is the group of more than 20 unusual, oversize dolls by prestigious manufacturers. “They’re huge dolls, made by Simon & Halbig, A&M, Effanbee, Hertel & Schwab, Handwerk, Kestner and Kley & Hahn,” Morphy said. “They came from a family department store in Altoona, Pa., where they were used as mannequins for children’s clothing.”
The more than 75 figural cast-iron doorstops to be sold include several scarce models. Hubley’s Clown is estimated at $1,500-2,000, as is the Little Black Sambo by Blodgett Studios, of Lake Geneva., Wis. An example of the rarest of Little Red Riding Hood doorstops, made by Creations, is predicted to sell for $1,000-1,500. Others slated for sale include Punch & Judy ($1,000-1,500), Mary, Mary Quite Contrary by National Foundry ($1,000-1,500); Black Man on a Bale of Cotton,The Snooper, and Hubley’s Popeye doorstop. Rounding out the group is a selection of figural cast-iron doorknockers.
Following the success of the antique advertising clocks in Morphy’s December sale, the auctioneers will offer a lineup of 40-50 clocks in the spring sale, approximately 30 of which are advertising types by Baird and other distinguished makers. One of the top lots among the specialty group is an Ever-Ready Safety Razor clock with the image of a man shaving.
More than 75 advertising signs and display pieces have been cataloged, including a 17in reverse-on-glass American Wine Cook’s Oysters sign, an original Green River Whiskey sign, dated 1899; an early turn of the 19th century Snider’s Katsup sign and a Diamond Dyes washerwoman cabinet.
Appealing lithography prevails in the 40-year collection of tin and porcelain door pushes. Porcelain examples exhibit ads for Golden Penny (with a gold coin logo), Duke’s Mixture Tobacco, Clark’s Flour, Ingersoll Watches, Stag Tobacco (with an outstanding deer image), Ox-Heart Brand Peanut Butter, Recruit Little Cigars ($1,500-2,000) and many others. From the same collection comes an array of 30 potscrapers. “These were hand-held metal kitchen utensils used to clean the last of cooked food from pots,” said Morphy. “Usually they’re found in pretty beat-up shape, but most of these are in beautiful condition, and some have fantastic subject matter. One has an image of Buster Brown and Tighe, and the one for Dove Brand Ham & Bacon pictures a pig being spanked.”
A perennial favorite with American consumers is Planter’s Mr. Peanut, who dominates a specialty collection based around peanut advertising. There are many cans and advertising pieces from companies that competed with Planters, but it is the monocled, top-hatted Mr. Peanut who features in the more-unusual lots in the sale. An original cast-iron fence corner post from the Planter’s building in Virginia, weighing 125 lbs. and featuring a 3ft tall figure of Mr. Peanut, is a definite highlight of the collection. A 6ft papier-mâché Mr. Peanut figure, one of only five or six known to exist, is estimated at $10,000-15,000; and another rarity is a condition-9 pocket tin with Mr. Peanut logo ($7,000-10,000). More than 200 peanut-related items will be offered, including a great variety of pails and tins in 1lb and 5lb sizes, many in their original boxes.
As has become customary, a colorful array of soda fountain syrup dispensers will be sold, including Cherry Chic, Wards’ Lemon Crush, Orange Crush and Cherry Julep; and Fowler’s Cherry Smash.
With the auction house on solid footing and with many exceptional collections on the horizon, Morphy said the company’s forward plan is to host four auctions per year. “We’re keeping it simple and calling them the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Sales. Collectors will be able to rely on the auctions being around the same time each quarter, from now on.”
Morphy Auctions’ 2005 Spring sale will take place in the auction saleroom area of Adamstown Antique Gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517, on the Adamstown antique strip. Auctioneers Brent Souder and Dave Conley, who so capably presided over previous Morphy Auctions events, will conduct the sale. There is ample parking, and a food and beverage service onsite.
Sessions will commence at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 2. The starting time has been set for one hour earlier than is usual for Morphy sales in order to accommodate the particularly large number of items to be sold. The entire inventory may be previewed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. any day leading up to the sale except Wednesdays (appointment only). On the auction days themselves, the preview will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. on Saturday
Bid in person, by phone (please arrange in advance), by fax, absentee, or via the Internet live as the auction is taking place, through LiveAuctioneers.com (www.liveauctioneers.com) in association with eBay Live Auctions.
Buyer’s premium: 12%, with 2% discount for cash, check or money order. Additional buyer’s premium applies on sales made via the Internet. There is no reserve on any item in the sale.
Many hotels and inns are within close proximity, in the Adamstown, Reading and Lancaster areas. Nearest airports are: Harrisburg International, Philadelphia International, Lehigh Valley International (Allentown/Bethlehem) and Baltimore-Washington International (BWI).
The full-color catalog can be purchased with check or credit card for $40 postpaid ($50 to overseas addresses) – “It’s 30% larger this time because it’s a three-day sale” – or may be viewed online either at www.morphyauctions.com or, two weeks prior to the auction, at www.liveauctioneers.com.
Contact: Tel. (717) 335-3435, Fax (717) 336-7115