Archives May 2020

Bertoia’s eagerly awaited Fall Auction presents diverse categories of toys, banks, trains and holiday antiques

Bertoia’s eagerly awaited Fall Auction presents diverse categories of toys, banks, trains and holiday antiques

Bertoia’s eagerly awaited Nov. 11-13 Annual Fall Auction presents diverse categories of toys, banks, trains and holiday antiques with blue-chip provenance

2,100+ lots include the best of Tony Lasala’s cast iron, Jay Schoedinger’s pressed steel, and Aussie Paul Hale’s steam engines + trains from Jim Fergusson and Warren Heid

VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia’s is a house of many collector specialties, but it’s a rare occasion when all of those specialty categories come together under one roof in one fabulous sale. That will be the case on Nov. 11, 12 and 13 when Bertoia’s presents its perennially popular Annual Fall Auction featuring selections from many premier collections of toys, trains, banks and holiday antiques. More than 2,100 lots will be offered, and those who cannot join the fun in person are encouraged to take part by bidding absentee, over the phone or live online.

An overview of the expansive three-day event reveals that, by the number of lots offered, there are 160+ containing European and American trains, 150+ European autos, boats and airplanes; 100+ European clockwork toys (including Lehmanns and Martins), 150+ comic character toys, 98 steam plants, 100 penny toys, 190 heavy and light pressed-steel vehicles, and 67 featuring antique advertising. On top of that, the cataloged portion of the auction will be followed by a box-lot selection of holiday antiques available only to those attending at the gallery.

The event is highlighted by Part I of Tony Lasala’s superb collection of cast-iron automotive toys. An astute collector for many years, Lasala was able to acquire a many rare and desirable pieces from early dealers and auctions.

“The Tony Lasala collection is unquestionably an important one. Any toy associated with his name will continue to gain instant respect from knowledgeable collectors. The rarity and quality are obvious,” said Bertoia Auctions’ owner, Jeanne Bertoia.

Day 1 is devoted primarily to American toys and banks, and will open with cast iron. Two of

Circa-1870s J. & E. Stevens ‘New Bank’ mechanical bank, est. $1,600-$2,000

Circa-1870s J. & E. Stevens ‘New Bank’ mechanical bank, est. $1,600-$2,000

Lasala’s favorites are Lot 58, a Kenton City Telephone truck estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and Lot 66, a circa-1929 Arcade white Bekins moving van, $4,000-$6,000. Both were formerly in the Donald Kaufman collection.

Prestigious provenance accompanies many of the American tin toys chosen for the Nov. 11 session. Two highlights that were pictured in Blair Whitton’s 1981 book American Clockwork Toys 1862-1900 are Lot 718, one of only two known circa-1870 George Brown Automatic Waltzers, $10,000-$15,000; and Lot 712, an extremely rare Goodwin carriage – the only one Bertoia’s has ever seen with a seated child, $6,000-$8,000.

Two other tin toys with gilt-edged provenance were once in the prestigious Perelman Antique Toy Museum’s collection. Lot 714, S. Wenner’s Girl on Swing (pat. 1872), is estimated at $6,000-$8,000; while Lot 732, a rare version of the Walking Zouave (pat. 1850s), could stroll away with a winning bid of $1,800-$2,250.

Moving into the American bell toys section, Lot 692, an Ives Leap Frog, is estimated at $7,500-$10,000. “This is only the second Leap Frog bell toy we’ve ever seen,” said Jeanne Bertoia. “When we sold Max Berry’s Leap Frog in 2014, it was the only one known. Then, after the sale, we received a call from someone who said they had one, too, so we are fortunate to be able to bring a second Leap Frog to the marketplace.”

A fine array of banks will be available. Mechanicals include Lot 534, an all-original Calamity bank with no breaks, $8,000-$12,000; Lot 538, an all-original Panorama, $4,000-$6,000; and Lot 614, a near-mint Pelican (thumbs nose), $4,000-$5,000. Still banks include Lot 500, a large Boston State House, $2,000-$3,000; and Gingerbread House (ex Andy Moore collection), $1,200-$1,500.

Figural cast-iron doorstops from a long-held collection are led by several Bradley & Hubbard designs: Girl Holding Dress, Turkey, and Rooster. There are two Salem Witch variations, Lobster, Wine Merchant, Elf Under Mushroom and several other very unusual doorstops.

Saturday’s session will open with a colorful array of comic character toys, including Mortimer Snerd, a boxed Marx Merry Makers Band with marquee, boxed Lionel Mickey Mouse Handcar, and many other classic character depictions.

A fleet of high-end European automotive toys includes Lot 1165, a large deluxe Carette limo with all figures inside, $7,000-$9,000; Lot 1050, a German three-man tandem bicycle, $4,000-$7,000; Lot 1170, an ultra-desirable circa-1935 Tippco Mercedes Autobahn Kurier, $5,000-$7,000; and Lot 1238, an early, hand-painted M&K zeppelin, $2,000-$3,000.

Five sought-after Batman cars, including a sleek-looking ASC production with box, add a modern accent to the Japanese toy lineup. Among the earlier Japanese vehicles are Lot 1179, a boxed, near-mint black Chrysler Imperial, $10,000-$14,000; Lot 1195, a Modern Toy Laboratory motorcycle, $5,000-$7,500; and Lot 1169, a boxed Yonezawa Champion Racer, $2,000-$3,000.

Bertoia’s will set sail with several large, extremely desirable Marklin boats. Lot 1212, a fantastic steam-powered Amerika liner, is fresh to the market and comes to auction from the grandchildren of the original owner, who received the boat as a child in the 1920s. In spectacular, all-original condition, it is expected to reach $40,000-$60,000. Other Marklin highlights include Lot 1211, a circa-1929 Rheingold 30-inch paddleboat, $35,000-$45,000; Lot 1215, a circa-1910 New York battleship, $20,000-$30,000; and Lot 1217, a display piece replicating the Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen that was made by the revered German toy manufacturer under commission for a travel agency, $10,000-$14,000.

Lehmann toys include boxed examples of an Echo motorcycle, $5,500-$7,500; Baker and Sweep,

$2,750-$3,750; and Paddy and the Pig, $2,000-$3,000. Several coveted, French made Martin wind-ups will be offered, as well.

From the Land Down Under comes the Paul Hale steam engine collection, incorporating numerous steam plants, horizontals, verticals, and more. Lot 1401 is a possible salesman’s sample steam tractor engine, estimated at $2,500-$5,000. Lot 1339, a Marklin steam plant impressively sized at 18 x 20 x 24 inches, carries a $6,000-$9,000 estimate.

Bertoia’s will be bumper to bumper with upscale European trains and accessories from the Warren

Heid collection. Standouts include: Lot 1442, a Marklin Central Station in superior condition,

$15,000-$20,000; Lot 1408, an original Ernst Plank hot air trolley, $15,000-$18,000; Lot 1409, an early Carette train in original wood box, $4,000-$6,000; and Lot 1462, a King George V O-gauge train reputedly made by Marklin for Bassett Lowke, $4,000-$6,000.

Fans of American-made trains will want to be on board for the excellent lineup of productions by American Flyer from the Jim Ferguson collection. Additionally, there are many desirable trains and accessories by Voltamp, Lionel, Ives and Carlisle & Finch. Top entries include: Lot 1524, an early Voltamp 2100 B&O train; Lot 1529, a Carlisle & Finch suspension bridge; and Lot 1578, an Ives O-gauge engine with tender and Brooklyn and Buffalo cars.

Saturday’s proceedings will wrap with an eye-pleasing selection of antique petroliana and motoring memorabilia. The grouping includes Lot 1635, a large, Art Deco-style Richland Gasoline auto-themed poster; and Lot 1636, a Francisco Heater automotive sign in outstanding condition.

Boxed roaring-engine Batman car, FMG Japan, est. $1,500-$2,000

Boxed roaring-engine Batman car, FMG Japan, est. $1,500-$2,000

The Sunday session will be brimming with beautiful pressed-steel vehicles – both heavy and light gauge – from the renowned Jay Schoedinger collection. There are some great Buddy L’s, some having provenance from the Don Kaufman collection; plus Kingsburys, a boxed Marx G-Man car, and a boxed Girard Fire Chief car. Additionally, nine pedal vehicles, including a Gendron fire truck, will roll confidently across the gallery floor.

Because Bertoia’s November auction traditionally launches the holiday season for toy collectors, there is always a glittering section of Christmas antiques from which to choose, and this time is no exception. There are Dresdens, Santas of various types, kugels, and glass ornaments. Other holidays represented are Halloween, Easter and Valentine’s Day. Following the cataloged portion of the sale, Bertoia’s will present over 100 holiday box lots for auction attendees only.

Bertoia’s Annual Fall Auction will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 11, 12 and 13, 2016 at Bertoia Auctions’ gallery, 2141 DeMarco Dr., Vineland, NJ 08360. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

Start times: 10 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday, Nov. 11; 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12; and 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. Preview the week of Nov. 7-10 from 9am-5pm; on Saturday from 8am, and on Sunday from 9 a.m.

To contact Bertoia Auctions, call 856-692-1881; email toys@bertoiaauctions.com. Additional info is available online at www.bertoiaauctions.com.

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Published at Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:16:41 +0000

African Americana Sells Above Estimates, Sets New Auction Records

African Americana Sells Above Estimates, Sets New Auction Records

Swann’s first live online auction, Printed & Manuscript African Americana, sees 90 percent sell-through and total sales of more than $700,000.

Leading the sale was an annotated 1848 letterpress broadside advertising for a reward for three young women who had escaped from slavery. The announcement was won by an institution for $37,500, a record for a broadside of the same nature.

Leading the sale was an annotated 1848 letterpress broadside advertising for a reward for three young women who had escaped from slavery. The announcement was won by an institution for $37,500, a record for a broadside of the same nature.

NEW YORK — An 1848 slave-related broadside not only led Swann Auction Galleries’ sale on May 7, it also set a world auction record after selling for more than $37,000.

Swann’s Printed & Manuscript African Americana sale, which was the first live auction conducted since the auction house closed to the public in March and paused its schedule in the wake of COVID-19, featured rare books, photographs, posters, historic documents, archives, pamphlets, and brochures, as well as art-related ephemera, related to slavery, segregation, the Black Panther Party, and other categories.

The sale totaled $742,581 — far exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $455,900-$672,900 — and set 12 additional auction records.

The top-lot broadside advertising “$250 Reward! Ranaway [sic.] from the Subscriber” set the record for a broadside of this nature after realizing $37,500, almost four times more than the high estimate of $10,000. It was won by an institution. Swann said this runaway broadside is unusual for the fact that the fugitives were three young women, who fled together as a family. Also, the announcement is annotated with several manuscript corrections to better identify the sisters, ages 13, 20 and 25.

"I Am a Man, Memphis," 1968, a dorm room version of the original protest poster used in the days before Dr. King’s assassination, brought a record for the poster at $6,500.

“I Am a Man, Memphis,” 1968, a dorm room version of the original protest poster used in the days before Dr. King’s assassination, brought a record for the poster at $6,500.

Another sale highlight was a 1968 red and white poster, “I Am a Man, Memphis,” that sold for $6,500 – almost 10 times more than its high estimate of $750 – and a record for the poster. This is an early dorm room poster of the protest poster originally designed for the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and also used during the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C., during summer 1968.

Additional highlights included a 1933 Harlem Night Club Map by E. Simms Campbell published in the magazine, Manhattan: A Weekly for Wakeful New Yorkers, that sold for $27,500 (est: $10,000-$15,000) and was a record for this print; a 1968 Black Panthers-related poster by artist Emory Douglas, Minister of Information of the Black Panther Party, “Wherever death may surprise us, it will be welcome …,” another record breaker that sold for $2,125 (est: $400-$600); an albumen photograph of a contraband family at Point Lookout taken by Lafayette V. Newell, circa 1863-65, that sold for $32,500 (estimate $1,000-$1,500); a 17th Year Afro-American’s Travel Guide from 1957 that realized $27,500 (estimate $800-$1,200); and six boxes containing the papers of comedian Nipsey Russell dating from 1929-2000, nearly doubled expectations, selling for $17,500.

“This was a strong auction regardless of the circumstances. The sale concluded with 90 percent of lots finding buyers, a record in this category at Swann, and a total of $744,112, well above high estimate. Institutions generally make a good showing in these African Americana auctions, but they did exceptionally well in this sale, picking up the top four lots, and a total of 11 of the top 20,” said Rick Stattler, Swann’s Book Department director and Americana specialist.

“We are grateful for the confidence placed in us by our consignors, and for the patience of our community of collectors as we completely redesigned how we conduct our auctions. The results are nothing short of phenomenal, and a testament to Swann’s resilient and creative team,” Stattler said.

For more results, visit swanngalleries.com.

E. Simms Campbell, A Night-Club Map of Harlem, featured in the inaugural issue of Manhattan: A Weekly for Wakeful New Yorkers, 1933. Sold for $27,500, a record for the print.

E. Simms Campbell, “A Night-Club Map of Harlem,” featured in the inaugural issue of Manhattan: A Weekly for Wakeful New Yorkers, 1933. Sold for $27,500, a record for the print.

A 17th Year Afro-American’s Travel Guide, printed pamphlet, 1957; sold for $27,500.

A 17th Year Afro-American’s Travel Guide, printed pamphlet, 1957; sold for $27,500.

Sun Ra in “Space is the Place,” circa 1974; sold for $6,500, a record for the poster.

Sun Ra in “Space is the Place,” circa 1974; sold for $6,500, a record for the poster.

March for Freedom Now!, 1960; sold for $17,500. Poster used for a protest of the 1960 Republican Convention.

“March for Freedom Now!,” 1960; sold for $17,500. Poster used for a protest of the 1960 Republican Convention.

Published at Wed, 27 May 2020 12:04:59 +0000

What will happen to antique shows?

What will happen to antique shows?

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Our booth last year at the Baltimore show

The promoter of the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, Scott Diament, told me in an email that the show has been postponed to November 12-15, 2020. Personally we decided that we would not exhibit this year regardless. Most of the exhibitors and most of the attendees are senior citizens and therefore part of the most vulnerable part of the population. I can’t imagine dealers or attendees willing to risk their health to travel to the show. Will the situation will be materially better by November? Doubtful, in fact it may be worse. The Spanish Flu of 1918 came back with a vengeance in the fall.

Our booth in Miami Beach, January, 2020. Seems like a lifetime ago.

What makes any show attractive is its size, diversity and quality. Baltimore and Miami Beach are the best examples. They attract serious buyers willing to travel great distances. Serious dealers, serious buyers — the formula for success. Shows that rely only on local clients often struggle as there aren’t enough good clients to go around.

The Chicago Merchandise Mart show was postponed from this month to the fall.

The antiques show business has suffered over the last decade as a result of the graying of the dealers and clients. There are far fewer dealers and far fewer clients than even a decade ago. Many shows have folded permanently. Unfortunately I think the pandemic will accelerate the process. I wonder if there will be any decent shows left when the crisis is finally over. And that won’t happen until not only the creation of a vaccine, but the actual inoculation of the public — a process that could take 12-18 months.

I really miss the good shows, but wishing will not make them appear. In the meantime, tune into my blog and check my website. I really will be working on listing more and more items.


I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 25 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000

A few results from Treadway Gallery’s Spring auction, May 3, 2020

A few results from Treadway Gallery’s Spring auction, May 3, 2020

I will do my best to publish every Monday.

Sorry, no new post this week. There isn’t much happening, so I can’t think of a new topic. I’ll have a new post next week.


Treadway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, held a Spring auction on May 3, 2020 with his usual assortment of art pottery, Arts & Crafts, art glass and a few lamps. There wasn’t much special in the sale, so the items sold in the range of $33 – $23,750, with most items selling well below $5,000.

Gallé Faience pottery, Treadway lot #235

That lot #235, a 9″ tall Gallé Faience pottery vase, was the top lot of the sale, was a surprise to me and I’m sure to everyone except the final two bidders. Historically Gallé pottery never had much of a following, so prices were generally soft. I do love this rare example, in the form of a flower with hand-painted fairies, but the price was an historical aberration. Two bidders were both determined to buy it, so they fought all the way to $23,750, including buyer’s premium, from a pre-sale estimate of $1,000 – $1,500. Kudos to the consignor.

Tiffany Studios 7-light lily table lamp, Treadway lot #264

The second best performing lot of the sale was #264, a Tiffany Studios 7-light lily table lamp with an original gold doré base. It sold within its estimate of $10,000 – $15,000, realizing $13,000, including buyer’s premium.

Viking Craft brooch, Treadway lot #193

There were some good bargains at the sale. For example lot #193, a 2″ sterling silver and moonstone brooch by Viking Craft sold for only $33, including buyer’s premium. I would have bought it in a heartbeat at that price, had I paid attention.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 11 May 2020 15:40:08 +0000

Daum Nancy Blackbird vases are rare and beautiful

Daum Nancy Blackbird vases are rare and beautiful

I will do my best to publish every Monday.


Daum Nancy liked to repeat decorations on different shaped vases and lamps. There are many examples including seasons and flowers. Blackbirds rate as one of the most collectible and desirable decorations. They’re quite rare, so I’m only able to acquire an example every few years. Amazingly I have three examples now for sale.

Following are three examples I’ve previously sold.

A sold Daum Nancy Blackbird pillow vase
Another sold Daum Nancy Blackbird vase
Still another sold Daum Nancy Blackbird vase

The two Daum miniature Blackbird vases pictured below are doubly rare. First the decoration is rare, and second it’s even rarer to find it on miniature vases. The vase on the left measures 3″ tall and the tumbler on the right measures 1¾” tall. The blackbirds continue around the vases. They’re great examples.

These two rare Daum Nancy Blackbird miniature vases are for sale

The Daum Nancy Blackbird vase pictured below is probably the biggest and best example that exists anywhere in the world. I’ve never seen another that comes close to it in size (28″ tall) or quality. There’s never much detail in the blackbirds on the smaller vases, but on this example, there’s a much bigger canvas, so the birds are highly detailed. It had to have been painted by one of their most talented artists. If you want the best example in the world, it’s for sale here.

The rarest and best Daum Blackbird vase (28″ tall)

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 04 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000