Bertoia gears up for popular annual auction

05 October 2016
171-lot-bertoia-auctions-image-november-2016-66780.jpg Bertoia 2
Bertoia gears up for popular annual auction
Bertoia gears up for popular annual auction Images

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 sale. That will be the case on 11-13 November when Bertoia’s presents its popular Annual Fall Auction, featuring selections from many 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 there are lots containing European and American trains, European cars, boats and airplanes; European clockwork toys (including Lehmanns and Martins) and comic character toys.

The event is highlighted by Part I of Tony Lasala’s superb collection of cast-iron automotive vehicles. An astute collector for many years, Lasala was able to acquire 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 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 11 November session. Two highlights 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.

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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 a boxed, near-mint black Chrysler Imperial, expected to reach $10,000-$14,000; a Modern Toy Laboratory motorcycle, estimated at $5,000-$7,500; and a boxed Yonezawa Champion Racer, worth $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  a circa-1929 Rheingold 30-inch paddleboat, expected to make $35,000-$45,000; a circa-1910 New York battleship, worth between $20,000-$30,000; and a display piece replicating the Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen that was made by the revered German toy manufacturer under commission for a travel agency, which is valued at $10,000-$14,000.

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.

Bertoia’s Annual Fall Auction will be held on 11-13 November and further information is available online at