Cast-iron favourites on sale from Bertoia

28 April 2020
Spring sale to be jam-packed with tinplate, trains and comics

Bertoia’s May 7-8 sale in the US promises to be jam-packed with collectables and will feature automotive, comic character, European tin and early American toys, as well as trains and trolleys; there will also be that US favourite, model banks, as well as somewhat unseasonable Christmas antiques.

A substantial grouping of top quality mechanical banks will be led by the first part of the Robert Weiss collection. Among the Weiss collection’s most notable examples are an extremely rare Kilgore Turtle mechanical bank (one of approximately nine known); a circa 1880 Kyser & Rex chiming Merry-Go-Round and a circa 1878 J&E Stevens Patronise the Blind Man bank. Another featured mechanical bank collection contains such coveted rarities as a circa 1880 Red Riding Hood, an 1886 J&E Stevens Bread Winners bank and an ultra-rare 1878 Rival bank that was formerly part of the Perelman Antique Toy Museum’s collection.

Cast iron collectables will include desktop accessories, match safes, string-holders and doorstops, all of which will be headed up by a “Princeton” Football Player and an extremely scarce Littco Halloween Girl. Many of these pieces come from the Dimitri Ilyinsky collection, a collector who was very focussed on quality and condition. His prized collection includes aircraft, motorcycles, a salesman’s sample of Vindex autos, an old store stock boxed Buick Coupe and a deluxe Arcade Andy Gump car. Amongst the other items in the cast-iron category are horse-drawn transportation vehicles, a premium-grade Hubley Santa Claus reindeer sleigh and an extremely rare factory-painted example of a Shimer Manufacturing Fire Patrol Wagon. A star attraction of the sale is the European tin toy collection of Atlantique City promoter, the late Norman Schaut. Amongst the delights are an all-original, live steam Bing Spyder, a Marklin live steam ocean liner ‘Amerika’ and several paddle wheelers, of which three were made by Rock & Graner and two by Bing.

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Much Marklin railway tinplate is expected to pass under the hammer and there will be some Ernst Plank examples also. Disney fans might like to look out for a boxed Lionel Mickey Mouse Circus Train set with tent, all accessories and unpunched original cardboard parts. Dozens of Lehmann and French Martin wind-ups (many boxed), and an array of approximately 25 automata and related toys in a range of sizes, shapes and themes will also be auctioned over the two days.