Marklin dominates at Bertoia

06 December 2016
marklin-67920.jpg Circa 1920-30 Marklin ‘Amerika’ Series II steam-powered liner, retained for generations by original owner’s family, exquisitely detailed, fresh to the market and top lot of the sale, $59,000
High prices paid for a host of Marklin models

Bertoia’s Annual Fall 2016 Auction had been publicised as one of the company’s most diverse to date, and over the long weekend of 11-13 November, that promise was fulfilled. Bidders paid above-estimate prices for rare toys from dozens of popular categories, pushing the total to $1.9 million!

The glossy, full-color auction catalog was the thickness of a good-sized city’s telephone book, a testament to the huge variety of toys, banks and holiday antiques Bertoia’s had carefully selected for the 2,194-lot sale.

There were buyers for everything, from penny toys to steam plants, but it was premium-quality Marklin boats that sailed to the top of prices realized. A handsome Series II steam-powered Amerika liner was consigned by the grandchildren of the original owner, who received the boat as a child in the 1920s. In spectacular, all-original condition, it commanded a winning bid of $59,000. Cruising to $35,400, a 30-inch, circa-1929 Marklin Rheingold paddleboat easily achieved its pre-sale estimate, as did the circa-1910 New York battleship that earned $23,600.

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Ships were not the only Marklin toys to grab the auction spotlight. European trains and accessories from the Warren Heid collection had the full attention of railway enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic. A beautifully hand-enameled, fully accessorised Marklin Central Station in superior condition roared past its $15,000-$20,000 estimate to settle at $32,450. Other Marklin train highlights included a gauge 1 steeple cab, $5,900; an O gauge baggage car, $4,720; and an elaborately detailed O gauge suspension bridge with arch towers, $10,620.