The dreams of thousands of toy collectors worldwide have come true since last March when Bertoia launched a semiannual series of auctions to disperse the renowned Donald Kaufman Collection. Last September when the hammer fell on the closing lot for part II of the series, the incomparable collection of American, European and Japanese toys had already taken in $7.2 million, with much more to come. The massive Kaufman toy box has not been depleted of its premier offerings of rare toys. On April 16-17, 2010, Bertoia's
will debut part III of the Donald Kaufman Collection, which will include the first offerings of classic American character toys from this prestigious collection. "The selection will astound collectors something like this won't happen again in our lifetime," said Rich Bertoia, who catalogued the majority of the auction..
Two-Day Auction of Rare Comic Character and Automobile Toys
"If you liked parts I and II, you'll love part III," said Rich. "It's absolutely the same high level of quality. Plus there's the added attraction of part I of Don's wonderful comic character toys. The only difference collectors will note this time around is that, sadly, Don will not be with us." Donald Kaufman passed away on Oct. 12, 2009, knowing his toys were in the best of hands at Bertoia's, and delighted that so many had already gone to fellow collectors in dozens of countries.
The April 16 -17 auction will take place, at Bertoia Auctions' gallery in Vineland, N.J., and will feature a diverse mix of classic cast-iron, pressed-steel, comic, TV and Film character toys in superior condition. Disney's Mickey Mouse, Donald and Goofy along with cinema classics like Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd will be on the auction block along with early TV character favorites such as Howdy Doody and cartoon classics like Felix the Cat. "There was only one way that Don liked his toys factory fresh, or very close to it," said Rich.
Friday's session will open with approximately 100 European automobiles, trucks, busses and other unusual pieces, followed by the roll-out of the first offering of Don's comic character toys, most of which are boxed in original packaging.
Friday's Offerings of Rare Comic Character Toys
The array of comic character toys offered includes Marx walking figures, all of the figural musician and jigger toys, a scarce Goofy the Gardener made at the Marx plant in Dudley, England; and a Howdy Doody store display with tin background, piano and characters, which Bertoia's experts have never seen before.
Other obscure comic character gems include a Hi-Way Henry, made by Fisher and distributed by Borgfeldt that includes its original box. "No one we know of has seen this box before," Rich noted. A similarly styled lithographed-tin car that is as rare as a dodo bird and possibly a prototype is the "Weekend Automobile." Yet another rarity is the oversize Toonerville Trolley with Fontaine Fox 1922 copyright, but made in Japan. Also on Friday, Bertoia's will sell 20 of Don Kaufman's pedal cars, including three with a comic-character theme.