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Turner Auctions + Appraisals to offer the Anita & Sedwick Hellman collection of toys
Lehmann "Tut-Tut" Automobile. Tin Lithograph; Clockwork Powered; Complete with Driver; Excellent Condition, 7"L. Estimate: $600 - $900.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the Anita & Sedwick Hellman Toy Collection. Offering over 245 lots amassed from coast to coast over 50 years, the collection includes toy cars, trains, guns, airplanes, tin toys, dolls and more. Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, November 12, at 11:30 am PDT; sale items can be previewed online now until the sale starts. The online auction will be featured live on LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable, easily accessed through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at the company’s website.

Residents of Mamaroneck, New York, Anita and Sedwick Hellman were avid toy collectors for five decades. Sedwick was a funeral director in a multi-generation family business. His wife Anita, a flamboyant beauty with striking red hair, was an elementary schoolteacher for 28 years at the Osborn School in Rye, a top public school in New York. During summer vacations, the Hellmans made collecting a fun family affair, taking their son Jaime, now a TV producer in New York, on crosscountry collecting trips from New York to California and Maine to Louisiana for a month or two at a time. During their forays in the mid1960s to early-1970s, the family traveled in their ‘home away from home’ – first a small International Harvester school bus, converted with beds and a kitchen; then in one of the first commercially built motor homes.

At other times, the Hellmans regularly frequented East Coast antique shows and dealers, flea markets, and church and garage sales to expand their collection, traveling beyond New York to Vermont, Pennsylvania and other parts of New England. Anita was partial to dolls and collected hundreds over the years. Her husband enjoyed toys of all kinds. Both were on the hunt for great buys – looking for toys of value, in good shape, and ones that caught their fancy.

Over the decades, Jaime Hellman estimates their collection numbered from 2,000 to 3,000 items – creating one of the largest collections on the East Coast. Moreover, according to a magazine feature in “Of Westchester” from about 1975, it was considered to be “one of outstanding toy collections in [that] part of the country.” While the pursuit itself was paramount, learning about toys was important too, and the couple did painstaking research on their acquisitions and the subject overall. Their hope was to someday have a toy museum and share the pleasures of their collecting efforts with others.

In addition to teaching, on the weekends, Anita ran Hellman & Hellman Antiques in Larchmont, New York, for 15 years. In the 1980s, after her husband passed away, Anita moved first to Santa Monica, then to Santa Barbara, where she continued collecting toys, showcasing them in her home. While her passion for toys continued through the years, she also collected costume jewelry, Asian-influenced antiques, ABC plates, hats, American paintings and antique furniture.

Reflecting on his parents’ toy collecting, which was such a memorable part of his childhood, Jaime Hellman has some thoughts. Both his parents were Depression-era kids and not likely to have had many toys growing up. Perhaps their collection was a way to make up for what they missed as children. But their quest created many adult pleasures as well: 50 years of an enjoyable and passionate hunt, frequent travel all over the country, acquiring the “cream of the crop,” and ultimately amassing a collection that was “as eclectic as they were,” says their son.

Mrs. Hellman passed away in late 2015. Jaime, not a collector himself, is fearful his parents’ beloved toys would end up unseen and unappreciated in storage boxes. So he is now passing them along to others. “It’s time,” he says. “They’re ready to move on the next phase in their little toy lives, and find other mothers and fathers who will take care of them.”

Here are some highlights of the Anita & Sedwick Hellman Collection (see details in the online catalog):

LOT 8: Toonerville Trolley. Fontaine Fox, 1932; Lithographed Tin, Pressed Tin Wheels, Hard to Find R.R. Track Wheeled Version; Needs Cleaning; Very Good/Excellent Condition, 5"L. Estimate: $400 - 500.

LOT 187: Overland Circus Wagon. Kenton ; All Original Painted Cast Iron Horse Drawn Cage Wagon with Driver and Bear, Missing (2) Horsemen; Very Good Condition, 13 1/2"L. Estimate: $400 - 600.

LOT 60: "Echo" Clockwork Motorcycle. Lehmann, Tin Lithograph Construction of Cycle and Rider, All Original; Excellent Condition, 9"L. Estimate: $1,500 - 2,500.

LOT 59: Junkers "Bremen" Aircraft. Hubley, Painted Cast Iron Ribbed Fuselage, Nickel Propeller and Wheels, Seated Pilot; All Original; Excellent Condition, 7 1/4"L. Estimate: $1,000 - 1,500.

LOT 45: Mixed Lot of Early Cap Shooters. Stevens, Ives and Other Unknown Brands; Total of (9) Guns from the 1870's-1890's including "Plunk", "Big Chief"; Others are Extensively Embossed to simulate Engravings; (3) are very Basic and Small, Another Appears as Scroll Work with Solid Barrel and Is Very Difficult to Find; Most Pieces are Cast Iron with Natural Patina; Fair to Excellent Condition, 3 3/6" - 4 1/2"L. Estimate: $700 – 900.

Lot 134: Lehmann "Tut-Tut" Automobile. Tin Lithograph; Clockwork Powered; Complete with Driver; Excellent Condition, 7"L. Estimate: $600 - $900.

LOT 206: Double Stack Ocean Liner. Arnold, Germany; Painted Tin, Missing Mast and AFT flag; Clockwork Powered; Very Good Condition, 12 1/2"L. Estimate: $900 - $1,200.

LOT 213: Buddy L Hangar with Mono Coupe Airplane. Automated Hangar with Catapult Mechanism and Aircraft; Painted Pressed Steel, Good Decals on Plane and Hangar; Very Good Condition. Estimate: $150 - $250.

LOT 147: Steam Engine Without Tender. Converse; Wood/Metal with lithograph Paper Label Graphics, Missing (1) Pilot Truck Wheel; Very Good Condition, 13"L. Estimate: $250 - 350.

LOT 162: Lot 162: Mack Contractor Truck. Rare Dent; Painted Cast Iron with (3) Pressed Steel Hoppers, Nickel Tires; Very Good Condition, 10 1/2"L. Estimate: $800 - 1,200.

LOT 4: Marx Smitty Scooter. Famous Artist Syndicate; Tin Lithograph, Orange/Black/Red; As New Condition, 8"H x 6 1/2"L. Estimate: $800 - 1,200.

LOT 24: Three Clowns Sitting on a Bench. European origin; Bisque Faces, Original Fabric Clothing, Decorated Wood Base/Box; Articulated Motion; Very Good Condition, 12"L x 12"H x 7"W. Estimate: $1,500 - 2,500.





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