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Up for bid at Hake's: Super-rare Disney toys from estate of author/illustrator Maurice Sendak
Wilhelm Krauss (Germany) Mickey Mouse Double Slate Dancers, tin, one of two known. Provenance: Maurice Sendak collection. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000. Image courtesy of Hake’s .

YORK, PA.- They shared the same birth year, became lifelong friends and lived happily ever after – that was the story of celebrated Where The Wild Things Are author/illustrator Maurice Sendak and cartoon icon Mickey Mouse. Both made their “debuts” in 1928. And almost as though they shared the same DNA, Sendak and his comical kindred spirit went on to entertain multiple generations of children.

In a book that accompanied the 2005 Jewish Museum of New York art exhibition titled Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak, the author is quoted as saying that Mickey Mouse was “a source of joy and pleasure while growing up.”

In later years, Sendak would create an inspiring work and leisure environment for himself that was filled with early Disney toys. Many of his most treasured pieces were acquired over a 40-year period from Hake’s auctions and through private purchases organized by the company’s founder, Ted Hake. An intuitive buyer, Sendak followed the golden rule of collecting: buy what you like – and Sendak liked Mickey Mouse toys.

Because of the long personal friendship and bond of trust that developed between Sendak and Hake, the author’s estate entrusted Hake’s with auctioning his prized toy collection. So far, two successive Hake’s auctions have featured Disney rarities with Sendak provenance. The third will take place July 15-17, and it includes two of the most elusive and desirable Mickey Mouse toys ever made.

Lot 1737, a 9-inch wind-up of a five-fingered Mickey, was made for the British market around 1930 by the German manufacturer Saalheimer & Strauss. When its built-in key is wound, the toy waddles side to side and the character’s mouth widens to flash a toothy smile. One of very few known examples, its auction estimate is $20,000-$35,000.

A similar price is expected for Lot 1738, a Mickey Mouse Double Slate Dancers crank toy made by Wilhelm Krauss. The German-made toy depicts a pair of smiling five-fingered Mickeys with loosely riveted arms and legs that render the illusion of dancing when the toy is activated.

“Only two Double Slate Dancers are known to exist, and this marks the first time in our 47 years that Hake’s has ever been able to offer this fabulous toy in one of our auctions,” said Ted Hake.

Hake’s Auction #212 is now open for bidding by phone, mail or online at, where the fully illustrated catalog can be viewed. To request a free printed catalog or for information on any item in the sale, call toll-free: (866) 404-9800 or (717) 434-1600. Email:

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