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Stephenson's Nov. 27 auction welcomes holiday season with bountiful array of dolls, toys and trains
Coin-operated ‘Kicker and Catcher’ skill game by Baker Novelty Co. All images courtesy of Stephenson’s Auctioneers.

SOUTHAMPTON, PA.- The day after Thanksgiving is typically associated with leftovers, but the goods will be fresh and varied in Stephenson’s Friday, Nov. 27 auction of dolls, toys and trains. The first 300 lots are cataloged for gallery, phone, absentee and Internet live bidding. That grouping will be followed by 200 “discovery” lots available only to those who are physically present for the sale.

Several different collections in the Pa./N.J./Delaware region were the source for the selection of antique, vintage and contemporary dolls. There are bisque, china-head composition, papier-mache, cloth and hard plastic examples, as well as a few celluloid dolls. The majority are French, German and American made, with a few interesting Japanese dolls as well.

The top doll lot is Lot 171, a Lambert automaton depicting a young lady standing beside a lace and rosette-trimmed, mirrored vanity. The bisque-head doll holds a powder puff in her right hand, which moves up and down as though she is applying powder to her face. Her head and other arm also move. According to Stephenson’s owner, Cindy Stephenson, the automaton “needs some cleaning and a little TLC, but its inner workings operate perfectly.” It is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

A second, later automaton of unknown manufacture, Lot 172, features a magician standing atop a stained-glass-decorated table surmounted by a glass sided cube on which illusions are performed. When activated, there are many movements. The magician’s head and necktie move, his eyebrows wiggle, and after waving his wand, he lifts a blanket to reveal a small bird. The blanket is placed over the bird again and, with a second wave of the magic wand, the blanket is raised and the bird is gone. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.

There will be an abundance of French dolls from which to choose. Highlights include a bisque-head poupee with kid body impressed “F.G.” on one shoulder, $200-$300; and an impressive list of Armand Marseille dolls, including Nos. 370, 351, 323 (googly-eyed with bisque head), 3200 Marotte, 341, 351 (black with bisque head), and multiple examples of a No. 390.

Several SFBJ bisque-head dolls appear in the sale, including a No. 60 walker estimated at $300-$600; a “Eunice” in its display box, $300-$500; and an unnumbered production, $100-$200.

Interest is expected for a German Simon & Halbig 1079 doll and others that were made collaboratively by Heinrich Handwerke (designers) and Simon & Halbig (manufacturers). All are conservatively estimated. An Aich, Menzel & Co. (Austria) bisque-head doll with composition body is expected to make $200-$300.

Stephenson’s is well prepared for collectors of the ever-popular American-made Vogue Ginny dolls. Lot 151 is a 1952 Ginny with its original trousseau trunk and additional outfits and accessories, including roller skates, shoes, hair curlers in a carry case and more. Estimate: $200-$300. An unusual American entry is the Ralph A. Freundlich 15-inch jointed composition doll depicting a uniformed WAAC (Womens Army Auxiliary Corps), estimated at $50-$100.

Madame Alexanders include two 19½-inch Cissy dolls and several 9-inch Cissettes. All are different. Additionally, there are two topsy-turvy dolls, a 27-inch Grenier papier-mache doll ($300-$500), a Martha Chase sailor boy ($120-$200), and three cloth dolls by Ilse Ludecke. Three Lenci (Italian) dolls will be offered, with an especially nice, 1940s boxed example measuring 17½ inches tall. Its estimate is $1,000-$1,500.

Cast-iron mechanical, still and safe banks are led by a Shepard Hardware Trick Pony and a puzzle safe with figures of animals serving as combination indicators on the lock. Another cast-iron highlight is an imposing Hubley boxer dog doorstop, $300-$400 – one of three canine-themed doorstops in the sale.

A circa 1930 Baker Novelty Co. skill game known as “Kicker and Catcher” includes two helmeted players designed and painted in period football attire. “Try Your Skill – three Balls for One Cent,” the sign encourages. Stephenson’s will auction the game, which is in working order, with a $300-$500 estimate.

Other toys include Gibbs paper-over-wood horse-drawn carts, cast-iron and tin-litho cars, and a British Zone Germany Prameta key-wind Buick 405 with key. A fascinating salesman’s sample or tabletop display of a working loom was made for the Reading (Pa.) Rug Co. It could stitch up a winning bid of $100-$200.

Both pre-war and post-war trains will be sold. A Lionel pre-war 027-gauge set includes a 1689E steam locomotive and three cars, most in their individual boxes, and is estimated at $140-$300. A Marx pre-war Canadian Pacific freight train set is entered with an $80-$160 estimate.

Postwar Lionels include a 602 diesel switcher loco with its box, $100-$200; and there are three American Flyer sets. Two are passenger sets and the third is a freight set that includes a 565 steam locomotive/tender.

Stephenson’s Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction will commence at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Bidders also may participate by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, eBay Auctions or AuctionZip.

The pre-auction inspection at Stephenson’s gallery will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 1 till 4 p.m., or on auction day from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m. The gallery is located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton, PA 18966.

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