DOWNINGTOWN, PA.- Pook & Pook
, in association with Noel Barrett Antiques and Auctions
, will conduct their first joint toy auction on December 2-3, 2016. The sale will be held at Pook & Pooks gallery in suburban Philadelphia, with phone, absentee and Internet live bidding available on both days.
The Friday session, which starts at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, includes an array of Schoenhut wood toys, dolls, china dish sets, dollhouses, and beautifully outfitted antique European shops. The bulk of the sale will be offered during the Saturday session, starting at 10 a.m. The widely varied selection includes trains, high-quality mechanical and still banks; automotive toys, European and American clockwork toys; vintage advertising, carousel art; Swiss Bucherer figures, motion picture theater memorabilia, and a few special surprises.
One of the top highlights of the sale is a hand-painted Marklin Central Bahnhof train station #2651. This handsome station has etched and stained-glass windows and a ticket window with queue rail on one side, while the other side features outdoor seating and a café table with composition figures under an arched canopy. The buildings candlelit interior is nicely outfitted with a table, chairs and benches. Boasting the impeccable detail and fine touches for which Marklin is so well known, the station is expected to reach $15,000-$18,000 on auction day.
For the many aficionados of American-made Lionel trains, the auction offers a desirable Blue Comet standard gauge passenger train set with correct, individually numbered boxes. The ensemble includes a No. 400E electric steam profile 2-2-2 engine, No. 400W oil tender, No. 421 Westphal car, No. 420 Faye cars, and No. 422 Tempel observation car. Measuring 19 inches long, the train could command a winning bid of $6,000-$9,000.
An elaborate, craftsman-made model of a circa-1900 horse-drawn fire pumper is live-steam-powered and extremely well detailed. The 30-inch-long firefighting toy has two supply hoses with proper threading, various nozzles, and steel-rimmed wood wheels with turned spokes. There are two steam gauges on the boiler, with an eagle mascot finial and a makers plate that reads F.W. Balcom 1955. This fine representation of an early pumper is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.
From time to time during his 20-year tenure as an expert appraiser on PBS Televisions Antiques Roadshow, Noel Barrett has provided fascinating information on antique miniature shops and room boxes. The Dec. 2-3 auction includes a prized example: an English butcher shop diorama window display. Made in the mid-19th century of painted wood, the shop is generously accessorized with 75 various cuts of meat overseen by two sturdy butchers and a delivery boy. The façade has glazed windows, potted plants and a lion-and-unicorn crest. An exceptional representation of a Victorian-era butcher shop, it is catalogued with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.
Made by Cincinnati Stove Works around 1903, an exceptional cast-iron advertising plaque depicts a woman riding sidesaddle on a horse galloping in full stride. Visually striking and in superior condition, the piece measures 41½ inches wide and 27¾ inches high. It is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
Continuing in an equine theme, a rare 21-inch-high by 26-inch-long hand-painted Schoenhut Pony Blitz riding horse has dapple markings, glass eyes and a horsehair mane and tail. A charming example that is one of many dozens of Schoenhut animals, roly polys, circus wagons and figures in the sale, it could trot off to a new owner for $3,000-$6,000.
A whole host of mechanical banks includes such collector favorites as Punch & Judy, William Tell, Milking Cow, Trick Pony, Darktown Battery, Magic Bank, Owl Turning Head, and many more. Additionally, the auction features dozens of early Disney soft toys, including a wide variety of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dolls; and scores of figural advertising signs, store displays and carousel pieces.
The auction will be a landmark occasion for both Pook & Pook and Noel Barrett. While Pook & Pook has held several successful toy auctions in the past, including the $2 million sale of contents from Merritts Museum of Childhood, toys have traditionally been a subcategory of the companys decorative arts specialty. Pook & Pook co-owner Ron Pook had been hoping to expand the companys scope to include more auctions of toys and related material, so earlier this year he turned to Noel Barrett, whose decades of experience and reputation in the toy world are largely unmatched. Barrett was immediately open to the idea of joining forces with Pook & Pook. He felt his smaller auction house could benefit from Pook & Pooks infrastructure and strong online and media presences. Pook and Barretts long friendship and mutual respect formed the ideal foundation for their new association, which comes to fruition with their inaugural toy auction, Dec. 2-3.