SAN FRANCISCO, CA.-
Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present The Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys on November 12, 2017. Assembled over 50+ years, the remarkable collection includes many rare and unusual items from U.S. and international makers, both antique and modern. Many items are in excellent to like-new condition. Offering over 175 lots, the online sale features makers such as Lionel, American Flyer, Dorfan, Ives, C&F, Elektoy, Converse, Kusan, Williams, Sunset 3rd Rail, MTH, Varney Sirus, Atlas, Rich-Art, Pride Lines, McCoy, Creswell, Cohen, Buddy-L, JAD, Kingsbury, Marklin, Bing, Edobaud, Paya, Lima, Buco, and Japanese brass. Train accessories, toys and numerous reference books round out the sale.
Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Sunday, November 12 at 10:30 am PST; sale items can be previewed and bid on now. The online auction is featured live on four platforms: LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, eBay, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions"). All are easily accessed through Upcoming Auctions at the companys website
Craig Miller spent his childhood in New York, where he, like many young boys, enjoyed toy trains. When he was 12, his father moved the family to Saudi Arabia for a job at ARAMCO. Although his train set went with him overseas and was displayed in his bedroom, Mr. Miller temporarily lost interest in trains as he attended high school in Beirut, Lebanon; then university in upstate New York and Utah, where he met his future wife, Dusty.
The young couple settled in Washington, D.C., and Mr. Miller began a 27-year-long career with the Department of Transportation, working in highway safety. It was there in Washington that he rediscovered his interest in toy trains, a passion that has grown steadily over the years. After finding a toy train in an antique shop in Arlington, Virginia, he began to attend numerous train meets on the east coast, including the semi-annual events in York, Pennsylvania, of the Train Collectors Association, where he has been a member since 1971. As his collection grew, Mr. Miller purchased many trains at train meets, at antique stores in the early days, and on eBay more recently.
In 1977, Mr. Miller transferred to the Department of Transportations regional office in San Francisco, California, retiring in 1994 to Santa Cruz. His enthusiasm for trains continued, frequently shared by the Over The Hill Gang, Bay Area toy train enthusiasts who met weekly for 15 years.
Mr. Millers collection of toy trains and accessories is diverse and eclectic anything railroad, says Mrs. Miller of her husbands interests. His assemblage features examples from around the world, ranging from tiny Z-gauge trains by Marklin to huge Buddy-L trains that are large enough to ride. Nevertheless, a focus has been on popular O-gauge and standard gauge trains, and passenger cars in particular.
This auction alone offers lots from 31 different manufacturers: among them are pre-World War 1 makers like Elektoy and Carlisle & Finch; rare lots as from Doggenweiler of Santiago, Chile; and more recent reproductions of now-defunct train manufacturers. Although Mr. Miller has greatly enjoyed collecting and still does he decided recently it was time to move some of his acquisitions on to others, who hopefully will enjoy them as much as he has over the past five decades.
Here are some highlights of The Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys:
Lot 58: Marklin #1 Gauge Crocodile Locomotive with Display Stand. Marklin #1 Gauge #5757 Crocodile type locomotive in brown, with plastic body parts and with its original display stand, box, and box insert. This engine was produced to celebrate Marklin's 125th anniversary in 1984 as noted on the display stand, C7. Estimate: $800-1,500.
Lot 53: Bing #1 Gauge Steam Locomotive with 3 Passenger Cars. Bing #1 gauge original lithographed 4-4-0 locomotive and tender with 3 passenger cars. Locomotive is electric drive. Items in set all appear complete. Locomotive and tender are C6, cars are C7. Estimate: $1,200-2,000.
Lot 94: Scarce Elektoy 2" Gauge Steam Loco and Passenger Set. Elektoy 2" gauge steam locomotive, tender, combine, and coach. Locomotive has "Elektoy" factory embossed on each locomotive steam chest. Locomotive and tender are C6, coach is C5-C6, combine is C4-C5. Estimate: $1,400-2,000.
Lot 126: Prewar Brass 50mm Gauge Japanese Locomotive. Japanese brass very limited-production locomotive from the early 1940's. Gauge is 50mm and the locomotive is approximately #1 gauge in size and proportion. Locomotive bears small round brass builder plates which say "S.M. Science & Model Osaka." Pantographs can be raised. Model is heavy and all brass/bronze construction and configured for 3-rail running, C7. Estimate: $600-900.
Lot 86: Edobaud Prewar French 0 Gauge Freight Set. Scarce French made prewar Edobaud O gauge freight set for 3-rail operation comprising 4-6-4 loco plus five cars. Shell oil car is C5, barrel car is C5-C6, rest of set is overall C6-C7. Note that oak barrels on barrel car show indications of wood worm. Estimate: $900-1,800.
Lot 13: Ives Standard Gauge 3236 Locomotive with 7 Freights. Lot of Ives standard gauge comprising 3236 transition style locomotive with lumber car, coke car, tank car, box car, hopper car, cattle car, and caboose. Set overall is C5-C6. Estimate: $600-800.
Lot 172: Buddy-L Cement Mixer. Buddy-L Concrete Mixer, professionally restored, C7-C8. Estimate: $300-500.
Lot 148: Dorfan Standard Gauge Lithographed Freight Cars. Five car set of Dorfan standard gauge lithographed freight cars. Unusual to find a set of the five different cars. Cars are overall C5-C6. Estimate: $700-1,000.
Lot 120: Lionel Southern Pacific AC-9 Steam Locomotive, O Gauge. Large Lionel #6-38031 O gauge Southern Pacific AC-9 articulated steam locomotive. Engine has Odyssey technology with Trainmaster command/control and TrainSounds. Locomotive has had light track time. Original box has inserts. Locomotive is C8. Estimate: $600-800.
Lot 95: Carlisle & Finch 2" Steam Locomotive and Freight Set. Scarce Carlisle & Finch 2" gauge steam freight set comprises steam locomotive, tender, boxcar, gondola, and caboose. Original condition throughout. Set overall is C5-C6. Estimate: $2,000-3,000.
Lot 171: Buddy-L Express Line Pressed Steel Truck. Large 25" pressed steel Buddy-L Express Line truck, restored, C7. Estimate: $250-450.
Lot 139: Doggenweiler 2" Gauge Train Set from Chile. Very rare Doggenweiler electric train set manufactured in Chile. Set operates on special Doggenweiler 3-rail, 2" gauge track. Set comprises locomotive, baggage car, coach, 16 pieces of Doggenweiler curve track including power terminal, four straights, one bumper. Locomotive has had some repairs, set is overall C6. Estimate: $600-1,200.