Bertoia’s April 8-9 toy, bank & train auction to debut hybrid model

Bertoia toy auction

Large and beautiful Marklin horse-drawn fire pumper, vertical brass boiler with nickel-plated fittings and valves, fastidious hand-painting and pinstriping, 29in long. Provenance: Bill Bertoia collection. Estimate $25,000-$45,000

VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia Auctions will introduce an exciting new hybrid model for this year’s Annual Spring Auction, combining an April 8 opening session of high-end toys and trains with an April 9 session devoted to more-affordable items in the style of Bertoia’s popular Basics sales.

Bidders will be able to choose from more than 900 lots of outstanding mechanical banks, boxed tin toys, American trains, Marklin and other European boats and trains; holiday collectibles and more. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

Bertoia toy auction

J&E Stevens Horse Race cast-iron mechanical bank. All original. Excellent condition. Estimate $2,000-$3,000

Cast-iron mechanical bank collectors will find excellent buying opportunities in this sale, including a J&E Stevens Girl Skipping Rope, one of few known that are clockwork activated. When tested, it performed 13 skips. The pre-sale estimate is $15,000-$25,000. A Jonah and the Whale bank that re-enacts the Old Testament Bible story of a man who spends three days and three nights inside the belly of a huge “fish” before being expelled is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. A J&E Stevens Horse Race bank (shown above) in excellent, all-original condition is expected to make $2,000-$3,000.

Bertoia toy auction

Althof Bergmann Tally-Ho. Book example from ‘The World of Antique Toys’ by Jeffrey Levitt, believed to be the largest American tin toy ever produced and possibly the only known example of the toy, 25.5in long. Estimate $15,000-$25,000

The auction lineup includes a fine selection of American horse-drawn toys. Certainly one of the most beautiful is an Althof Bergmann Tally-Ho. The actual book example depicted in Jeffrey Levitt’s The World of Antique Toys, this elegant, 25½-inch horse-drawn coach is believed to be the largest American tin toy ever produced. It is also possibly the only surviving example of its type. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000

Bertoia toy auction

Salesman’s sample Seagrave FDNY hook & ladder truck, 1” to 1ft scale, 56 inches long, built in 1902 for Fire Chief Edward Croker. Family provenance. Estimate $7,000-$10,000

An intriguing salesman’s sample of a Seagrave FDNY hook-and-ladder truck measures 56 inches long and was built in 1in to 1ft scale. The model was created in 1902 for Fire Chief Edward Croker and was exhibited in the New York Fire Department Museum until the late 1950s. It was restored in 1963 and in the 1970s was returned to the Croker family. It comes to auction with a $7,000-$10,000 estimate.

Bertoia toy auction

Marklin ‘HMS Gladiator’ clockwork battleship, 25in long, in production from 1902-1907. Wonderful proportions with exaggerated superstructure and cannons, details faithful to the real-life battleship of its day. Estimate $30,000-$50,000

European tin toys will be offered on each of the two days, as well. A 25-inch-long Marklin HMS Gladiator clockwork battleship is a strong contender for top-lot honors. The toy was produced between 1902 and 1907, and is wonderful proportioned, with an exaggerated superstructure and cannons, and details faithful to the real-life battleship of its day. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000

Another exquisite Marklin production is the large horse-drawn fire pumper (shown at top of page) formerly in the collection of Bertoia Auctions co-founder, the late Bill Bertoia. Measuring 29 inches long, it has a vertical brass boiler with nickel-plated fittings and valves, and boasts fastidious hand-painting and pinstriping. Its catalog estimate is $25,000-$45,000.

Bertoia toy auction

Ives Treasure Chest display, oval track with many accessories for O-gauge, including station, tunnel, telegraph poles, large American flag and more. Appeared in Ives catalog in 1930 only. Estimate $7,000-$10,000

American and European trains will be well represented on both days, with highlight categories including Marklin and early American 2-inch-gauge trains. An example of the latter is a boxed Carlisle & Finch No. 34 electric locomotive measuring 16 inches long. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. An Ives Treasure Chest display (shown above) consists of an oval track with many O-gauge accessories, including a station, tunnel, telegraph poles, a large American flag and more. This set was depicted in the manufacturer’s catalog in 1930 only. Estimate $7,000-$10,000

Bertoia toy auction

Boxed 17in Domo Maserati race car complete and accompanied by carrying case, remote control, obstacle course components and ephemera. Italian, mid 20th century. Estimate $5,000-$7,000

More than 100 pressed-steel trucks will be revved up and ready to cross the auction block. Highlights include near-mint and boxed examples by Tonka and Smith-Miller as well as desirable Buddy ‘L,’ SturdiToy and Keystone productions. Another automotive highlight is a boxed 17-inch-long Domo Maserati race car, complete with carrying case, remote control, obstacle course components and ephemera. An Italian toy from the mid-20th century, its pre-sale estimate is $5,000-$7,000.

Bertoia toy auction

Easter lichen-moss automobile, 11in long with well-dressed bunny chauffeur and pretty duck passenger, both made of composition and dressed in cloth attire. Estimate $2,000-$3,000

A small grouping of choice Easter and Halloween-theme candy containers and decorations will be sold in the opening session, as will an expansive array of colorful Christmas items. Amongst the top holiday lots are an Easter lichen-moss automobile with bunny chauffeur and duck passenger, $2,000-$3,000; and a well-sculpted 24-inch terracotta Santa Claus figure in a hooded, ankle-length robe, $12,000-$18,000. The April 9 session also includes a large grouping of European dolls, Steiff and other bears; felt character dolls, and automata.

Bertoia toy auction

Outstanding, well-sculpted terracotta Santa Claus figure in hooded, ankle-length robe, 24in high. Estimate $12,000-$18,000

Bertoia Auctions’ president, Michael Bertoia, describes the sale as “widely varied, with a selection whose categories range from Dresden Christmas ornaments and Santa nodders to penny toys and figural cast-iron doorstops.” With its newly implemented hybrid style inviting bidder participation at several price levels, the Bertoia family predicts there will be hundreds of delighted winning bidders, including some who may be new to the joys of antique toy-collecting. “Since the pandemic began, many people have felt the need for something new and different to inspire them,” Michael said. “Toys are uplifting, they draw you into a new circle of likeminded friends, and many say they are excellent investments. Watching an auction is fun and free, so we hope that those who are curious about antique toys or trains will join us in person or online during our April 8 and 9 sale.”

Bertoia toy auction

Boxed Schoenhut Freihofer’s Fine Bread wagon, complete and appears to be all original, including case of bread. Estimate $2,500-$4,500

Bertoia’s Thursday/Friday April 8-9, 2021 Annual Spring Auction will start at 10 a.m. each day. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item in the sale, call 856-692-1881. Visit Bertoia’s website for updates and additional information. Online: www.bertoiaauctions.com