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Porcelain Planters Mr. Peanut sign originally in the Planters store in Memphis, Tenn., Half-moon shape, 1930s-1940s vintage. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.

Choice private collections, led by Mr. Peanut, in Morphy’s March 5-7 auction

Porcelain Planters Mr. Peanut sign originally in the Planters store in Memphis, Tenn., Half-moon shape, 1930s-1940s vintage. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Porcelain Planters Mr. Peanut sign originally in the Planters store in Memphis, Tenn., Half-moon shape, 1930s-1940s vintage. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.

DENVER, Pa. – Fine toys, trains, antique advertising and the P-nuttiest collection of Planter’s memorabilia to come to auction in many years are waiting in the wings for Morphy Auctions’ 2,100-lot Spring Sale, March 5-7, 2009. An unprecedented influx of superior collections has come in over the winter months, said Morphy’s chief operating officer Dan Morphy, and because of the size of the sale inventory, each of the three days will be arranged in a logical order that caters to specialty collectors’ preferences. Additionally, the Thursday and Friday sessions will commence at 10 a.m., two hours earlier than has been customary for weekday sessions at Morphy’s.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A full day’s worth of antique advertising and general store items is slated for the opening session on Thursday, March 5. Among the highlights are a 30-year collection of early apothecary candy jars, including a 12-inch ground banjo jar; and a single-owner collection of more than 200 advertising pieces from the categories of automobilia, soda pop, tobacco, thermometers and more. In addition, bidders will be able to take their pick from a colorful array of syrup dispensers, trade signs, string holders, spool and ribbon cabinets.

A superb collection of more than 250 Coca-Cola advertising pieces encompasses signs, calendars, coolers, vibrant festoons and a very rare set of five life-size Coca-Cola cardboard “serving girls.” In near-mint-plus condition, the quintet of figural signs is expected to fetch $10,000-$15,000.

One of America’s most enduring advertising symbols, Planters’ Mr. Peanut, will strut across the podium as part 1 of the renowned Van Benedick collection is auctioned. Benedick is a noted historian on the subject of the Planters company and its top-hatted, monocled mascot. Among the top pieces in the 80-lot Benedick selection are a 6½-foot-tall 1930s Mr. Peanut sign that came from a wall at Planters’ Nashville production facility, estimate $15,000-$25,000; and a Canadian papier-mâché statue of Mr. Peanut that stands 20 inches tall, estimate $5,000-$7,500. A highly desirable lithographed, diecut-tin Mr. Peanut wrap-around jar display is also estimated at $5,000-$7,500.

Friday, March 6, 2009

In following Morphy’s tradition, the Friday session will open with antique and vintage marbles. Within the 80 lots to be offered is a 1½-inch-diameter clown onionskin marble with suspended mica, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Many other handmade marbles will be available, as well as a large selection of machine-made marbles that came from a 60-year collection. “The consignor is a gentleman in his 80s who personally brought the collection in to us,” said Dan Morphy.

Next on the Friday docket is a collection of more than 80 Victorian figural silverplate napkin rings. Highlights include a Rip Van Winkle estimated at $2,000-$3,000 and a tall giraffe under a palm tree that carries a $1,500-$2,200 estimate.

The Friday session concludes with vintage baseball cards and nodders, a portion of the Carl Lobel character toy collection, and more than 100 pressed-steel vehicles. Rare entries by the premier brand Buddy ‘L’ include an outdoor roundhouse, a set of aerial tower tramways, a hoisting tower with coal chute, and a beautiful example of an original outdoor railroad engine and tender. Other notable pressed-steel entries include Keystone airplanes and customized mascot cars, topped by a 24-inch-long American National car that is approximately one-fifth the size of a pedal car.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Much of the Saturday session is devoted to trains, a specialty that Morphy’s has continued to develop with last year’s launch of a Toy Trains department headed by noted collector and dealer Ken Post. “This is the nicest, cleanest grouping of trains to come to the market in years,” said Dan Morphy.

First up will be 20 lots of European trains, mostly by Marklin and Bing. The top Marklin lot features a big FE 2 gauge engine and tender with three large, hand-enameled cars: dining, sleeping and smoking. Each of the cars features a hinged roof and outfitted interior, e.g., with tables, chairs, etc. The train’s selling price could exceed $30,000.

Other important Marklin lots include a 2 gauge set with Congressional Limited cars; and another set with a Kaiser car and Crown car. An early Marklin floor train from 1909 or earlier was quite possibly a one-of-a-kind production. “It is the example pictured in David Pressland book The Art of the Tin Toy,” Morphy noted.

The session also features an expansive array of American trains. More than 50 boxed Lionel O gauge sets will be offered, including a “baby” Blue Comet set, an elusive terra cotta 253 set, and a rare 249 O gauge 600 series set in red with silver-roof passenger cars. All are from a single collection.

Many trains await standard gauge enthusiasts, such as a set-boxed American Flyer Lone Scout set, a set-boxed Lionel 408E set, and what is possibly the best-condition example of a Lionel 344 Rail Chief set. Its vestibules appear never to have been connected, and the train is in a virtually unplayed-with state.

The trains section also contains several unusual models from makers such as Boucher, Knapp and Voltamp. “Voltamp is a brand with many followers,” said Morphy. “Our sale features both engines and trolleys by this desirable manufacturer.”

The Saturday session then moves into figural metal, with more than 85 lots of cast-iron mechanical banks and a collection of approximately 80 European painted-lead still banks; followed by a selection of 260 doll lots, including a Jumeau and a number of dolls from the 1930s through 1950s. The latter grouping “may not be antiques,” said Morphy, “but it’s a consistently excellent assortment from a West Coast collector who was a stickler for buying only examples that had original tags and paperwork.”

Auction & Preview Details:

View an electronic version of the catalog and bid absentee or live via the Internet through www.liveauctioneers.com. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail danmorphy@dejazzd.com. Morphy Auctions is a division of Geppi’s Entertainment Auctions.

Click here to view Morphy Auctions’ March 5 session; click here for March 6; click here for March 7.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Cardboard Coca-Cola die-cut umbrella girl festoon, 1918. Estimate $5,000-$7,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Cardboard Coca-Cola die-cut umbrella girl festoon, 1918. Estimate $5,000-$7,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Extremely rare 4-paneled onionskin Blizzard mica marble. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Extremely rare 4-paneled onionskin Blizzard mica marble. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Framed 25½ inch by 36 inch Winchester Cartridges paper sign titled 'The Cock of the Woods.' Estimate: $7,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Framed 25½ inch by 36 inch Winchester Cartridges paper sign titled ‘The Cock of the Woods.’ Estimate: $7,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Lot of two silverplated napkin rings depicting man and woman tennis players. Estimate: $1,500-$2,200.   Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Lot of two silverplated napkin rings depicting man and woman tennis players. Estimate: $1,500-$2,200. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
1912 Marklin 2 Gauge F&E live-steam passenger set. Hinged cars open to reveal fully outfitted interiors. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
1912 Marklin 2 Gauge F&E live-steam passenger set. Hinged cars open to reveal fully outfitted interiors. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Spectacles trade sign with bracket and light bulbs. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
Spectacles trade sign with bracket and light bulbs. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
J. & E. Stevens cast-iron mechanical bank 'Professor Pug Frog.' All original. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
J. & E. Stevens cast-iron mechanical bank ‘Professor Pug Frog.’ All original. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
'Little Girl with Hankie and Perfume' circa-1890 French automaton by Lambert. Bisque head by Jumeau. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.
‘Little Girl with Hankie and Perfume’ circa-1890 French automaton by Lambert. Bisque head by Jumeau. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Image courtesy Morphy Auctions.