Skip to content
1930's Bartlett Miami ‘digger’ used by traveling carnival, in working order. Mosby & Co. image.

Five collections unite in Mosby’s June 8 Toy & Advert. Auction

1930's Bartlett Miami ‘digger’ used by traveling carnival, in working order. Mosby & Co. image.

1930’s Bartlett Miami ‘digger’ used by traveling carnival, in working order. Mosby & Co. image.

FREDERICK, Md. – Elements of five outstanding but very different collections add diversity and fun to the 700-lot lineup in Mosby & Co.’s June 8 Toy & Advertising Auction. The event will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern time, and those who cannot attend are encouraged to leave an absentee bid, sign up for a phone line, or bid live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

“Collectors like a good mix. It heightens the curiosity factor and often leads to the discovery of great cross-over items,” said Mosby & Co.’s owner, Keith Spurgeon. “This is probably one of the most widely varied auctions we’ve produced to date. There are lots of toys and a tremendous selection of antique advertising, from early Coca-Cola to seven very desirable Stan Lee comic book signs made to display at Comic Con.”

The auction will open with country store and advertising, led by a fine collection of approximately 30 early Coca-Cola items. Among the Coke highlights are a beautiful 1903 serving tray, a 1901 calendar, and two rarities from the 1930s: a double-sided porcelain fountain service sign and a new/old stock embossed tin sign with in its original Coca-Cola shipping crate.

Two very rare promotional items issued by the Pure Oil Company (USA) date to the 1930s. “One is a figural radio shaped like an English cottage, which is what the Pure Oil gas stations looked like during that period. The other item is a figural cottage-shape birdhouse, wood with an enameled tin roof,” Spurgeon said.

Next up will be five Buddy Lee advertising dolls, which the manufacturer customized with advertising for the companies that commissioned them. The dolls are all original and complete. The rarest dolls in the group are the one advertising Coca-Cola and the doll dressed in Lee coveralls with a railroad conductor’s cap, made for Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Railroad.

Several European tin and porcelain signs are among the fascinating items in a steamship collection to be offered by Mosby & Co. Also included in the grouping are two circa-1900 reverse-on-glass promotional items for North German Lloyd steamship line – a thermometer and a barometer.

One of the finest signs in the sale is a colorful and profusely detailed tin sign advertising Thomas’ Inks and Mucilage. Its busy embossed image depicts a cat tipping over a jar of red ink. “These signs, for some reason, usually have extensive flaking, and most that I’ve seen were in very poor condition,” said Spurgeon. “This is the nicest one I’ve come across personally.”

A lineup of early gumball machines includes a number of book examples from Bill Enes’ respected reference titled “Silent Salesmen Too.” Among the rarities are a very nice Rex machine and a Digesto vendor. The same collection was the source for a Watling Twin Jackpot penny slot machine, which is entered in the sale, as well.

A wealth of desirable advertising smalls will be offered within the country store section of the sale. There are numerous peanut butter tins, cooking range-related items and several toys and other pieces pertaining to C.D. Kenny grocery store chain.

Toy buyers can bid to their hearts’ content in this auction, as the choices will be varied and plentiful. The headliner is a single-owner collection of 12 gas-powered tether or rail cars from California, including several types very seldom encountered at auction. The cars are from the acknowledged “golden age” of the 1930s-1950s, by manufacturers such as Dooling, McCoy, C&R and others. Some measure 17-20 inches long, and their estimates are generally in the $1,000-$4,000 range.

Several pressed steel automotive toys will be offered, as will a rare 1934 Buddy ‘L’ pressed-steel Golfer. Ex Dick Keats/Buddy ‘L’ Archive collection, it is the only known Golfer that retains its original box.

The toy parade continues with celluloid toys, scores of tin wind-ups including a mint-boxed Eberl Topsy Turvy Tom toy, and an appealing TootsieToy Speedway set. Additional toy highlights include a Converse private-label horse-drawn wagon produced for a dairy in the Charlottesville, Va., area; 5-6 rocking horses, and a Eureka Bugatti tourist model pedal car with fenders and opening door and trunk.

A mixed selection of bisque- and china-head dolls is joined by children’s crockery and ABC plates. Also featured in the nursery section are four lithographed-tin high chair trays, American and dating to the 1870s. Each tray is decorated with a charming scene typical of its period of production. One of the trays depicts elegantly gowned young girls dancing around a maypole. Another has a vibrant scene of children playing animatedly, with steamships and ocean liners on the water in the background.

“Within the scene, children are firing off a toy cannon and cap gun, and a boy has slipped firecrackers under a gentleman’s formal jacket as a prank. The artwork includes an American Flag and quite likely represents a holiday, perhaps the Fourth of July. This is an item that firecracker and holiday collectors might really like,” said Spurgeon.

The auction also includes part two of a ceramic bank collection, plus a few cast-iron mechanical banks. The top lot amongst the mechanicals is a superb short-sleeve version of the “Dinah” bank.

Pop culture fans will immediately appreciate the desirability of a set of seven different 5-by-3ft foam core signs made specifically to display at Comic Con 2010. The main sign, which includes Stan Lee’s face within the artwork, is flat, while the other six were created in relief. All promote “Stan Lee’s Super Seven” comic book, which never saw the light of day. “The comic book project was shelved because of a copyright issue. The idea may be revived at some point in time, but if it is, it will be released under the title ‘Mighty Seven’ and not ‘Super Seven,’” Spurgeon explained.

Mosby & Co.’s Saturday, June 8, 2013 Toy & Advertising auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time at the company’s gallery at 5714-A Industry Lane, Frederick, MD 21704. Preview hours are 4-7 p.m. on Friday, June 7; 8-10 a.m. on auction day, and by appointment during the week prior to the sale. Catered food service will be available.

For additional information on any item in the auction, call 240-629-8139 or e-mail keith@mosbyauctions.com. Visit Mosby & Co. online at www.mosbyauctions.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

# # #

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


1930's Bartlett Miami ‘digger’ used by traveling carnival, in working order. Mosby & Co. image.

1930’s Bartlett Miami ‘digger’ used by traveling carnival, in working order. Mosby & Co. image.

Embossed and chromolithographed 1901 Coca-Cola calendar featuring model Hilda Clark. Mosby & Co. image.

Embossed and chromolithographed 1901 Coca-Cola calendar featuring model Hilda Clark. Mosby & Co. image.

Extraordinarily rare radio and birdhouse replicating Pure Oil gas stations of the 1930s. Mosby & Co. image.

Extraordinarily rare radio and birdhouse replicating Pure Oil gas stations of the 1930s. Mosby & Co. image.

Scarce Thomas' Inks embossed tin sign. Mosby & Co. image.

Scarce Thomas’ Inks embossed tin sign. Mosby & Co. image.

Large ‘Stan Lee's Super Seven’ comic book display made for Comic Con 2010, one of seven different displays, each unique, to be auctioned. Mosby & Co. image.

Large ‘Stan Lee’s Super Seven’ comic book display made for Comic Con 2010, one of seven different displays, each unique, to be auctioned. Mosby & Co. image.

1947 P3 gas rail car by Al Papina, 17in long, one of more than a dozen gas-powered cars in the sale. Mosby & Co. image.

1947 P3 gas rail car by Al Papina, 17in long, one of more than a dozen gas-powered cars in the sale. Mosby & Co. image.

Rare Digesto Gum vendor, book example Bill Enes’ reference book ‘Silent Salesmen Too.’ Mosby & Co. image.

Rare Digesto Gum vendor, book example Bill Enes’ reference book ‘Silent Salesmen Too.’ Mosby & Co. image.

Converse private-label milk wagon manufactured for Orange County Dairy in the Charlottesville, Va., area. Mosby & Co. image.

Converse private-label milk wagon manufactured for Orange County Dairy in the Charlottesville, Va., area. Mosby & Co. image.

Original Terrance Lindall (American, b. 1944-) sci-fi painting used as cover art for Rod Serling’s ‘Best from the Twilight Zone’ magazine and the novel ‘Watchstar.’ Mosby & Co. image.

Original Terrance Lindall (American, b. 1944-) sci-fi painting used as cover art for Rod Serling’s ‘Best from the Twilight Zone’ magazine and the novel ‘Watchstar.’ Mosby & Co. image.