VINELAND, N.J. — Bertoia returns with its annual Holiday auction, scheduled this year on Friday, December 1. The sale features not only Christmas-themed items, but decorative objects and toys representing holidays held the year round. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.
Topping the sale is a European Father Christmas (Santa Claus to Americans) holding a miniature Christmas tree, as is the Continental tradition, and riding in a sleigh drawn by a single reindeer. What makes this so different and highly valued is its size: the entire presentation is 52in in length and 27in to the top of the antler. Santa has a clockwork mechanism and nods when wound. Probably created as a European department store display, the lot is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.
Also European in origin and possibly German is this Father Christmas / Santa four-reindeer sleigh. It measures 24.5in in length and has numerous touch-ups and repairs owing to its advanced age. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.
Halloween has been a tradition for a very long time, as seen in this antique witch paired with a German moss-filled jalopy. The scowling witch has a bisque head in classic doll-making fashion, with carved wooden legs and shoes. The item is estimated at $6,000-$9,000.
McLoughlin Brothers was an early American publisher of books, games, puzzles and other items featuring color lithography, the company’s stock in trade. This early Wall Street-themed board game, Bulls & Bears, carries a patent date of 1883 and was released right in the golden years for McLoughlin. Complete and in remarkably original condition, the game is estimated at $5,000-$7,500.
Noah’s Ark toys have long been a Christmas staple. The child would receive the ark and a handful of figures and animals, but would be required to behave and perform well in Sunday school every week to acquire more animals to fill the ark. This example was clearly owned by a very good boy or girl, as it boasts more than 300 animals in all. The ark has an estimate of $4,000-$7,000.