Noel Barrett’s Nov. 15-16 auction led by Stan & Priscilla Cypher collections

Made by Wilhelm Krauss (Germany), this lithographed-tin, pulley-operated toy features two Mickey Mouse dancers. Previously documented examples include only a single dancing-mouse figure; this is the first of its type that Noel Barrett has ever seen. Estimate: $10,000-$13,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Made by Wilhelm Krauss (Germany), this lithographed-tin, pulley-operated toy features two Mickey Mouse dancers. Previously documented examples include only a single dancing-mouse figure; this is the first of its type that Noel Barrett has ever seen. Estimate: $10,000-$13,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

NEW HOPE, Pa. – On Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-16, Noel Barrett opens a treasure chest of rare and unusual childhood antiques in his Fall 2008 auction of ‘Toys & Other Things.’

Collectors have become accustomed to the Houdini-like ways with which Barrett is able to unearth exquisitely rare antique toys, even within a collecting landscape that has been well trodden. Just when collectors think “all the good stuff” is accounted for, along comes a great surprise, together with a hefty price realized. A recent example of the unexpected consignments that can turn up in a Barrett sale is the original Monopoly “tie set” with hand-colored oilcloth roll-up board that was auctioned on April 12, 2008 for $46,750. Now in its new home – the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y. – it is typical of the rarity and desirability consistently seen in Barrett’s sales.

At his Nov. 15-16 auction event, Barrett will present toys from several consignment sources, including the lifetime collections of a revered New England couple, the late Stan and Priscilla Cypher. “Stan was the grand old man of the toy hobby,” said Barrett. “He was historian of the ATCA, and he and Priscilla were very knowledgeable and well-liked dealers. The fabulous cast-iron airplanes in this sale, as well as the best of the Marklin 1 and 0 gauge trains, are from Stan’s collection.”

Several other highly refined collections will contribute to the well-rounded auction offering. Boats, tinplate toys and beautifully lithographed paper-on-wood toys, games and puzzles have come from the Andy Lukach collection and one other private collection, while Tucson-based Bernie Resnick’s collection filled out many categories, from Metalcraft pressed-steel trucks and cast-iron toys to Japanese celluloid and comic character toys.

“The variety and quality of Bernie’s collection is very impressive, especially considering he bought most of the toys right there in the Tucson area. Bernie has gone to a few shows over the years, but for the most part he has flown under the radar.” A nice bonus, Barrett noted, is that Tucson enjoys a year-round dry climate, which has been conducive to the “great condition” seen in the Resnick toys.

Adding compatible variety to the auction lineup is the fine selection of advertising and folk art from the estate of the late Ernie and Ida Long. “Within it is an amazing grouping of Long’s Covered Wagon Syrup tins and a three-dimensional cardboard advertising display of two horses pulling the covered wagon with Long’s advertising on it,” said Barrett. As far as we know, the smallest of the Long’s Syrup Tins in this collection is the only one that has ever surfaced at auction.”

In terms of individual sale highlights, a top entry is the tinplate double Slate Dancer by Wilhelm Krauss. Marked W.K., the toy features two separate, identical figures of the dancing Mickey Mouse figure. “It’s an unbelievable toy that turned up in Canada,” said Barrett. “I had never seen one before that had the double dancers.”

Another star lot is an Ives Mechanical Boxers toy, with its original box and paper label. “Again, it’s a toy in unbelievable condition, and one that turned up in an unexpected place for an early American toy – Australia,” said Barrett. “We think it will sell for $8,000 to $10,000.” Other Ives toys of note in this sale include a scarce see-saw with boy and girl figures, and a live steam launch with box.

Skittles have always enjoyed a strong following in Noel Barrett sales, and collectors may recall the rare and very charming set comprised of a camel with Arab-figure skittles that Barrett auctioned in one of the Mary Merritt Toy & Doll Museum sessions. In the November sale, Barrett will offer another camel skittles set, but with a difference: the camel’s head nods. The set was made in Germany and has retains its original paper label denoting the country of origin.

The spare but graceful lines of early American tin appeal to many collectors. The November sale will feature a grouping of these desirable toys, highlighted by a Merriam ‘Express’ wagon.

Collectors will be spoiled for choice over the two-day period. “It’s sort of a cliché to say there’s something for everyone, but it’s an apt description this time,” said Barrett. “There are many mint/boxed toys, Japanese tin, American clockwork, fabulous German trains, a Bing and two Radiguet boats; and a 3ft.-long model of the Mauritania in a museum display case. Additionally, there’s a nice selection of penny toys, a few slot machines, and a large assortment of reference books on toy, train and airplane topics.”

In the automotive section, there are trucks by Smith-Miller, Chein, Hafner and Metalcraft, along with cars by Carette, Knapp, Kenton, Arcade, Tipp and Marusan.

Noel Barrett’s ‘Toys & Other Things’ Auction will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-16. The electronic catalog may be viewed online at www.liveauctioneers.com. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone, fax or live via the Internet.

For additional information or assistance, call 215-297-5109 or e-mail toys@noelbarrett.com. View Noel Barrett Auctions’ Web site at www.noelbarrett.com.

Click here to view Noel Barrett Auctions’ complete catalog for session 1; click here for session 2.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

This finely modeled and painted papier-mâché and wood camel on wheels is not only a pull toy and nodder, but also houses a skittles set of figural ninepins. Noel Barrett auctioned the only other known example for $33,000 in 2006. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

This finely modeled and painted papier-mâché and wood camel on wheels is not only a pull toy and nodder, but also houses a skittles set of figural ninepins. Noel Barrett auctioned the only other known example for $33,000 in 2006. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A flotilla of toy boats – most made of tin and some of wood – includes an impressive Bing battleship from the early 20th century. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A flotilla of toy boats – most made of tin and some of wood – includes an impressive Bing battleship from the early 20th century. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A highlight from the Ernie and Ida Long collection is this group of items from the San Francisco producer of maple syrup. Three sizes of figural tin containers in the shape of covered wagons will be sold, along with a cardboard adverting replica of a covered wagon. To Noel Barrett's knowledge, only one or two example of the smallest size of tin shown here is known to exist. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A highlight from the Ernie and Ida Long collection is this group of items from the San Francisco producer of maple syrup. Three sizes of figural tin containers in the shape of covered wagons will be sold, along with a cardboard adverting replica of a covered wagon. To Noel Barrett’s knowledge, only one or two example of the smallest size of tin shown here is known to exist. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

This pair of clockwork boxers was made by the famed 19th-century toymaker Ives, Blakeslee & Williams of Bridgeport, Conn. In 1892, Ives wholesale-priced its boxers at $36 per dozen, making it a very costly acquisition. The toy in Barrett’s sale somehow made its way to Australia before being consigned to the Nov. 14-15 sale, in which it is expected to fetch a knockout price of $8,000-$10,000.  Noel Barrett Auctions image.

This pair of clockwork boxers was made by the famed 19th-century toymaker Ives, Blakeslee & Williams of Bridgeport, Conn. In 1892, Ives wholesale-priced its boxers at $36 per dozen, making it a very costly acquisition. The toy in Barrett’s sale somehow made its way to Australia before being consigned to the Nov. 14-15 sale, in which it is expected to fetch a knockout price of $8,000-$10,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A lovely collection of late-19th and early 20th-century games will be included in Barrett’s sale. These colorful games represented some of the highest-quality color printing of the day, especially those by the American maker McLoughlin. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A lovely collection of late-19th and early 20th-century games will be included in Barrett’s sale. These colorful games represented some of the highest-quality color printing of the day, especially those by the American maker McLoughlin. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

The late Stan Cypher collected all sorts of aeronautical toys, from airplanes to   zeppelins. Here are some great painted cast-iron airplanes made by Hubley of Lancaster, Pa. They include an homage to Lucky Lindy with a miniature of his famed Spirit of St Louis.  Noel Barrett Auctions image.

The late Stan Cypher collected all sorts of aeronautical toys, from airplanes to zeppelins. Here are some great painted cast-iron airplanes made by Hubley of Lancaster, Pa. They include an homage to Lucky Lindy with a miniature of his famed Spirit of St Louis. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Marklin is the magic name in toy train collecting, and these outstanding pieces from the late Stan Cypher’s collection include early 20th-century productions from the German company’s 1 gauge American Eagle set and O gauge Royal Blue set. Both sets were made expressly for the American market. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Marklin is the magic name in toy train collecting, and these outstanding pieces from the late Stan Cypher’s collection include early 20th-century productions from the German company’s 1 gauge American Eagle set and O gauge Royal Blue set. Both sets were made expressly for the American market. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Marklin’s live-steam traction engine is a complex toy that was very expensive when first marketed in the early 20th century. This example, with its original box, is identical to one that was auctioned eight years ago at Barrett’s for $12,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

Marklin’s live-steam traction engine is a complex toy that was very expensive when first marketed in the early 20th century. This example, with its original box, is identical to one that was auctioned eight years ago at Barrett’s for $12,000. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A nice array of early hand-painted American tin toys will be on offer in Barrett’s sale, a highlight being this blue express wagon made by Merriam. Noel Barrett Auctions image.

A nice array of early hand-painted American tin toys will be on offer in Barrett’s sale, a highlight being this blue express wagon made by Merriam. Noel Barrett Auctions image.