Santa’s helper Noel Barrett brings toys to Pook & Pook Dec. 4

Santa’s helper Noel Barrett

Baranger Studios electric animated lovebird carnival store window display, 18in high x 25in wide. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Pook & Pook Inc. with Noel Barrett image

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – Pook & Pook’s auction gallery is getting ready to help Santa and his elves again this holiday season. Many passionate toy collectors have eagerly been awaiting the next Antique Toy Auction with Noel Barrett. Scheduled between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the antique toy auction will commence at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. This latest collaboration with the acclaimed antique toy expert Noel Barrett will be a live salesroom event with phone, absentee, internet, and live bidding (reservations required) available on every lot. The Pook & Barrett team anticipates high interest in the sale, especially from Internet bidders. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

As is customary, the Christmas Antique Toy Auction is diverse in its offerings, presenting various collections from across the country.

Santa’s helper Noel Barrett

Two French papier-mâché barking French Bulldogs (lots 85 & 86). Estimate: $600-$900 each. Pook & Pook Inc. with Noel Barrett image

Bidders who attended Pook and Barrett’s previous antique toy auctions will remember the exceptionally diverse offerings, a tradition that continues with this sale. The holiday-specific offerings in the sale present a wide variety of Christmas décor. Numerous German composition belsnickel candy containers, German Father Christmas toys and ornaments abound. A Dresden Santa with a sack of toys and a feather tree is estimated at $600-$900. It is one of numerous Dresden lots on offer. Spun cotton figural ornaments include a hiker, a geisha girl and the Three Musketeers. A top Yuletide piece is a figural milk glass Santa Claus miniature oil lamp from the late 19th century ($1,200-$1,600). Seven fully ornamented feather trees are in the sale ranging from a charming 11-inch-high blue tree to a 6-foot-high tree decorated with well over 60 early glass ornaments. A 3½-foot-high tree has over 50 Santas on its branches while the nearly 6-foot tree sports over 50 painted angels.

A perfect toy for under a large tree is a Schoenhut Humpty Dumpty Circus with a full contingent of performers and animals under the tent. Two much earlier animated clockwork figures rounding out the circus lots on offer are a striding leopard measuring a fearsome 26 inches long and a more friendly-looking tiger atop a wooden ball advertising Hagenback circus – both keywind with nodding head action.

Santa’s helper Noel Barrett

Scarce French Roulett & Decamps clockwork nodding leopard, circa 1900, with hide-covered papier-mâché, glass eyes and articulated lower jaw, which opens and closes as it nods, 30in long. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Pook & Pook Inc. with Noel Barrett image

Also bringing the whimsy of Christmas’s past is a Noah’s ark with countless critters on board, two by two. Toys for well-behaved boys and girls include a fully outfitted schoolroom with a teacher and seven book-covered desks. For the very well-behaved chef is an astoundingly detailed German-made stove in heavy steel furnished with more than a dozen brightly polished copper accessories.

No toy sale is complete without a grouping of trains. This sale includes a Lionel Blue Comet, a Carpenter cast-iron floor toy and a scarce Beggs-style locomotive and tender, style #2 by Garlick, who worked for Beggs.

Santa’s helper Noel Barrett

Restored Carpenter cast-iron floor train and tender,14½in long. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Pook & Pook Inc. with Noel Barrett image

Pressed steel is also a must in a well-rounded toy auction. The group of more than 20 of these large-scale toys in the sale includes items by all the great makers: Buddy L, Kelmet, Sturditoy, etc. One of the highlights is a Keystone ambulance in its original box.

The highlight of the aeronautical toy collection of the late Harry Nowak is a Kenton Flying Boat with “FOKKER” lettering on the wings and nickel-plated wing-tip pontoons. Kenton’s unlettered version of this toy is scarce enough. No collector that Pook & Pook has talked to has ever seen this variation. A lithographed tin airplane, a Tippco-1029 bomber complete with underwing mounted bombs, this from the Bill and Stevie Weart Collection. Cast-iron automotive toys keep coming down the chimney, including a number of excellent examples also from the Weart Collection, among them is a group of colorful taxicabs and a nice example of a Hubley armored motorcycle. Additional iron automotive pieces include a group of 10 colorful and finely crafted car models by Tom Selhoff. A small group of mechanical banks will be sold, highlighted by a Darktown Battery in the original box.

Santa’s helper Noel Barrett

Boxed J. & E. Stevens cast-iron Darktown Battery mechanical bank, No. 302, 9¾in wide. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Pook & Pook Inc. with Noel Barrett image

Always popular when they turn up at an auction are Baranger motions, colorful and cleverly electric animated window displays that were rented to small-town jewelry stores from the 1940s to the ’60s. There are five of them in this auction. The highlight is an incredible lovebird carnival display featuring a central Ferris wheel, a carousel and a burger stand, all with lovebird couples and a placard that reads “You can be her Love Bird – Buy that Diamond Now.”

Questions regarding condition or requests for additional photographs should be emailed to Pook & Pook & Noel Barrett’s next Antique Toy Auction is slated for Spring 2021. To consign email photos to or or call 610-269-4040 to speak with an appraiser.


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