SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys on Nov. 12. Assembled over more than 50 years, the remarkable collection includes many rare and unusual items from U.S. and international makers, both antique and modern. Many items are in excellent to like-new condition. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Offering over 175 lots, the online auction features makers such as Lionel, American Flyer, Dorfan, Ives, C&F, Elektoy, Converse, Kusan, Williams, Sunset 3rd Rail, MTH, Varney Sirus, Atlas, Rich-Art, Pride Lines, McCoy, Creswell, Cohen, Buddy-L, JAD, Kingsbury, Marklin, Bing, Edobaud, Paya, Lima and Buco. Train accessories, toys and numerous reference books round out the sale.
Craig Miller was working for the Department of Transportation in Washington when he rekindled his interest in toy trains, a passion that has grown steadily over the years. After finding a toy train in an antique shop in Arlington, Virginia, he began to attend numerous train meets on the east coast, including the semi-annual events in York, Pennsylvania, of the Train Collectors Association, where he has been a member since 1971. As his collection grew Miller purchased many trains at train meets, at antique stores in the early days, and on eBay more recently.
Miller’s collection of toy trains and accessories is diverse and eclectic – “anything railroad,” says Dusty Miller of her husband’s interests. His assemblage features examples from around the world, ranging from tiny Z-gauge trains by Marklin to huge Buddy-L trains that are large enough to ride. Nevertheless, a focus has been on popular O-gauge and standard gauge trains, and passenger cars in particular.
This auction alone offers lots from 31 different manufacturers: among them are pre-World War I makers like Elektoy and Carlisle & Finch; rare lots as from Doggenweiler of Santiago, Chile; and more recent reproductions of now-defunct train manufacturers. Although Miller has greatly enjoyed collecting – and still does – he decided recently it was time to move some of his acquisitions on to others, who hopefully will enjoy them as much as he has over the past five decades.
The following are some highlights of the Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys:
Lot 13: Ives standard gauge 3236 locomotive with seven freights. Lot of Ives standard gauge composed of 3236 transition-style locomotive with lumber car, coke car, tank car, box car, hopper car, cattle car and caboose. Set overall is C5-C6. Estimate: $600-$800.
Lot 53: Bing #1 gauge steam locomotive with three passenger cars. Bing #1 gauge original lithographed 4-4-0 locomotive and tender with three passenger cars. The locomotive is electric drive. Items in the set all appear complete. Locomotive and tender are C6, cars are C7. Estimate: $1,200-$2,000.
Lot 58: Marklin #1 gauge crocodile locomotive in brown, with plastic body parts and with its original display stand, box, and box insert. This engine was produced to celebrate Marklin’s 125th anniversary in 1984 as noted on the display stand, C7. Estimate: $800-$1,500.
Lot 86: Edobaud prewar French 0 gauge freight set. Scarce French made prewar Edobaud O gauge freight set for three-rail operation comprising 4-6-4 loco plus five cars. Shell oil car is C5, barrel car is C5-C6, rest of set is overall C6-C7. Note that oak barrels on barrel car show indications of woodworm. Estimate: $900-$1,800.
Lot 94: Elektoy 2″ gauge steam locomotive and passenger set with tender, combine and coach. The locomotive has ‘Elektoy’ factory embossed on each locomotive steam chest. Locomotive and tender are C6, the coach is C5-C6, the combine is C4-C5. Estimate: $1,400-$2,000.
Lot 95: Carlisle & Finch 2″ gauge steam freight set consisting of a steam locomotive, tender, boxcar, gondola and caboose. Original condition throughout. Set overall is C5-C6. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.
Lot 120: Lionel Southern Pacific AC-9 steam locomotive, O gauge. Large Lionel #6-38031 O gauge Southern Pacific AC-9 articulated steam locomotive. The engine has Odyssey technology with Trainmaster command/control and TrainSounds. The locomotive has had light track time. Original box has inserts. The locomotive is C8. Estimate: $600-$800.
Lot 126: Brass 50mm gauge Japanese locomotive (below), limited-production from the early 1940s. Locomotive bears small round brass builder plates that read “S.M. Science & Model Osaka.” Configured for three-rail running, C7. Estimate: $600-$900.
Lot 139: Doggenweiler 2″ gauge train set manufactured in Chile. Set operates on special Doggenweiler three-rail, 2″ gauge track. Set consists of a locomotive, baggage car, coach, 16 pieces of Doggenweiler curve track including a power terminal, four straights, one bumper. The locomotive has had some repairs; the set is overall C6. Estimate: $600-$1,200.
Lot 148: Dorfan Standard Gauge lithographed freight cars. It is unusual to find a set of the five different cars. Cars are overall C5-C6. Estimate: $700-$1,000.
Lot 171: Buddy-L Express Line pressed steel truck, 25 inches long, restored, C7. Estimate: $250-$450.
Lot 172: Buddy-L cement mixer, professionally restored, C7-C8. Estimate: $300-$500.
Turner Auctions + Appraisals will begin the auction on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time / 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
For details conctact Turner Auctions + Appraisals at 415-964-5250.