From the outside, the neat brick and plaster commercial building at Sürther Hauptstrasse 143, in Cologne, Sürth, looks like just another storefront. But behind this simple facade are auctioned some of the world’s most sought after antique toys.
Managing Director Christian Gärtner is proud that Antico Mondo has maintained its modest quarters since its founding in 1999, while still managing to serve an enthusiastic audience of international toy collectors. There are no plans to move into a fancy auction hall, as this would considerably raise overhead.
Antico Mondo remains constant with its 12.50 euros ($16.35) consignment fee plus VAT, with no additional commission charged to the seller. This attractive option brings in a wide variety of interesting toys for their auctions, which are held four times a year in March, June, September and December.
Colorful tin toys, model trains and cars, dolls, teddy bears and figurines from 1900 to 1970 form the basis of these sales. But for some time now Antico Mondo has also been offering historic advertisements and writing instruments.
In their March auction lot 8564, a 13.2 inches by 20.4 inches enameled Persil sign from the 1930s, fetched 2,600 euros ($3,400). Persil laundry soap is still a familiar brand in Germany today, and the sign, featuring a woman hanging out fresh laundry on a windy day, was one of only three known in existence. While many enamel signs in the auction went for 30, 50 or 100 euros, the rarity and unblemished quality of the Persil sign contributed to its value.
A top highlight at the auction was lot 4028, a model 2014 tin train station made by the firm Märklin, in Göppingen, Baden-Wurttemberg. This item brought 15,000 euros ($19,620). While the prewar, first edition train station was in good original condition, tiny details such as the elaborate mansard roof and the well-dressed figures waiting on the platform made this toy special.
But in the end, it’s the memory bridge to childhood and play that spark a universal interest in antique toys. Antico Mondo will hold their next auction on June 9. Since 2006 their live auctions have been held simultaneously on the Internet; bids may be made through LiveAuctioneers.com. For details visit www.Anticomondo.de
Welcome to New Members
Live Auctioneers is pleased to welcome four new members from the German-speaking auction scene.
Art & Design, Zurich, is a part of Frey’s Assets, known for helping their customers invest in fine art. Their next auction, Contemporary & Classical Art II, is April 19. www.Freys-Assets.com.
Auktionshaus Dannenburg in Berlin specializes in art and antiques, varia and toys. Their next antique toy auction takes place on June 18 and 19. www.Auktion-Dannenburg.de
Auktionshaus Schloss Hagenburg, which is worth a visit just to view the lovely historic schloss the business is located in, has three to four auctions per year featuring fine antique furniture, art, carpets, clocks, lighting and other furnishings. Their website has a buy-it-now section so purchases are possible year-round. www.SchlossHagenburg.de
Kastern Kustauktionen has a long tradition in the sale of fine art. They hold four to five auctions per year at their Hannover location, along with ongoing sales. Their next auctions take place on April 20 and 21, and July 7. www.Kastern.de
The International Antique Clock Market is slated for April 28 and 29 in the Wolfwinkelhalle in Eisenbach. This is the 15th year that the popular market has taken place, and visitors can expect more than 80 dealers.
Art collectors should mark their calendar for Art 43 Basel, scheduled this year for June 14-17 in Basel, Switzerland. Works by over 2,500 artists from the 20th and 21st centuries will be presented. For a detailed list of exhibitors visit www.ArtBasel.com
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