Haring family toy collection brings 500 lots to Weiss Feb. 21

Ernst Plank Aviso live steam gun ship toy, estimated at $20,000-$50,000 at Weiss.

LYNBROOK, N.Y. — Three generations of toy collecting come to market with the Haring family collection crossing the block at Weiss Auctions on Wednesday, February 21. The 500-plus lot sale includes tin ships, cast-iron mechanical banks, pressed-steel trucks, American and European electric trains, Japanese battery-operated toys — even fountain pens and soda collectibles — so there’s literally something for everyone. The catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The Haring collection traces its roots to family patriarch Jack Harling and his early fondness for Marklin trains. His son John caught the collecting bug, which expressed itself in a passion for trains and live steam-driven toys acquired during his global travels. The tradition continued with John’s son Ford, who from a young age joined his father and grandfather at shows and swap meets across the east coast. Today, Ford is the family torchbearer, focusing on antique toys, especially live steam and clockwork boats.

The sale’s top-estimated lot is a 1902 Ernst Plank Aviso live-steam gunboat in remarkable condition, with original guns, lifeboats, and anchors — which are more typically missing or replaced with reproductions. Showing only light play wear and surviving with its original paint, the boat is estimated at $20,000-$50,000.

Radiguet was a 19th-century French toy manufacturer with an emphasis on education. It produced live-steam engines, boats, and trains, and sold everything through mail order. The Haring collection includes a Radiguet live-steam gunship having a super bow forward design and all its original guns, masts, and anchors. Dated to the 1890s, the 22in ship remains in incredible condition for being more than 130 years of age. It carries an estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

Roullet & Decamps began in 1866 when Ernst Roullet created the first inexpensive mechanism for automating the movements of dolls. He won the World’s Fair bronze medal in 1867, and soon after, Ernst’s daughter married the shop’s mechanical engineer, Ernest Dekamp, and the company went into full-swing production. This drinking bear automaton is attributed to Roullet & Decamps and is covered in mohair which, unfortunately, can fall off when touched. The mechanism works, albeit slowly. The bear is estimated at $800-$1,500.

Corgi Toys, the die-cast line of miniature vehicles launched by Mettoy in 1956, smartly created a collectors club for its young (and old) fans, giving members access to club-exclusive offerings not otherwise available at retail. In the 1960s, Corgi issued its famous no. 468 Routemaster double-decker bus in an exclusive livery that included a House of Lords Gin banner advertisement. The Haring collection boasts a mint-in-box example complete with the original club membership insert. It is estimated at $700-$1,000.

Antique toy & bank collections ready to frolic at Bertoia’s, Mar. 24-25


Ives Uncle Sam clockwork perambulator. Based upon their research, Bertoia’s believes it is one of only two known examples, the other being the one depicted in Blair Whitton’s book. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity. Estimate $20,000-$40,000

VINELAND, N.J. – Say hello to spring with the most anticipated auction of the season: Bertoia’s March 24-25 Signature Sale featuring two blockbuster collections and many additional high-end toy consignments. Rows of gleaming showcases at Bertoia’s New Jersey gallery are filled to capacity with exceptional mechanical banks and bell toys from the Rudd Trowbridge collection, and Phil and Joan Steel’s wonderful collection of French Martins and other tin windups. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

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Antique toys are on a roll at Milestone Auctions, with a fresh offering on Sept. 24

Kingsbury pressed-steel clockwork wrecker truck, 13in long, all original, very hard-to-find toy. Excellent condition. Estimate $1,000-$1,500

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – If anyone wondered whether new collectors were still entering the antique toy hobby or not, they got their answer last spring when Milestone Auctions closed the books on their headline-making Antique Toy Spectacular. Toy fans worldwide are still buzzing about the Popeye and Olive Oyl Tank that brought a record $105,000 at that sale. On September 24, Milestone will roll out a fresh offering of outstanding vintage toys from the Mark Smith Collection, with high-quality additions from other consignors.

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Bertoia’s to auction Bill and Stevie Weart antique toy collection, Sept. 8-9 

Hubley cast-iron ‘Say It With Flowers’ delivery motorcycle, 10in long, the book example depicted in Bill and Stevie Weart’s ‘Cast Iron Automotive Toys’ (2000) reference book. Rare all-original toy in excellent to pristine condition. Estimate $15,000-$25,000

VINELAND, N.J. – On September 8-9, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers, Bertoia’s will auction the antique toy collection of the late Bill and Stevie Weart, a couple whose contributions to the toy hobby were immense. Anyone who ever had the privilege of visiting the Wearts at their magnificent home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was left with the impression that they had witnessed something exceptional for these times. Their grand three-story residence, which was situated in a tranquil parklike setting, visually reflected what was most important to them in a home: fine architecture, tasteful furnishings, a garden that beckoned wild birds, and most of all, an interior design plan that prioritized the display of their spectacular toy collection.

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Bertoia’s presents fine European & American toys, holiday antiques Nov. 18-19

VINELAND, N.J. – On November 18-19, family-owned Bertoia Auctions will conclude a record-setting year with the 2021 edition of every toy collector’s favorite event: their Annual Fall Sale, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. Always a beautiful presentation, the Fall Sale is reserved for genuinely exceptional toys and holiday antiques sourced from many high-quality collections. In the past, the Fall Sale has been described by the media as “a rare opportunity to purchase from the top shelves of dozens of high-end collectors.”

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