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.

Pre- and postwar Lionel electric trains hammered above expectations at Weiss

Lionel no. 10 Interurban, which sold for $4,250 ($5,100 with buyer’s premium) at Weiss Auctions.

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – The two most popular areas of Lionel train collecting – the post-World War II era, followed by the prewar era – demonstrated their resilience at Weiss Auctions’ Vintage Toy Trains sale December 21. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

As lifetime collections continue to come to market, houses such as Weiss have taken the approach of realistic estimates in an attempt to court sideline watchers into the fray. And it’s worked – many items given lowball estimates well exceeded their potential, creating strong bidding activity both in-house and online via LiveAuctioneers.

Built between 1910 and 1916, Lionel’s no. 10 Interurban was usually paired with a no. 1010 unpowered coach. In this unboxed solo example, Weiss had placed a reasonable $800-$1,600 estimate for a play-worn but largely original no. 10 that had rubber-stamped lettering – often missing due to hands rubbing them off during the years – which was still prominent. A determined bidder opened with a $3,800 offer, setting off a short but furious battle with another suitor. In the end, the no. 10 hammered for $4,250 ($5,100 with buyer’s premium), making it the top lot of the sale.

Offered in the heyday of Standard gauge production, Lionel’s State Set – featuring Pullman coaches with American states on their nameboards – was one of the most costly items a buyer could purchase. This set of three cars – California, New York and Colorado – were variously missing interior details such as chairs and clerestory windows, but were generally in good-minus condition. Weiss placed a $600-$1,000 estimate on the unboxed set, but once again, bidding began well ahead of the high number, at $3,250, and kept going until a final hammer of $3,800 ($4,560 with buyer’s premium).

Electric trains require regular servicing to stay in operating condition. To facilitate this, The Lionel Corporation (manufacturer of Lionel trains from 1900 to 1969, when they divested their remaining toy manufacturing operations to General Mills) set up a network of authorized service stations – generally the same retailers who sold the sets seasonally or year-round. The no. 5C test set was used by service personnel to diagnose both locomotives and operating cars, and in later years has become a valued tool for collectors to maintain their fleets. Estimated at $300-$600, this no. 5C sold for $1,350 ($1,620 with buyer’s premium), needing only a new cord and a healthy cleaning.

A like-new but unboxed Lionel no. 2341 Jersey Central Fairbanks-Morse TrainMaster dual-motor diesel was another star performer. Once again carrying a modest $500-$1,000 estimate for a test run-only example with no screw cracks (the plastic shell would often break at the screw-mounting points to the frame) and a clean battery compartment (no long-term storage with a decaying D-cell to power the horn unit), it hammered for a solid $2,300 ($2,760 with buyer’s premium).

Lionel factory prototypes on track to win at Weiss Dec. 21

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LYNWOOD, N.Y. — In the world of model train collecting, nothing is more exciting than discovering an item that is clearly not from regular production, but has all the hallmarks of being a pre-production sample or design study. Known as ‘factory prototypes,’ these items can command huge sums in the contemporary collector market due to their one-of-one status and high desirability.

Weiss AuctionsVintage Toy Trains sale on Thursday, December 21 has not one but three Lionel factory prototypes from a prominent New York-area collection. They all come with some degree of provenance, helping to boost their value. The complete catalog is available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

First up is a Lionel no. 6357-50 prototype caboose for the 1960 ‘father and son’ set, a one-year-only special with both traditional O gauge and newly released HO scale train consists and an oval elevated-viaduct track plan that allowed the HO to run in parallel underneath its O gauge counterpart. The ‘father and son’ nickname given to it by collectors refers both to the larger O gauge and smaller HO scale trains, as well as the depiction of a boy and his dad enjoying the set in the 1960 Lionel consumer catalog. The caboose has decal lettering and comes from a well-known collection that will be identified to the winning bidder to enhance provenance. The caboose is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.

A Lionel no. 6464 boxcar prototype for Norfolk & Western has hand-applied decals and never-run wheelsets on factory trucks. The item is unnumbered and never went into production, but may have served as inspiration for the later MPC / Fundimensions-era no. 6-9205 N&W boxcar. It is estimated at $500-$1,000 and, according to the lot notes, comes with a “letter of reputed provenance.”

Highly desirable now but a disaster upon its initial release was the 1957 Lionel ‘girl’s set,’ with locomotive, tender and rolling stock all painted in pastel colors to appeal to young girls. As it turned out, girls wanted toy trains, but they wanted them in the regular train colors offered to their brothers. Finding few takers, dealers resorted to breaking up these ‘girl’s’ sets and selling them off piecemeal. Weiss has a Lionel no. 6464-125 New York Central Pacemaker boxcar with early rubber-stamp lettering with characteristics that make this a pre-production sample. The lot notes state it comes with a “letter of reputed provenance” and, like the N&W boxcar, has been in the same collection since 1963. It carries an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.
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Lionel no.6357-50 factory prototype caboose, estimated at $2,000-$5,000 at Weiss Auctions.
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Excerpt from the Lionel 1960 consumer catalog showing the ‘father and son’ set offering.
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Lionel factory prototype no. 6464 boxcar, estimated at $500-$1,000 at Weiss Auctions.
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Lionel factory prototype no. 6464-125 ‘girl’s set’ boxcar, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Weiss Auctions.
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Lionel no.400E Blue Comet passenger set, estimated at $1,200-$2,400 at Weiss Auctions.
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A. C. Gilbert Erector Hudson construction toy set, estimated at $600-$1,200 at Weiss Auctions.
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Cartier and Aldo Cipullo perform alchemy together to win $24K at Weiss

Aldo Cipullo for Cartier 18K gold hamsa pendant, $28,880. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.
Aldo Cipullo for Cartier 18K gold hamsa pendant, $28,880. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.
Aldo Cipullo for Cartier 18K gold hamsa pendant, $28,880. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

LYNBROOK, N.Y.  – The Cartier Love bracelet  – the plain gold band with screwheads to lock it around the wearer’s wrist – has become one of the most recognized pieces of modern jewelry. Less well known is its designer, the Italian American Aldo Cipullo (1942-84).

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Warhol, Katz, Revere silver and other museum-worthy pieces at Weiss, July 18

Portfolio of four screenprints in colors by Andy Warhol, titled ‘Skulls,’ estimated at $125,000-$175,000. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions
Portfolio of four screenprints in colors by Andy Warhol, titled ‘Skulls,’ estimated at $125,000-$175,000. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – A complete portfolio of four screenprints in colors by Andy Warhol, titled Skulls; a trio of pieces by Philip and Kelvin Laverne, including a wall plaque; and a Paul Revere sterling silver pepper pot are three of the more than 500 lots folks in Weiss Auctions’ online-only estates auction, scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, starting at 10 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Weiss serves up Paul Revere pitcher with impeccable provenance, Jan. 18-19

Original Paul Revere silver pitcher, estimated at $60,000-$80,000
Original Paul Revere silver pitcher, estimated at $60,000-$80,000
Original Paul Revere silver pitcher, estimated at $60,000-$80,000

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – An original Paul Revere silver pitcher with impeccable provenance, a Carl F. Bucherer Manero chronoperpetual limited edition wristwatch, three Charles Schulz Peanuts comic strips and original artworks by Willem de Koonig, Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski, Alex Katz and Ludwig Bemelmans will come up for bid online Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19 at Weiss Auctions. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Complete 1993 Magic: the Gathering Beta set commands $120K at Weiss

Detail from a complete Magic: The Gathering Beta card set from 1993, $120,000
 Complete Magic: The Gathering Beta card set from 1993, $120,000

Complete Magic: The Gathering Beta card set from 1993, $120,000

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – A complete Magic: The Gathering Beta card set from 1993, just the second set for MTG, with a print run of 3,200 cards, sold for a staggering $120,000 in an online-only Comics, Comic Art, MTG Booster Boxes & More auction held October 19 by Weiss Auctions.

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Von Braun-signed NASA photo rockets beyond $14K at Weiss

NASA photo signed and inscribed by Dr. Wernher Von Braun, $14,400
NASA photo signed and inscribed by Dr. Wernher Von Braun, $14,400

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – Weiss Auctions welcomed 2022 with a two-day, two-session sale on January 26 and 27, with many lots exceeding their high estimates. A NASA photo signed by German-born American engineer Dr. Wernher Von Braun sold for $14,400, and a collection of 1916-1930 Standing Liberty quarters soared to $161,000.

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