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Velvet Underground Swatch wristwatch, estimated at $600-$1,200 at Dan Morphy Auctions July 18.

Velvet Underground Swatch wristwatch leads our five lots to watch

Velvet Underground Swatch Wristwatch

DENVER, PA — The so-called Velvet Underground Swatch wristwatch was made in an edition of just 500 for a special ‘underground’ party in New York in 1985. The watches arrived too late and were never issued at the event. Instead, they were given to Swatch employees in the US.

The watch features a distinctive rounded crown, which was used to prevent snags and tears in the lacy white ‘stocking’ that envelops it. Morphy Auctions will present an example, estimated at $600-$1,200, in its dedicated sale of Vintage Swatch Watches on Thursday, July 18.

World War II-era Dress Uniform Elements of Captain Carleton Cole Champion, Jr.

World War II-era dress uniform elements once owned by Captain Carleton Cole Champion, Jr., estimated at $800-$1,200 at Turner Auctions + Appraisals July 13.
World War II-era dress uniform elements once owned by Captain Carleton Cole Champion, Jr., estimated at $800-$1,200 at Turner Auctions + Appraisals July 13.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA — United States Navy Captain Carleton Cole Champion, Jr. (1896-1971) may not be a household name such as Nimitz, MacArthur, Patton, or Eisenhower, but he made his mark in American military history on numerous occasions.

He served as a midshipman in World War I after graduating early from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, then trained as a naval aviator and set two world records for highest achieved altitude in both sea and land aircraft. He received a patent for high-tensile rods used in naval aircraft engines, and when World War II arrived, he was appointed captain of the USS Biscayne (AVP-11), a Barnegat-class seaplane tender in service to naval patrol aircraft in the Pacific. He retired from the Navy in 1947 after a distinguished career.

Champion’s descendants have consigned his final naval dress uniform elements to auction at Turner on Saturday, July 13 as a featured lot in its Carmel CA Estate Auction. The lot includes Captain Champion’s faux-fur bicorn hat with gold braid and brocade; formal gold braid and brocade epaulettes; captain’s rank insignia shoulder boards; and a brocade sword belt and gilt buckle, all housed in a fitted faux leather case. The lot is estimated at $800-$1,200 but certainly will sell outside those conservative numbers, given Champion’s place in American naval history.

Hey Diddle Diddle Nursery Rhyme Set of Hollowcast Lead Toys by Phillip Segal

Hey Diddle Diddle Nursery Rhyme set by Phillip Segal, estimated at $4,000-$6,000 at Old Toy Soldier Auctions July 12.
Hey Diddle Diddle Nursery Rhyme set by Phillip Segal, estimated at $4,000-$6,000 at Old Toy Soldier Auctions July 12.

PITTSBURGH, PA — The range of nursery rhyme and sporting figures issued by Phillip Segal Toys are among the most desirable of all hollowcast lead toys colloquially known as ‘civilians’.

They were made by Segal in Hampshire, England in two brief periods before and after the Second World War, from 1938 to 1939 and from 1947 to 1951,  when he died. The charming nursery rhyme series covers the characters in many of the best-known children’s poems or songs, among them the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Humpty Dumpty, The Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood.

All are considered rare in good condition, but the Hey Diddle Diddle set has become something of a Holy Grail item in the collecting hobby. Featuring four large figures – the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon, the Little Dog Who Laughed to See Such Fun, and the Dish Who Ran Away with the Spoon – the only surviving full set is this example from the John Cullen Dimestore Collection.

It was pictured on the front cover of a past issue of Old Toy Soldier Magazine, a copy of which is included with the lot when it comes under the hammer on Friday, July 12. Officials at Old Toy Soldier Auctions estimate it will sell for $4,000-$6,000. 

1927-only American Flyer No. 4687 Wide Gauge Presidential Special Set

1927-only American Flyer no. 4687 wide gauge Presidential Special Set, estimated at $1,500-$2,000 at Milestone Auctions July 13.
1927-only American Flyer no. 4687 wide gauge Presidential Special Set, estimated at $1,500-$2,000 at Milestone Auctions July 13.

WILLOUGHBY, OH — An exceedingly scarce American Flyer Wide (Standard) gauge Presidential Special Set will appear at Milestone Auctions as an under-the-radar lot in its Summer Vintage Toy Auction on Saturday, July 13. Estimated at $1,500-$2,000, in years past this set, sans its original packaging, would regularly sell in the low five figures.

Wide Gauge was a pre-AC Gilbert Co. competitor to Lionel’s Standard gauge. Both used the same distance between the outer rails, and the middle rail carried the voltage to the locomotives and passenger cars via roller pickups.

The example in the Milestone sale includes the locomotive and tender (with noted minor flaking to its finish), a US Mail Railway Post Office Car, the West Point Passenger Car, and the Annapolis Observation Car. All are described as excellent, and with a one-year-only production run, the set represents one of the most limited ‘Chicago Flyer’ offerings ever made.

Beatles ‘Revolver’ LP, Signed by All Four Band Members

Beatles ‘Revolver’ LP signed by all four band members, estimated at $12,500-$25,000 at Piece of the Past July 14.
Beatles ‘Revolver’ LP signed by all four band members, estimated at $12,500-$25,000 at Piece of the Past July 14.

TEMPE, AZ — Beatles-signed LP records are exceedingly difficult to find, and many that do appear are fakes lacking any sort of professional authentication. Piece of the Past’s Sunday, July 14 sale has a copy of 1966’s Revolver as issued by the band’s American label, Capitol Records. That year marked the final American tour by The Beatles, with its end date of August 29, 1966 at San Francisco’s famed Candlestick Park, home to the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.

This example was likely signed with a ballpoint pen by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr during the Beatles’ last visit to Capitol Records in Hollywood. The recipient was a Capitol executive, and the probable date of the signing would have been August 28, 1966, when the Beatles played Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, north of downtown and just a few miles from the Capitol Records tower.

The record is accompanied by numerous certificates of authenticity and is estimated at $12,500-$25,000.