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5in tall cast-iron Rooster bank, Moore #547, partial Arcade label, near-mint condition. Estimate $300-500.
4½in tall cast-iron Two-faced Devil still bank, Moore #31. Excellent condition. Estimate $700-1,000.
6in cast-iron Santa with Tree still bank, Moore #61. Excellent-plus condition. Estimate $1000-1,500
Safety Locomotive cast-iron still bank, 5½in tall, replaced cowcatcher and light, but otherwise in excellent condition. Estimate $300-500.
Cast-iron Save a Smile Santa bank, Moore #60, wall-mount type. Very good condition. Estimate $300-500.
7in cast-iron Clown with Crooked Hat still bank, Moore #210. Excellent condition. Estimate $700-1,000.
Boxed Britains #1291 Band of the Royal Marines, prewar/postwar, circa 1945, 12-piece, lead drums, excellent condition. Estimate $300-500.
Boxed circa 1930s Britains #109 Dublin Fusiliers, prewar 8-piece set with olive drab uniforms. Missing part of end label; otherwise excellent. Estimate $200-300.
Arcade cast-iron Yellow Cab, 9in, includes driver. Excellent condition. Estimate $700-1,000.
Early American wheeled tin horse on platform, with rider. Measures 14 by 15in, restored. Estimate $700-1,000.
DENVER, Pa. - The toy hobby has been clamoring for some excitement, and it got more than its fair share with the news that Diamond International Galleries had purchased the barely one-year-old Pennsylvania company Morphy Auctions (see sidebar story). But as the company’s co-founder Dan Morphy confirmed, the only changes that lie ahead are positive ones. Morphy and Tom Sage Jr., with whom he officially launched the auction house early last year, will be working “harder than ever, doing the same things we’ve always done. The main differences our customers will notice is that we’ll be attending more shows, printing many more fliers and catalogs, and increasing the amount of advertising and publicity. All of our current staff members will remain on board, and in fact, we’ll be adding several new employees so we can provide the highest level of service possible.”
Morphy’s has implemented what will now be a set pattern of four auctions annually, one for each season, commencing this year. The no-reserve Summer sale to be held June 10-11 follows on the heels of a $1.25 million Spring event that was the fourth Morphy auction in a row to top the million-dollar mark. “We’re looking forward to our Summer sale because of the variety of antiques that has been consigned,” Morphy said. “It’s probably more diverse than any sale we’ve held to date.” Approximately 1,400 lots will be offered over two days, with most of the merchandise coming from seasoned private collections. One of the headliners is a Maryland collection of early hunting and fishing items that includes more than 250 antique duck decoys. “We were thrilled to get that collection,” Morphy said. “Decoys and sporting antiques are really hot right now, and we’re expecting them to do very well.”
A premier decoy is the rare, circa 1946 sleeping pintail drake by Lem Ward. In excellent condition, the 15in fowl retains its paper label on the bottom, and is estimated at $10,000-15,000. Another fine, early specimen is Elmer Crowell’s 3½in bluebill miniature, dating to the early 1900s. In near-mint condition, it has Crowell’s rectangular stamp underneath. The diminutive beauty is expected to fetch $1,500-2,000.
Black memorabilia collectors will be spoiled for choice with a West Coast collection of more than 150 items. Within the grouping are toys and early black-themed porcelain and china figural items, including toothbrush holders and salt and pepper shakers.
No Morphy auction would be complete without toys, the cornerstone upon which the company was built. More than 100 tin and cast-iron toys, both American and European, will be showcased, as well as 20+ soldier sets in original boxes and more than 100 dolls from a 35-year collection sourced in Lancaster, Pa. A huge variety is seen within the latter collection, with many early examples of cloth, porcelain, straw and china. Two noteworthy lots from this grouping are a 12in Jumeau-type fashion doll with bisque head, gusseted kid body and stationary cobalt eyes, $1,500-2,000; and an early 28in china-head doll, most likely by Kister, in fabulous, all-original clothing. The latter doll will be offered together with its first place ribbon from the 1963 Los Angeles United Federation of Doll Clubs competition. Estimate: $1,000-1,500.
Banks will assume a prominent role, since the Still Banks Collector Club of America has included the auction on its roster of official convention events. “They’re meeting in Lancaster (Pa.) over the same weekend as our auction,” said Morphy, “so we’re hosting an open house preview for them on the Thursday before the sale. There are 150 mechanical and still banks cataloged, and we’ve organized it so the still banks will be auctioned on Saturday at 11 a.m., to accommodate their schedule. They’ll be coming in by bus to bid.”
Among the many cast-iron treats awaiting the club members – and all other still bank aficionados – are an excellent Andy Gump Sitting on Tree Stump (Moore #217), estimate $1,500-2,000; an excellent-plus Santa with Tree (Moore #61), estimate $1,000-1,500, and a Two-faced Devil (Moore #31), estimate $700-1,000. Other appealing still bank entries include an excellent Baseball Player (Moore #19), estimate $100-200; a near-mint Rooster (Moore #547) with partial Arcade label, estimate $700-1,000; an excellent Clown with Crooked Hat (Moore #210), estimate $700-1,000; and a near-mint Minuteman (Moore #44), estimate $300-500. A wall-mount style Save a Smile Santa bank (Moore #60) in very good condition carries a $300-500 presale estimate.
Advertising items, lunchboxes, weather vanes and many other antique and vintage pieces round out the well-balanced auction inventory. Bidding will be possible from anywhere in the world online via eBay Live Auctions.
Morphy Auctions’ Summer 2005 sale will take place June 9-10 in the saleroom area of the Adamstown Antique Gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517 (on the Adamstown antique strip). Auction sessions will commence at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 10, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11. The entire inventory may be previewed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. any day leading up to the sale except Wednesdays, which are by appointment only. On both days of the auction, the preview will begin at 8 a.m.
In addition to the Internet, other forms of bidding include by phone (please arrange in advance), fax or absentee.
Buyer’s premium: 12%, with 2% discount for cash, check or money order. Additional buyer’s premium applies on sales made via the Internet. There is no reserve on any item in the sale.
Many hotels and inns are located within close proximity, in the Adamstown, Reading and Lancaster areas. Nearest airports are: Philadelphia International, Harrisburg International, Allentown-Bethlehem International and Baltimore-Washington International (BWI).
The full-color catalog can be purchased with check or credit card for $40 postpaid ($50 to overseas addresses) – or may be viewed online either at www.morphyauctions.com
Contact: Tel. (717) 335-3435, Fax (717) 336-7115
12in Jumeau-type fashion doll, unmarked, bisque shoulder-head on gusseted kid body, stationary cobalt eyes, mohair wig and cork pate. Does not have pierced ears. Nicely dressed in beautiful old dress. Excellent condition. Estimate $1,500-2,000.
Wonderful 4½in Andy Gump figural still bank depicting the classic comic character seated on a tree stump. Cast iron, Moore #217, near-mint condition. Estimate $1500-2000.
Jetsons lunchbox, steel, 1963 dome-top style, profusely graphic and colorful. Excellent condition. Estimate $700-1,000.