toys and games
The Warrior of the North
2019 sold for £ 730k including premium
This group had just been found on the Isle of Lewis, at the far end of the Hebrides, facing the open sea. It is now divided between the British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland.
The figures are typical of the Nordic sagas, from the majesty of the king to the ferocity of the warders that will later be the rooks. Around 1200 CE the Norse, successors of the Vikings, enjoyed the game of chess for its simulation of war, its symbolism of life and death by the black and white squares, and its killing rules.
A queen similar to its Lewis counterparts was found in Trondheim. Broken most likely during the chiseling, it testifies to a Norwegian origin of its production, using ivory from the shores of Iceland or Greenland. For the Lewis hoard, the most likely hypothesis is that it was lost by a traveling merchant in a shipwreck.
On July 2 in London, Sotheby's sells a 8.8 cm high warder in walrus ivory that has all the characteristics of Lewis pieces, lot 7estimated £ 600K. As in the treasure, wear is due to prolonged contact with salt water and sand. Unlike the Lewis pieces, it has not been cleaned and retains dark green streaks that may be its original color for the game.
This piece is unpublished. It was bought in 1964 for £ 5 by an Edinburgh antique dealer from one of his colleagues and the family has loved it up to this day for its mysterious beauty from another time. It is the first Lewis-type chess piece to be available on the market since the discovery of the treasure.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
1720 Queen Anne Wooden Dolls
2009 SOLD 50 K$ including premium
Skinner, an auction house that operates in Boston, is preparing for October 10 in Marlborough, Massachusetts the sale of a large collection of antique dolls.
The press release is announcing an outstanding group of English and German wooden dolls of the eighteenth century. At that time the doll finally loses its characteristic of ritual object. Finely carved, with moving limbs but fixed head, it displays the period fashion, permanently as it is not designed to be stripped.
The earliest English models are identified under the generic name of Queen Anne dolls. The importance of these objects being unnoticed at that time, they are now of great rarity.
A large and beautiful Queen Anne Lady is estimated 50 K$. She is wearing a long dress with tight belt and puff skirt, and topped with a large smart hat. Dated around 1720, it is presented in a mahogany and walnut box shaped as a reliquary.
POST SALE COMMENT
The Queen Anne doll was sold 50 K$ premium included.
The dolls from the early eighteenth century are rare pieces. Be sure to follow this link, shared by the auction house, to see pictures and descriptions.
1886 The Bread Thieves Bank
2010 SOLD 80 K$ before fees
On this idea, toy manufacturers have invented two product lines. The still bank, fixed, is close to the piggy bank but uses many other themes to attract the attention of the child.
The mechanical bank is more interesting. The introduction of a coin releases a lever, which introduces a more or less complex movement. The subjects are mostly kind, like all toys. Mostly but not always, as we discuss it in the example below.
A company of Connecticut, J. & E. Stevens, produced dozens of models of mechanical banks between 1869 and 1928. A collector has assembled a fine set, for sale on May 22 by RSL Auctions in Baltimore.
Among the lots is a masterpiece in its class, in near mint condition. As with all toys, the price depends greatly on the state, and it is estimated $ 90K.
The scene of the Bread Winners mechanical bank from 1886 is inspired by the social tensions of the time, with inscriptions that leave no doubt about the message. A Worker equipped with a large hammer stands before an anvil and a loaf. On the other side, a Capitalist waits and a Jew observes. The move lowers the hammer, the anvil takes on the bread and blows the Jew both feet in the air.
The catalog with the images of the two positions of the toy is shared by the web auction platform LiveAuctioneers. See the lever in the back of the worker.
POST SALE COMMENT
The prices of the best mechanical banks are well established.
The Bread Winners has been sold $ 80K.
Here are two other results:
By the same manufacturer, J & E Stevens, an oddly entitled Calamity bank, putting into action three American football (collegiate foot ball) players, was sold $ 65K. It kept the most important quality that collectors are looking for all the toys: it was in its original box. Here is the catalog page shared by LiveAuctioneers.
A rare Turtle made around 1930 by Kilgore was sold 60 K $. Here is the catalog page shared by LiveAuctioneers.
The above prices do not include fees.
1880s A Lovely Miss in Original Couture
2009 SOLD 28 K$ before fees
I present today a pretty lady doll, lovely dressed. 34 cm high, it is marked Bru Jne. Paris 3, which corresponds to a creation of the 1880s. Bru Jne (Jeune) may be translated as Bru Jr. It is coming in November 7 at Frasher's Doll Auction, a specialized auction house which operates in Oak Grove, Missouri.
The Bru company, founded in 1866, had initially specialized in fashion dolls, with a meticulous realism for heads and clothes. The Bebe Bru bisque series continued this tradition of quality.
Our doll is particularly successful with its child's face with large bright blue eyes. It retains its original elegant clothes and big hat. Its attitude is calm and attentive, which distinguishes it from the more expressive models of the concurrent Jumeau company.
This lot is estimated $ 20K. Its description and image are shared by the platform LiveAuctioneers which is managing the sale on the web.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result at 28 K$ excl confirms that this pretty doll is part of the upscale of Bru brand.
1907 a one armed bandit in las vegas
2015 sold for $ 300k including premium
Based in Detroit in 1895, Caille Brothers cumulated more than 200 models from 1897 to 1937. The Caille Peerless released in 1907 is a roulette. A specimen in excellent condition of this floor machine 117 cm high is estimated $ 200K, for sale by Morphy in Las Vegas on May 2, lot 503 here linked to the bidding platform LiveAuctioneers.
The player introduces a 5 cent nickel coin in one of the slots that display the symbols for his lucky choice. The horizontal roulette on top of the instrument is triggered by the side crank that has given to this range of machines the popular nickname of one armed bandit. When the rotation stops, a mechanism immediately pays the player if he won.
And if he did not win, the player tries it tirelessly again, spending all his nickels without needing any intervention of a croupier.
1909 Karin and the Artist
2020 SOLD for $ 45K before fees
Most of these first issues are very rare : after the prototypes, the series was limited to 100, 101 and 109. The price at auction depends on rarity, size and condition.
The model of dolls 103 to 105 is Karin, one of the daughters of Lewin-Funcke, successively serious, laughing and friendly. The mold 104 was also used for a boy. 108 looks like Karin but with a face imitating adulthood.
103 is a classic portrait, where we can easily imagine the little girl posing in the studio. The only dimension made is 58 cm high. A 103 was sold for $ 120K before fees by Theriault's on May 20, 2006 despite three broken fingers. A 103 head on a body probably from another maker was sold for £ 50K including premium by Bonhams on September 24, 2014.
On March 21 in Annapolis MD, Theriault's sells a 103, lot 10 estimated $ 45K. The eyes have been painted with a straight gaze, providing a more natural expression than the two examples above which look at an angle. She has the same long curly blonde hair as a 48 cm high 104 sold for $ 65K before fees by Theriault's on July 22, 2019.
The only known example of the 108, 61 cm high, was sold for £ 240K including premium by Bonhams on September 24, 2014. In the same sale, a 55 cm Karin 105 was sold for £ 170K including premium. A boy 104, 51 cm high, was sold for $ 210K including premium by Theriault's on January 12, 2013.
Please watch the video shared by Theriault's narrating the 103 of the next sale.
Join us for our second 50th Anniversary Auction Weekend celebrating antique and classic dolls in Naples, Florida, March 21-22! The marquis auction weekend will feature dolls from the Lillian Hamm, Evelyn Ackerman, and Vivian Brady-Ashley Collections. https://t.co/O32Dia51G0 pic.twitter.com/KiMLwb3chD— Theriault's Auctions (@TheriaultsDolls) February 25, 2020
1909 FEAST DAY
The fairgrounds have always existed. The arrival of the attractions in the city triggered the popular amusement.Their structures have poorly survived, threatened by improvements, fires, wear out through multiple disassemblyand transport, or simply abandon.
The Carrousel-Salon (two 'r' for carrousel in French) is a summit of this art. It was made only in a few dozen of copies in the early twentieth century, some of them by the best craftsman (or artist) of the wooden horses, GustaveBayol.
Luckily, a specimen was kept in good condition after being used in the fairs of northern France from 1909 to 1937.It is for sale by Etude Gasser Audhuy on November 19 at the Ecomusée d'Alsace in Ungersheim. It is an interesting revival of the festive atmosphere from one century ago.
It is a large building of 300 square meters around a carousel of 11 meters in diameter. The facade inspired by the monumental Palais de l'Electricité of the Paris Exposition 1900 already indicates to visitors that the latest technical innovations are used for their pleasure.
For small children, the carousel is equipped with twelve pigs, twelve horses, two spinners and two gondolas. The spacious salon designed between the carousel and the walls is conducive to a good-natured fun. Secondaryartifacts were even kept, including the ticketing booth and the selling counter of drinks and confetti.
1912 THE MERMAID OF WAR
2010 SOLD 200 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
In all the waiting and amusement rooms some strange machines request money from the visitors. This practice was following in the 1920s the development of the amusement parks. In exchange for a small coin, the player runs the rules imposed by the machine, and sometime he wins a free game.
One of these old arcade games, dating from before the flippers and before electronics, is featured in the sale held from April 9 to 11 by Showtime Auction Services in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Named and labeled The War Game, it is a pistol game. The game box is sustained by a wealthy caryatid mermaid, bare-chested, displaying the convenient bait to lure the naive and the unoccupied. You can see it yourself in the right column of the press release shared by Antique Trader.
The manufacturer is identified: Matheson Novelty & Mfg. Co. The date could be earlier than 1910. The release said that only twelve arcades of this model were manufactured. This sample, so spruce after being repainted, is estimated $ 200K.
View this lot, and all the other lots of this two-days sale, on the site of the auction platform iCollector.
POST SALE COMMENT
Very good result, considering that the estimate was too high. This game coming from another age was sold 175 K $ hammer price, 200 K $ including premium.
The catalog indicates the date of manufacture, 1912. Matheson was an English manufacturer also known as the Automatic Sports Co.
1912 Märklin's Ocean Liners
2010 SOLD 195 K$ including premium
The Cunard Line dominated the transatlantic crossings. In 1906 and 1907, it launched two liners of the same model, the Mauretania and the Lusitania. With 240 m long, they were the giants of the sea.
Around 1912, Märklin realizes the model toy of the Lusitania. This very big piece nearly 1 m long is meticulously reproducing the details of the ship.
A specimen of Märklin's Lusitania is estimated $ 100K in the sale of the Forbes collection by Sotheby's in New York on December 17. This is not the most expensive toy boat among that extraordinary collection of specialty, but it is perhaps the most emblematic. Its photo is shown in the post shared by Bloomberg.
The Lusitania Cunard liner did not survive. Her sinking by a German submarine in 1915 is one of the major events of the beginning of the First World War.
POST SALE COMMENT
Superb result, $ 195K including premium for this toy boat that was well documented both for the liner (Lusitania) and for the brand (Märklin).
Buyers were not tempted by the larger toy of a warship, on which the catalog of the auction house put a doubt with no published argument on its possible attribution to Radiguet.
1915 paris at the time of the suffragettes
The Albert Marque dolls are a unique model 56 cm high of which about one hundred pieces were dressed as a boy or a girl by the couture designer Margaine-Lacroix, constituting a history of the costume.
These pieces are serialized but have not been documented or listed. They were dispersed after the Margaine-Lacroix exhibition in 1915 and despite their quality it is very difficult to construct a global vision of this realization which was unique in its kind.
The doll for sale is one of the first, with serial number 5. Unlike her sisters recently sold at auction, she does not tell history nor theater : she is a suffragette, inscribed on a sole as Mrs. Haverfield. She wears an all-weather coat that allows an outdoor activity and is accompanied by two other costumes, one of which bears the mark of Margaine-Lacroix.
Despite the war Margaine-Lacroix was indeed attentive to international social events. Suffragettes carry out violent actions in England and the United States but are not active in France.
Evelina Haverfield is the example of an English suffragette born in the petty aristocracy who had recently radicalized. The thoughtful expression of the face designed by Albert Marque, deliberately accentuated by too large eyes and a small mouth, is perfectly suited to match Mrs Haverfield's concentration on her advanced social positions.
Presented sympathetically, this example demonstrates an attraction of Margaine-Lacroix for the promotion of women. The British suffragettes obtained the right to vote three years later, followed immediately by the Americans. The pretty suffragette of Margaine-Lacroix had no influence : French women had to wait until 1944 for voting.
Please watch the video narrated by Mrs Theriault featuring the above discussed Albert Marque doll along with two rare examples of SFBJ dolls costumed by Margaine-Lacroix circa 1914 (lot 29 estimated $ 3K and lot 30 estimated $ 2.5K).
Albert Marque (lot 28) : unsold
SFBJ : $ 10K (lot 29) and $ 4K (lot 30) before fees
1920 The Hubley Monkey Wagon
2009 SOLD 98 K$ including premium
We would also like that its fun is taken into account by the market. After all, what is the purpose of a toy?
In any case, I am amused to detail the monkey wagon from the catalog of Bertoia. The sale already started on the web, and ends in Vineland, New Jersey, March 19.
It is a circus cage pulled by two parade horses. Inside the cage, the monkeys are perched on a tree. When you pull the wagon, the mesh wires of the cage revolve.
This toy 40 cm long in mint condition is estimated $ 30 K. It was made around 1920 by Hubley Manufacturing Company, which operated in Lancaster, west of Philadelphia.
The history of the toy is not enough documented: this company known for its miniature cars, trucks and motorcycles in cast metal has only two lines in the English Wikipedia.
POST SALE COMMENT
This toy seemed important to me. Far above estimates, it reached nearly a six-digit figure: $ 97.7 K inclusive. As I said above: for toys, the condition of the piece is a paramount consideration.
1932 MICKEY AND MINNIE RIDE A MOTORCYCLE
2010 SOLD 56 K$ BEFORE FEES
Mickey and Minnie must charm children. They are super nice, with a smile that is (almost) reaching the ears, as characters of Yue Minjun. But the scene is from circa 1932, sixty years before the Chinese painter.
Mickey is riding a motorcycle, and Minnie is his passenger in the back seat. It is a wind up toy in working condition, in lithographed tin, about 25 cm in length. The manufacturer, TippCo, contributed to the excellent reputation of German toys.
This topic is rare, and the catalog shared with images by LiveAuctioneers enables to understand why. The image of Mickey Mouse, created in 1928, could be used only under license, direct or indirect, from Disney.
This toy is estimated $ 23 K. It is included on April 16 in the third part of the sale of the Kaufman collection, one of the largest in its class. The wonders abound. This sale is organized as the previous two auctions by Bertoia in Vineland (New Jersey).
POST SALE COMMENT
Excellent price for this toy coming from a prestigious collection: K $ 56 before fees.
1933 WHAT SORT OF GAME MALCOLM FORBES WAS PLAYING
2010 SOLD 146 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
The name of Malcolm Forbes sounds like one of the strongest symbols of capitalism. The magazine he published, and that still bears his name, publishes lists of the richest people on the planet. His collections were famous: art, Fabergé eggs, toys, games, bikes.
In 1933, an unemployed engineer transforms capitalism into a game. His name is Charles Darrow, and he designs the Monopoly inspired by similar games that had fascinated his youth.
His first models are handmade on round boards which were said that they looked like the table of his dining room. At first he was simply protected by a copyright. Two years later, he obtained a patent and convinced a publisher.
Malcolm Forbes was very interested in Monopoly, which will not surprise anyone. He owned the earliest Monopoly game set known to survive, which is on sale at Sotheby's in New York on December 17, estimated $ 60K. The date is easy to remember: one week before Christmas. Well played!
POST SALE COMMENT
At $ 146K including premium, the result confirms that this copy is important for understanding the beginnings of the game of Monopoly.
1964 ACTION FOR THE BOYS
Girls of yesteryear were emotionally attached to a doll with a child's body. In 1959, Mattel launched Barbie, the fullyarticulated fashion doll with which you could play scenes of the real life.
In 1964, at the time of the intensification of the war in Vietnam, another revolution reached the market of Americantoys. Hasbro created GI Joe, the toy that features the American soldier hero.
I do not know the details of the influence of Barbie on Joe, but the two product lines have many similarities. Barbieis 11.5 inches tall and Joe 12 inches (30 cm). Complex scenes are created with several characters, and accessories are much varied for differentiating them.
Do not offend the sensibilities of the proud boys! They never told them that Joe is a doll. The term "action figure"chosen instead by Hasbro is a masterpiece of marketing strategy. Sociologists will long debate the influence ofBarbie and Joe on the profound changes in social mores of their time, and vice versa.
An original GI Joe prototype is estimated $ 125K, for sale by Heritage in Dallas on August 10. Here is the link to the catalog.
1970 The Duchesses of Steam
The locomotives in 4-6-2 wheel configurations meet this request. Introduced in 1933 with LMS serial numbers 62** later renumbered 462** by the British Railways, these machines were replaced in 1964 by electric locomotives.
The first series form the Princess Royal Class. From 1937 they are joined by the Coronation Class offering some performance and productivity improvements. The third batch of the Coronation Class is composed of numbers 6230 to 6234. In 1939 the Duchess of Abercorn, number 6234, sets the definitive power record for British rail steam while hauling a train of 20 coaches. The Duchess of Sutherland, number 6233, is one of three preserved Coronations and is maintained operational.
Harry Powell spent his entire career as a coppersmith at the Crewe factory. To satisfy a demanding customer, he made a 1/8 scale model of the Duchess of Buccleuch, number 6230, and of its tender by reusing the works drawings.
This 7 1/4 inch gauge 2.87 m long model is accurate in every detail including crimson exterior color, maroon livery, inscriptions, wooden floor, sliding door, copper boiler and all pieces of equipment. This realization, delivered around 1970, required 18,000 hours of work over ten years. The commissioned model of the 6230 was sold for £ 170K including premium by Dreweatts on April 25, 2012.
Another identical model of the Duchess of Buccleuch had been prepared at the same time by Powell, probably for his personal use. It is estimated beyond £ 100K for sale by Dreweatts at Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, on March 12, lot 23.
1972 CHESS in REYKJAVIK
In 1972 the Cold War was still raging. Three years before, Americans had walked on the moon. Now one of them tries to conquer another bastion, the title of world chess champion held by Soviets since 1946.
Chess tournaments and championships are psychologically intense for the players. There is no place for luck or chance in their sport. High intellectual and strategic qualities are required along with a great resistance to stress.
The match between the outgoing champion Boris Spassky and his challenger Bobby Fischer is held in Reykjavik, a neutral venue at mid-distance between Moscow and Washington. The political tension is extreme.
Fischer lost the first game and did not attend the second. He requests changes in equipment and organization with the risk that the match is cancelled. The interests at stake are so important that his requirements are accepted.
The set of equipment for sale is centered on the chessboard used from the seventh game up to the end of that "match of the century" won by Fischer on the final score 12 ½ - 8 ½.
The other equipment in the lot are a complete set of reserve pieces of the match, and a clock and a table similar as those which were used.
2009 SOLD 61 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
The visit to Europe of the young American prodigy Paul Morphy in 1858 marks the beginning of a phenomenal public interest in international chess viewed as a symbol of intelligence. Morphy is a brilliant and instinctive player.
Later generations relied upon the study and modeling of millions of games played by the grand masters. After the Second World War, the Soviet schools lead up to perfection this discipline of logics and combinations close to mathematics.
The library of Bobby Fischer is sold by Bonhams in New York on June 10, as a single lot estimated $ 50K. There are 300 volumes and 400 magazines entirely devoted to chess, but also several notebooks recording the study by Fischer of games played by Boris Spassky before their 1972 match.
Fischer won that match of the century, which was his swansong of world champion. The passionate press viewed it as a victory of the free world. These documents will enable a specialist to understand the logic that led Fischer to victory.
In the media, the world championship of chess is unnoticed since the machine has conquered man in 1997. Manufactured by IBM, it was called Deep Blue. The man, the then world champion, is still considered today as having been the greatest chess player of all time: Garry Kasparov. This event brought us in the post-human era of robots.
POST SALE COMMENT
A few years ago, fans of chess would have fought for the chance to enter the thinking of one of the best players of all time. Deep Blue has been there, and the game returned in a sad anonymity.
The lot was sold, but not exceeding one cent the lower estimate: $ 50 K before fees. Perhaps there was that a single buyer. He certainly made an excellent bargain.
1979 Safety for the Galaxy
2019 SOLD for $ 186K including premium
The appearance of a new major character must be taken into account to satisfy the customers. In 1979, before the second movie, the production company announced Boba Fett the bounty hunter. Two variants are designed with a different shape of the rest positioning of the rocket in the back of the character, J-Slot and L-Slot. A prototype is unveiled at the New York Toy Fair.
About 100 qualifying prototypes are subcontracted to Hong Kong and shipped to Kenner. The throwing system of the rocket does not meet the safety rules because the spring can be triggered unexpectedly. These prototypes with mechanism are among the rarest toys of the Star Wars. In the commercial version, the rocket will be fixed.
Some surviving prototypes sometimes appear at auction. They are often more or less damaged by the severe conditions of the tests. An unpainted L-Slot type was sold for $ 113K including premium by Hake's on July 11, 2019.
A prototype Boba Fett J-Slot in near mint condition with its separately displayed rocket is estimated in excess of $ 200K for sale online by Hake's, ending on November 7, lot 1815 here linked on the LiveAuctioneers bidding platform. This toy is in its end-of-development configuration including full painting and copyright stamps.
(Note that the appearance of this character in the very first opus of the original trilogy is a later insertion, made in 1997).
1992 The Giants of the Game
2020 SOLD for $ 360K including premium
In June 1991 Sony plans to unveil the SNES-CD. Caught up in speed by Sony and worried about the future distribution of operating rights, Nintendo immediately breaks the contract and approaches Philips. Sony, which until then had not revealed any intention to enter the game market, immediately announces its new brand PlayStation, which Nintendo fails to oppose despite an action at the federal court of the United States.
In 1992 Sony builds 200 prototypes of the adaptation of the CD-ROM and the audio player on Nintendo consoles, envisaging at that time a new cooperation with Nintendo which obviously did not succeed. These prototypes are destroyed.
One of the 200 prototypes had been put aside and then forgotten by a manager of the US division of Sony. This console has resurfaced. Analysed in full details and put back into operation by Ben Heck, this unique survivor reveals the details of the adaptation prepared in 1992 by Sony. Definitely convinced of the future of gaming, Sony releases the PlayStation in 1994.
The 1992 console is marked Sony and PlayStation, without identification of Nintendo. It is the oldest game console equipped with a CD-ROM drive, but Sony did not have the time to develop games for it in this technology. The audio system includes a switch for playing an audio CD instead of the sound of the game in progress.
The owner of this prototype had acquired it for $ 75 in the bankruptcy auction of a company to which the former Sony executive had belonged. After the rework by Heck, he used it on demonstration tours. This business was not profitable. The console will be sold by Heritage in Dallas on March 6, lot 93060. Three weeks before the sale, the auction record in the video game category is already far exceeded. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Nintendo's cooperation with Philips failed for technical reasons. The first Nintendo console with an optical disc drive will not be released until 2001. In 2004 Sony announces that it has sold 100 million consoles and 962 million games in ten years
undated (ca 2000) The Collector of Locomotives
2015 SOLD for £ 124K including premium
Waterman collects full size locomotives and also railway models. He commissioned the best English modellers to build for his personal use the models reproducing the old machines. The absolute consistency of the scale in all elements makes it most often impossible to steam them up due to the narrowness of the pipes.
Aged 68, he prepares the future financing of the maintenance of his real locomotives managed by his Waterman Railway Heritage Trust and decided to sell his collection of miniature steam models. The auction is organized in 56 lots by Dreweatts in London on April 16. Here is the link to the catalog sorted in decreasing estimates.
The three most spectacular pieces are estimated £ 100K each, lots 52, 53 and 54. Each of them displays a locomotive and tender of the Great Western Railway whose originals were circulating in England around 1900. These three specimens were made in gauge 7 1/4 inch by the modeller David Aitken. The longest measures 2.55 m including the tender.
RESULTS BEFORE FEES :
Lot 52 : £ 100K
Lot 53 : £ 100K
Lot 54 : £ 70K