toys and games
1474 The Wit of Play
2015 SOLD for £ 56K including premium
The movements are specific to every type of piece, creating a reflection of the real society in which combinations of roles are leading to the defeat of the enemy. Checkmate is a phonetic variant of the ancient Persian Shah Mat meaning King is lost.
Long before the rules of chess are frozen, the Dominicans are interested in its social and moral significance. Around 1300,Jacopo da Cessole wrote a short treatise significantly entitled Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium ac popularium super ludo scacchorum (book of manners of men and noble roles in relation to the popular game of chess). The author is more concerned in his sermon that in the game itself which is described only in the last chapter.
Jacopo's book is a success and translations appear early. When printers are seeking to vary the topics to expand their customer base, editions of this work are performed almost simultaneously in several European cities in 1473 and 1474. The Game and Playe of Chesse is perhaps the first printed book in English by Caxton after he installed his printing press in England.
On July 15 in London, Christie's sells a recently discovered copy of the highly rare first Latin edition of Jacopo's book, printed in 1474 in Utrecht, lot 81 estimated £ 50K.
1475 The Tarots of Humanism
2009 SOLD 180 K£ including premium
The fifteenth century witnessed the invention of movable type printing. The popularization of the book generated immediately further development of wood engraving, which was practiced in Europe since the previous century.
In 1465 was printed a series of fifty engravings 18 x 10 cm, which symbolize humanism. These images are presented in five groups of ten cards: man (from beggar to Pope) ; the nine Muses and Apollo ; the seven liberal arts joined by philosophy, astrology and theology ; the three lights (sun, time and cosmos) and the seven virtues ; the celestial spheres leading to the Supreme Cause (Causa Prima) of God.
With the same content, another artist added a second and larger set around 1470, 25 x 20 cm.
Nothing is known of the origin of this work, except that some dialectical details locate it in Ferrara. Historians know it under the name of Mantegna Tarocchi. These pictures actually look like tarot cards, but there is no evidence that they could have had such a role. "Mantegna" must be understood as a simple tribute to the great artist who was one of the first of his corporation to practice engraving but is for nothing in this edition.
A copy almost complete (Rhetorica is lacking), bound in sixteenth or seventeenth century, slept since that time in a noble Italian family. It would be a reprint made about 1475, which features 47 images of the small series and two of the second one, the latter having been folded. This precious contemporary of the incunabula is estimated £ 150K at Christie's in London on December 8.
I invite my readers to consult the article Mantegna Tarocchi of Wikipedia.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result is good, especially when considering that the set was incomplete and somewhat composite: 180 K £ including premium.
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.
< 1884 The Banks of Kyser and Rex
2012 SOLD 200 K$ including premium
The auctioneer Dan Morphy is a specialist of mechanical banks. Sold by his auction house on October 27, 2007, the Steckbeck collection realized $ 7.7 million in 492 lots. The top result, $ 414K including premium, rewarded Jonah emerging out of the whale, produced by Stevens, the best known manufacturer in this category. This model is extremely rare in its original configuration.
On September 15 in Denver PA, Morphy Auctions disperse another important collection. Now, the top lots were produced by Kyser and Rex in the 1880s. Some of them had belonged to the Steckbeck collection.
These were not pseudonyms! Louis Kyser and Alfred Rex worked in cooperation in Frankfurt PA from 1879 to 1884. The catalog pages of three lots highlighted in the press release are linked below.
The Merry Go Round is estimated $ 125K. It once belonged to Steckbeck, but this one is not the copy sold $ 172K including premium in 2007. The colors of the canopy are different.
The Mikado, on the theme of the illusionist, is estimated $ 100K. The Steckbeck copy, in another color, was sold $ 290K including premium in 2007.
Roller Skating is estimated $ 100K. The Steckbeck copy was sold $ 195K including premium in 2007.
These three lots for sale are in excellent condition, but like for any other category of multiples some very small differences can cause significant changes in the price.
POST SALE COMMENT
Here are the results before fees, available on LiveAuctioneers:
The Mikado was the most outstanding lot. It reached $ 160K. Merry go round sold for $ 89K and Roller skating for $ 74K.
1903 Barnum and Bailey
2016 SOLD for $ 250K by Heritage
The leading wagon is 8.50 m long and weighs 6100 Kg. It was built by the Sebastian Wagon Company of New York. The decoration was carved by S.A. Robb, the supplier of gigantic signs in wood for the tobacco industry. It symbolically displays the two hemispheres of the globe, Western on left side and Eastern on right side.
The bandwagon is pulled by forty horses four abreast, a considerable team that was not needed for the effort but rather for the spectacular effect as it is likely that three elephants would have sufficed. A considerable strength was nevertheless required to hold the 32 Kg reins throughout the parade : this driving role is entrusted to the giant performer of the circus, Jack Posey.
The bandwagon was later used in the traveling parades of the circus. This activity was terminated in 1918 with the excuse of the obstacles brought in the streets by the power cables but also because the cities did not welcome any more the damage to asphalt and paving caused by this entertainment from another time.
Most of these cumbersome carriages have disappeared. Fortunately, the wagon with the two hemispheres survives in good condition. It is listed with a $ 200K opening bid by Heritage in Dallas on May 14, lot 42196.
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.
1907 Three-Armed Bandits
2020 SOLD for $ 246K including premium
Caille Brothers released its first model in 1897. Mills was afterward its main competitor. Saloons, restaurants, brothels, cigar shops, barbers and other establishments open to the public want it to attract customers while making a profit.
The Caille one-armed bandits are floor upright furniture decorated with an illusion of luxury. The Peerless Roulette model appears circa 1904. An example in excellent condition operated with 5 cent coins was sold for $ 300K including premium by Morphy on May 2, 2015. Another one is estimated $ 180K for sale by Morphy on October 29, lot 1079.
The license is defined per unit, so the manufacturers are helping by offering machines with two and even three independent sections for limiting the tax. They have little success because they are too heavy, and difficult to hide in the event of racketeering or police raids. The surviving units had probably been early withdrawn from the shop and forgotten in a cellar or attic.
In the same sale as above on October 29, Morphy is selling a Triple Centaur Jackpot 5c 25c 5c by Caille, lot 1110 estimated $ 200K. The three one-armed bandits are integrated side by side in an oak cabinet 160 x 180 x 48 cm. It is in an almost complete original condition including its music box and keys. It is the only known Triple Centaur. The Centaur model was created in 1907.
Lot 1331 in the same auction is a 5c 25c 50c Triple Slot Machine from the same period by Mills Dewey and Chicago, estimated $ 150K.
On January 16, 2020 a Caille Triplet Musical Upright Slot Machine was sold for $ 220K including premium by Witherell's.
RESULTS including premium :
Liberty Bell SOLD for $ 148K
Roulette SOLD for $ 190K
Triple Centaur SOLD for $ 246K
Triple Mills SOLD for $ 144K
A true slot machine collectors dream— Morphy Auctions (@MorphyAuctions) January 4, 2021
Major slot manufacturers attempted to expand into double and triple upright slots to allow operators to expand their revenue without needing additional licenses. But due to the price, operators stuck with single slots to maximize locations. pic.twitter.com/7zRXuWwKt9
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.
1915 Louis XV Lace
2017 SOLD for $ 160K before fees
The blonde girl is fitted with a long dress in wool and satin. She is pretty with four pieces in fine lace : the bonnet, the scarf or jabot folded over the neck and the pair of cuffs.
Its first owner was a little girl. The parents, conscious of the fragile beauty of the doll, required her not to play with it. She held that commitment for 86 years before having it auctioned by Theriault's in 2002.
Maintained in an excellent original condition, the doll retains its pencil title : Paulette Louis XV. By the opulence of her bonnet she is more a peasant than a marquise.
Its supposed name is funny. The reign of Louis XV remained for a long time a symbol of cool elegance between the fêtes galantes of the Régence and the country coquetry of Queen Marie-Antoinette, the wife of his successor. Paulette designates both a nice diminutive for first name Paule and a controversial tax of the Ancien Régime.
It is featured in second position in the video shared by Theriault's. The pencil title is redefined therein as Pauline Louis XVI instead of Paulette Louis XV.
1915 The Fashion of the Ballets Russes
2020 SOLD for $ 120K before fees
At the same time Poiret sought to pull his style away from the Art Nouveau. The dress without corset which he promoted since 1906 went in the same trend as the Bakst costumes : the creation of clothes liberated from the lines of the body. In 1911 he organized in his private mansion a sumptuous feast on the theme of Persia.
The fashion house Margaine-Lacroix follows that trend. It moved circa 1912 to 19 boulevard Haussmann. The exterior and interior architect is Louis Sue, specialist in artist studios, who had already carried out several projects for Poiret.
In 1915 Margaine-Lacroix managed an exhibition and sale of dolls on the theme of costume history. This operation has not been documented but is one of a kind. The dummy is a doll from a unique model, 56 cm high, prepared and signed by Albert Marque, a sculptor specializing in children's heads.
The very rare surviving dolls are the only elements that still provide a memory from this exhibition. It was war and very few were sold. The best guarantee of authenticity for a piece of clothing is the Margaine-Lacroix label. Some dolls bear a title or a first name under the foot.
The costumes of the Ballets Russes were one of the favorite themes of that dressmaker, alongside queens of France and regionalism. The doll # 21, titled Danseur Russe # 2 and dressed in silks and velvet, was sold for $ 263K including premium by Theriault's on July 12, 2009.
The dolls # 7 and # 8, inspired from Bakst's costumes for Scheherazade, are embellished with a gold brocade and with the simulation of pearls and turquoises. With their long hair, they are probably girls. Purchased together at Margaine-Lacroix during the exhibition, they have long resided in a private American museum and are in an almost mint condition including their original clothing.
The brown doll # 7 was sold for $ 240K before fees by Theriault's on January 9, 2016. Its blonde partner # 8 is estimated $ 140K for sale by Theriault's in Annapolis MD on March 21, lot 17. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Theriault's March 21-22, 2020 Marquis Auctions Are Online Now for Pre-Bidding! The auction weekend will feature dolls from the Lillian Hamm Collection and Evelyn Ackerman Saturday and mid-century dolls from the Vivian Brady-Ashley Collection on Sunday. https://t.co/C4ZbGPBdCc pic.twitter.com/l8zmZudVWA— Theriault's Auctions (@TheriaultsDolls) March 10, 2020
1915 Albert Marque for Margaine-Lacroix
2011 SOLD for $ 168K by Frasher's
Dressed in the style of the eighteenth century, she bears a large cap over her long hair, a little vest and a gorgeous robe à volants (divided dress).
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.
1924 The Blue and Red Bear
2010 SOLD 47 K£ including premium
Steiff, a German company founded in 1880, is not the inventor of the Teddy bear but assured its popularity. By a coincidence of date, they added the bear to their catalog of animals in 1902, the year when America was amused by a hunting incident involving Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt with a bear cub.
The blogger My Steiff Life had the good idea to share the illustration of the press release from Christie's and to provide comments on the specimens that are shown therein.
This confirmed that the centerpiece of this sale is a Harlequin (Harlekin) bear in blue and red mohair, estimated £ 50K. No other copy is known (at least in its size), but we know that it was designed in 1924 and that another Harlequin model existed in pink and yellow.
POST SALE COMMENT
The Harlekin Teddy Bear dominates the story in this marathon sale (not yet completed when I write). It was sold for £ 47 K including premium. The hammer price was £ 38K, somewhat below the enthusiastic lower estimate. It was sold, that's indeed the good news!
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
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 "match of the century" is won by Fischer on the final score 12 ½ - 8 ½.
On May 7, 2021 online, Heritage sells a set of equipment related to that famous event, lot 82301 estimated $ 100K.
It is made up of the chessboard used from the 7th game up to the final 21st game of the Reykjavik tournament, plus a complete set of reserve pieces of the match, and in period replicas of the clock, table and personal side tables. The board is autographed by both players in bold black marker. This set had passed at Bruun Rasmussen on June 14, 2012 and at Heritage on November 18, 2016, lot 53382.
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).
1985 Super Mario Bros by Nintendo
2020 SOLD for $ 114K including premium by Heritage
narrated post sale in 2020
Nintendo had been developing since 1981 a console with interchangeable cartridges. Distributed from 1985, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) responds perfectly to the needs and ensures in two or three years to the Japanese company the lasting control of this world market.
The NES is launched with 18 titles of which the best selling is Super Mario Bros. This game, which can be replayed with increased difficulty, is inspired by the Mario Bros. arcade game of the same brand. The player takes the role of Mario with controls much effective for that time, and manages a war against creatures that can change their shape.
The practical details remained to be defined, in particular for the packaging of the cartridge. The plastic film supersedes the sticker closing. The first wrapped copies still include a cardboard hangtab which is early abandoned because it was superfluous under the plastic wrap.
The condition is graded by Wata with a double scale, up to 10 for the game and from C to A ++ for the quality of an original seal.
On July 10, 2020 Heritage sold for $ 114K including premium a sealed Super Mario Bros. with one of the hangtab variants of the first year, graded 9.4 A + by Wata, lot 93028.
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.
1998 Blastoise Presentation Card
2021 SOLD for $ 360K including premium by Heritage
narrated post sale
The Pokémon craze quickly reaches the rest of the world. In 1998 Wizards of the Game manages to obtain the franchise from Nintendo for the edition of Pokémon cards in the United States.
To demonstrate the feasibility to Nintendo, two cards are prepared in English by Cartamundi with the image printed on holofoil on a Galaxy Star pattern background and a blank back. The creature chosen for this presentation is Blastoise, the turtoise that blasts jets of water, from a drawing by Ken Sugimori, the graphic designer of the monsters.
One of the two copies is lost. The sole survivor, graded NM/Mint+ 8.5 by CGC, was sold for $ 360K including premium by Heritage on January 14, 2021, lot 92130. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Nintendo is convinced and Wizards of the Game begins to publish the Pokémon cards in English in 1999. The terrible Blastoise occupies a prominent place in the Base Set, at number 2/102. It is illustrated by another Ken Sugimori image, with a more martial attitude.
1999 Pokémon Charizard
2021 SOLD for $ 300K including premium by Heritage
first narrated in 2020 after the sale of a card by Iconic Auctions (see below)
The Pokémon cards are edited in regular series and in exceptional cards which are reserved for the winners of a game. For example the Trainer card was prepared in 1999 in Japanese especially for the seven winners of a Super Secret Battle. A copy graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA was sold for $ 90K including premium by Heritage in July 2020.
Also in 1999, the first set of regular cards included 103 species. Factory sealed packages are eagerly sought after by collectors who hope to find the most prestigious cards there. The same trend also applies to sports cards. A sealed box from the first Pokémon series containing 36 packs of 11 cards each was sold for $ 198K including premium by Heritage in the same sale as above, in July 2020.
In this first series, the rarest of the regular cards is # 4 personalizing Charizard, a monster inspired by the European dragon whose fighting qualities are Fire for attack and Flight for defense. A card graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA was sold for $ 220K including premium by Iconic Auctions on October 9, 2020, lot 1. A card in the same grade was sold for $ 300K including premium by Heritage on January 14, 2021, lot 92131.
The Heritage catalogue tells that 2,627 copies of this Charizard card have been certified by PSA including 120 in Gem Mint condition.
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