PITTSFIELD, Mass. – 365 lots of fresh, quality merchandise in a host of diverse categories – musical items, coin-op, advertising, toys, country store, banks, gaming and more – will be sold on Saturday, March 29, by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, in the firm’s gallery located at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. The auction will begin promptly at 11 a.m. (EST).
The musical items will feature rare Victrolas, gramophones, music boxes, phonographs and jukeboxes. Also sold will be automatons, slot machines, arcade games, vending and soda machines, cash registers, historical, wall phones, trade stimulators, tin litho, display cases, signs, posters, scales, political, bicycles and baseball. In short, it’s a sale with something for everyone.
Three lots are expected to hit or exceed $10,000. They are a Regina Style 38 disc changer music box with 5-cent coin operated mechanism and refinished case (est. $10,000-$15,000); a Caille Brothers one-cent coin-op baseball trade stimulator (est. $12,000-$15,000); and a figural slave abolition wood carving of a kneeling male slave, 56 inches tall (est. $10,000-$15,000).
Talk about diversity. The auction will feature a Civil War writing desk with cased 1849 Colt iron guard pocket revolver, inscribed to C. (Chapman) Biddle (est. $6,000-$8,000); an 1866 Improved Order of Men presentation axe with long ebonized wood handle (est. $5,000-$7,000); and a Jennings Sportsman Deluxe golf ball vendor 25-cent trade stimulator (est. $5,000-$7,000).
Stars of the musical category will include a Nickelodeon coin-op upright player piano band organ in a mahogany case with leaded glass doors (est. $5,000-$7,500); a Wurlitzer model 800 jukebox, 1940, fully restored in excellent shape (est. $4,500-$6,500); and a Swiss cylinder music box with bells and drum, playing twelve tunes on a three-piece comb (est. $2,500-$3,500).
Phonographs will feature an Edison Triumph Model-F cylinder phonograph with Herzog cabinet model 712, housed in an oak cased with a domed lid (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a Victor mahogany Type VI phonograph in a mahogany case with 21-inch horn (est. $3,500-$5,000). Also sold will be a Watling 25-cent Rol-A-Top twin jackpot slot machine (est. $1,500-$2,500).
Cigar-related items will include a standing figural Justice cigar lighter made for the World’s Fair (Columbian Exposition) of 1893, 18 inches tall (est. $3,500-$5,000); a William Penn cigar advertisement reading “Wm. Penn Cigars, 10 cents”, 39 inches tall (est. $3,500-$5,000); and a rare cast-iron airplane cigar lighter, made circa 1910-1915 (est. $1,000-$1,500).
Tops among toys will be a Carette wind-up steam-powered tin battleship with working propellers, in very good working condition, 21 inches in length (est. $800-$1,200); a Cor-Cor (Washington, Ind.) 1933 Graham pressed steel scale model sedan toy car (est. $1,000-$1,500); and a high-wheel monkey-on-a-bicycle pull toy with bell, made by Ives Mfg. (est. $800-$1,200).
Toy trains will feature an unusual wood and metal camelback locomotive metal engine and coal car with brass wheels, contacts and track, 30 inches overall (est. $2,000-$3,000); and an Ives Standard Gauge train set with five cars, eight pieces of track and switches (est. $600-$800). Also sold will be a cast-iron clown and harlequin mechanical bank, 2nd casting (est. $3,000-$5,000).
Soda collectors will be treated to a VMC model 81 7-Up cooler and vending machine, circa 1950s, made by Vendolator Mfg. Co., 58 ½ inches tall (est. $3,000-$5,000); a cast-iron Coca-Cola bottle fence post topper, circa 1900-1910, in the form of a Coke bottle (est. $2,500-$3,500); and a Vendo Junior Cooler Coca-Cola coin-op spin top machine (est. $1,500-$2,000).
Highlighting the tobacco signs category will be a U.S. Segars Company cigar trade wood sign with the original paint, reading “U.S. Grant Segars” (est. $1,500-$2,500); a Napoleon Cigar self-framed repousse sign with a portrait of Napoleon (est. $1,500-$2,000); and a nicely painted Prince Albert Tobacco tin sign showing a portrait of Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (est. $700-$900).
The auction will also feature a pressed steel American National Pedal Car kid’s barber chair, convertible form, with long running boards and fenders (est. $4,000-$6,000); a Gouldings Manures advertising clock, signed New Haven (Conn.) Clock Co. (est. $1,500-$2,000); and a cast-iron nutcracker depicting a standing male hobo, made circa 1890-1900 (est. $1,200-$1,500).
Rounding out some of the day’s expected top lots will be a Folies Bergere deco movie poster, by the artist Picard Pico, in a gilt and ebonized frame (est. $4,000-$6,000); a set of three cartoon animation production cels, of Sylvester, The Little Mermaid and the Smurfs (est. $1,000-$1,500); and a William Proll double tower display case with curved glass (est. $1,500-$2,500).
For those unable to attend the auction in person, internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, iCollector.com and Invaluable.com (formerly Artfact.com). Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on Friday, March 28, from 10-5, and on Saturday, March 29, auction day, from 8 a.m. until the first gavel falls, at 11 a.m. (EST).
With over 40 years in the auction business, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is a name that has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners worldwide. Cataloged lots receive nationwide exposure to the firm’s expansive database of over 18,000 qualified buyers. Seven times Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” by the public.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is actively seeking quality consignments for future sales. The firm also buys antiques and entire estates outright. To consign an item, estate or collection, call (413) 448-8922 and ask for John Fontaine. Or, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the upcoming March 29 auction, log on to www.FontainesAuction.com.