FAIRFIELD, MAINE, May 4-5, 2011. Who knows what treasures lurk in the hearts of homes? The auctioneer knows. When items and large collections have been stashed in homes for as long as one can remember, bidders sit up and take notice. That’s exactly what happened at Julia’s recent auction to bring the final tally beyond a pre-auction estimate of just under $1.2 Million to nearly $1.4 Million. A recent discovery yielded a fantastic selection of rare toys and advertising items that had been unknown to the collecting world until now.
Included was one of the finest condition, all-original Carpenter Burning Buildings known to exist. The wooden building with its cast iron façade depicts a brownstone townhouse engulfed in flames. With the pull of a string, the brave fireman ascends the ladder to the balcony, bringing the distressed damsel down to safety. After a heated bidding battle, it doused its $20,000-30,000 estimate to sell for $31,625.
From the same collection came a rare Automatic Toys Woman’s Rights clockwork toy, which was produced before the company’s merger with the renowned Ives firm and was found in marvelous original condition. It depicted an energetic, bulging eyed black woman pounding her fist on the podium, clamoring for the right to vote. Even more amazing was the fact that it came with its original wooden box. Surpassing expectations of $6,000-9,000, it ultimately sold for $14,375.
Another recent discovery was an unbelievable live steam Atkins Stover locomotive & tender. The train was one of three commissioned by the grandfather of the consignor who was a railroad tycoon responsible for building the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad in Pennsylvania. The highly elaborate brass and steel locomotive and tender with their original wooden crates showed unmatched craftsmanship. The duo chugged past its $15,000-25,000 estimate to sell for $40,825.