Auctions — March 1, 2012 at 12:01 am

Keen Competition for Antique Signs, Early European Toys at Noel Barrett’s $1.2M Auction

NEW HOPE, PA – Antique toy expert and Antiques Roadshow senior appraiser Noel Barrett hosted a Nov. 18-19 auction featuring clockwork toys and automata from the Frank Mohr collection. The sale also included early advertising signs and toys from the personal collection of Bill Powell, a Tennessee-based dealer known for his well-cultivated taste in antiques of many types.

The auction realized $1,187,000 (all prices quoted inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium), with Saturday’s sales exceeding the session’s total high estimate by a whopping 40%.

“It was like an old-fashioned sale in terms of turnout. It drew about the same size crowd we had in the very same hall 23 years ago, at our first auction in New Hope. You don’t see that sort of turnout nowadays, with so many people opting for the convenience of phone and Internet bidding. It was one heck of a crowd,” said Noel Barrett.

“The auction took us full circle in a number of ways. I was able to point to a poster in the sale and say, ‘I sold this 23 years ago, and now it’s come back to us,’” Barrett continued. “That’s what the Bill Powell collection represented – antique toys and signs that had been off the market for decades. It was very exciting to see such a full house. All of the major buyers turned out.”

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