Bertoia’s May 11-12 auction slated as hybrid event merging cataloged gallery session on Day 1 with online-only sale on Day 2
Above: Arcade flat-top Yellow Cab bank, $2,500-$3,500.
Featured: Hubley Packard Straight Eight sedan, many fine Arcade vehicles & taxi banks; mechanical banks & doorstops; Sturditoy & Kingsbury collections; coin-ops, antique advertising, toy soldiers & more
VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia’s has a springtime treat in store for toy, bank and antique advertising collectors on Thursday and Friday, May 11-12. The Bertoia family will be hosting a 1,000-lot hybrid event that opens with a day-long cataloged gallery auction, followed the next day by a full slate of new discoveries presented in the Bertoia Basics online-only format collectors love. Bertoia’s president and principal auctioneer Michael Bertoia will open the first lot to bidding at 10 am Eastern time on both days. Bidders may also participate in the Thursday sale by phone, absentee or live online.
The May 11 session is noteworthy for the consistently high quality seen across its many categories. It includes Part II of a private collection of cast-iron automotive and motorcycle toys Bertoia’s introduced in March. “The collection contains one superior example after another, with rarity and impeccable provenance backing the great majority,” said Michael Bertoia.
The cast-iron automotive grouping is anchored by a Hubley Packard Straight Eight sedan, $7,000-$10,000; an Arcade White Bekins moving van, $5,000-$7,500; an Arcade White shovel-nose gasoline truck, $3,000-$5,000; and a Dent wrecker truck, $3,000-$5,000. An International panel van, $2,000-$3,000; and a Parmelee Yellow Cab, $1,500-$2,500, round out the Arcade motor pool.
The sale also features the second installment of figural cast-iron doorstops from a lifelong collection. There are around 70 doorstops in total, each a testament to its selective owner, who focused on rarity and condition as the non-negotiables before making each acquisition. Doorstops include a 1933 Popeye in pristine condition, $800-$1,200; a near-mint Parrot on Stump, $600-$900; a pristine George Washington, $500-$750; and a Grandpa Rabbit, $400-$700; to name but a few.
The cast iron section is further enhanced by a small sampling of mechanical banks from the Phil and Joan Steel collection. They include several by J.&E. Stevens, including Chief Big Moon, $1,200-$1,800; and a Boy Scout bank, $5,000-$7,500; plus a Shepard Hardware Picture Gallery bank, $4,000-$7,000. A Lighthouse bank, of unknown manufacture, is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.
Arcade cast-iron banks are led by an always popular flat-top Yellow Cab, $2,500-$3,500. A brown and white taxi cab, Lincoln 333 Yellow cab, and flat-top green taxi cab are all Arcade productions and are individually estimated at $800-$1,200.
The Thursday gallery session also includes approximately 80 pressed-steel toys, highlighted by the Michael Yolles Kingsbury automotive collection and a small but very choice Sturditoy collection from New England. Kingsbury highlights include a Huckster delivery truck from the 300 Series, $1,000-$1,500; a 400 Series coupe with rumble seat, $800-$1,200; and a 300 Series Fire Chief auto, $800-$1,200. Coveted Sturditoy productions include a 31-inch-long wrecker truck, $3,000-$5,000; and an ambulance truck, $2,500-$4,500. A 29-inch-long Buddy ‘L’ passenger bus could attract a similar winning bid of $2,500-$4,500.
More than 200 lots of antique advertising and country store items add color and fun to the lineup. Signage ranges from gas and automotive themes to soda pop and trade signs. The array of amusements also includes gumball machines, cigar lighters and refill stations; early showcases with leaded glass, advertising tip trays, decorative beverage coasters, and much more. Coin-operated machines are included in the category, with a Zeno Chewing Gum vendor cataloged at $1,000-$1,200. A Puritan Girl trade stimulator will cross the auction block with a $1,200-$1,500 estimate.
A 5ft-tall wooden cigar store sign depicting an African-American man on a wooden base advertises “Uncle Joe’s Cigars.” It is expected to make $15,000-$25,000. A 53-inch-long Dr. Pepper sign, which is new/old stock, is entered with a $2,000-$4,000 estimate; while a Pepsi-Cola salesman’s sample cooler in excellent condition is on target to sell for $1,000-$2,000. On the medicinal side, a Pratt’s Veterinary Remedies store display cabinet carries a $1,000-$1,500 estimate.
Automobile dealership signs are always in demand. A 42-inch round “Authorized Buick Dealer” sign, described as “excellent” carries a $2,000-$3,000 estimate; and a 1951 Firestone sign, new/old stock and measuring 71 inches long, is estimated at $1,200-$1,500. For bicycle fans, a French “Cycles Le Globe” poster is assigned a $1,200-$1,800 estimate, and for those who have a fascination with the golden era of railway travel, there’s a special 40-lot section of framed transportation art from the collection of noted toy train collector Rick Ralston.
Day 2 presents bidders worldwide with the opportunity to dip into an enormous variety of cast-iron, automotive and horse-drawn toys, still and mechanical banks; and toy soldiers. Collectors of antique and vintage toy soldiers and accessories will be able to choose from productions by their favorite manufacturers, including Britains, Hocker, Heyde, Hocker, Elastolin and Mignot. In addition to both boxed sets of soldiers and loose groupings, the selection includes an outstanding fleet of military vehicles by Lineol, Hausser and other German brands, similar to those that were sold in Bertoia’s November 2022 auction. Just a few of the highlights include a CBG Mignot Set #24, $1,000-$2,000; two Lineol large field cars, $800-$1,200 and $800-$1,000; an early 12-inch Lineol armored car, $700-$900; a Hausser medium field car, $600-$800; and a Mignot large airport diorama set in mint condition, $600-$800.
Other noteworthy entries include a lot of six very rare Elastolin German SS soldiers, $600-$700; a large and rare Naval Brigade 4.7 Gun & Team Set #14, $400-$800; Hocker toy soldiers Set #34, $400-$800; a Hausser Communications sidecar motorcycle, $300-$400; a complete set of Britains Royal Scots Greys #1, mint and mounted in their original box, $300-$400; and a group lot of very rare Elastolin bass drums, $300-$400.
Bertoia’s May 11-12 hybrid auction will take place at Bertoia’s gallery located at 2141 DeMarco Drive, Vineland, NJ 08360. Live attendance is by reservation only. Preview the week before the auction by appointment only. Remote-bidding options include absentee, by phone, or live online through Bertoia Live or LiveAuctioneers. Day 2 bidding is through Bertoia Live or LiveAuctioneers. Start time on both days is 10 a.m. ET. For additional information on any item in the two-day sale, to leave an absentee bid, reserve a gallery seat or telephone line for bidding, or to make a private-preview appointment, please call 856-692-1881, email toys@bertoiaauctions. com or visit Bertoia’s online: www.bertoiaauctions.com.