Smith House Fall Toy Auction The fall sale at Smith House Toy & Auction Company will feature a beautiful collection of rare celluloid windups, tin motorcycles, aircraft and automotive toys, and Disney collectibles.
News-Antique.com - Sep 17,2007 - An amazing array of pre-war celluloid toys amassed by a Connecticut collector over more than 15 years will light up the fall auction of Smith House Toys. The October/November sale will also offer a gleaming collection of more than 100 aircraft toys and 30 rare motorcycle toys in pristine condition with their original boxes.
The phone and online auction will enthrall fans of other toy fields as well. Disney collectibles in tin, celluloid, porcelain, bisque, composition and rubber will be offered, along with 50 lots of tin automotive and plenty of character toys, including the final group of Howdy Doody items from the toy chest of renowned collector Alan Rosen.
The main event in the pre-holiday celebration features the toys of the late Bill Silverman, a New Haven collector who owned some of the most desirable and unusual celluloid toys. The early form of plastic is loved for its finely detailed texture, color and delicacy, which also made it difficult to survive intact. Silverman’s toys, however, are in superb condition. Most are pre-war Japanese windups, and many come with their extremely rare original boxes, decorated in colorful, stylized graphics.
The 40-plus celluloid pieces from the Silverman collection include a 14-inch-high go-round circled by six monoplanes. It may soar to $2,000 to $3,000. Another impressive toy is a strange blend of celluloid globes, tin seesaws, and lithographed dirigibles. Among the celluloid figurals in the autumn auction are a waltzing sailor and woman in a long, cloth gown, a soldier with celluloid head and tin body, a traffic cop, clowns, drummers, and a blue elephant skipping rope.
Silverman also collected unique German and Japanese squeeze toys, character sparklers, and noisemakers, in addition to a group of car and trucks. Silverman’s 150 pre-war Japanese tin whistles include rare figurals, animals, cars, dirigibles, airplanes, circus, space, and other fanciful themes. The auction will also offer a choice selection of Silverman’s TPS tin windups, many with boxes.
All manner of modern aircraft will also be represented in the sale, many of them in their scarce original boxes. The 1950s and ’60s friction and battery-operated toys include a rare Lockheed Hercules made in Japan, with a 22-inch wingspan and an expected auction price of about $1,500. Larger still are a Cessna, with Japanese lettering on the box and a 25-inch wingspan, and a U.S. Air Force Convair B-36, with a striking 26-inch wingspan and backwards-mounted propellers.
For two-wheel travelers, there are top-shelf motorcycle toys, all in remarkable condition. Even more remarkable is that the majority come with their extremely rare boxes. The bikes include the Hadson G. Men cycle “with siren and fire,” as the Japanese packaging proclaims, and a Marusan Sunbeam with sidecar and “two-speed system.” Both are expected to sell in the $2,500 range. An Arnold Mac 700, a Japanese Arrow, a Daredevil Motor Cop by Unique Art, an English Big Chief mechanical motorcycle, and a gang of Schuco and Matchbox bikes will also rev up the bidding.