Comfortable new venue set the stage for spirited bidding at Old Town's Nov. 16-18 Fall sale An unexpected early blast of wintry weather couldn't keep bidders away from Old Town Auctions' Nov. 16-18 Fall sale, which grossed $470,000. A Harley-Davidson delivery van topped out at $15,950.
News-Antique.com - Dec 26,2007 - HAGERSTOWN, Md. – An unexpected early blast of wintry weather didn’t deter bidders from taking part in Old Town Auctions’ Nov. 16-18 sale of antique and vintage toys, advertising and estate items, which grossed $470,000, inclusive of 10 percent buyer’s premium. Mint/boxed toys brought premium prices, as did two rare and coveted Baranger motion displays, but the top lot of the sale – at $15,950 – ended up being a 1934 Ford panel truck later emblazoned with the Harley-Davidson Motorcycles “wings” logo.
Company partner Matt Protos believes the spacious new venue – the Next Dimensions Event Center in Hagerstown, Md. – played an important role in the auction’s success. “Everybody loved the new location,” Protos said. “The staff was incredibly accommodating, and the food was great. The crowd was a bit lighter than during our spring sale, probably because it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, but we still had 300 registered bidders, including many absentee and over the phones. On Friday and Saturday, when we sold the toys and advertising, it was our repeat customers, but on Sunday when we had our newly added section of estate and discovery items, a lot of new people turned out.”
Comic character toys had no shortage of suitors. “As always, condition ruled,” said Protos. A Chein tinplate Popeye Heavy Hitter boxing toy made $5,500, as did a 1930s George Borgfeldt Mickey Mouse on Tricycle with original box. A boxed Marx “New York” express toy, with a circling train and airplane above the Manhattan skyline, registered $3,520; and another Marx toy, an African-American-themed Spic & Span, earned $2,200 – a fine price for an unboxed example.
Many European tin toys had been entered in the sale, with most staying in the USA, according to Protos. Gunthermann’s hand-painted Balancing Clowns were steady on at $2,530, and a French-made Fernand Martin Dancing Couple waltzed away at $4,620. Always desirable, Lehmann toys also were among the leaders in the tin group. A very nice Lehmann Echo motorcycle with rider crossed the finish line at $2,200, and a Nina cat and mouse toy chased up $2,090. An example of Lehmann’s Mikado Family sold similarly for $2,090. A European bidder prevailed on an Eberl Clown Car with three clown passengers, paying $2,310.
Within the pressed-steel toys, a Steelcraft Lockheed Sirius took the blue ribbon at $1,870. Not far behind were a restored Kelmet steam-loader truck, $1,210; and a 1920 Steelcraft Skippy (standard version) pedal car, $1,100.
As predicted the two Baranger motion displays, originally manufactured as trade stimulators for jewelry stores, drew a high level of interest. The “Honeymoon Rocket,” with its bride and groom in a spacecraft, achieved a hefty $12,100. A second Baranger display featuring toy soldiers in simulated marching mode broke ranks at $6,050.
There were many unusual items in the sale, including a circa-1910 cast-iron, tin and glass hot peanuts wagon made by O.Y. Bartholomew of Vineland, N.J.. In like-new, never-used condition, it went to a collector for $9,900. And a pre-World War II mechanical