A rare find: second known Monopoly "tie box" set in April 11-13 auction A Rare Find: A second “Tie Box” Monopoly set emerges, prompting auctioneer Noel Barrett to relate a toy story that didn’t make it to the Antiques Roadshow
and she had the provenance to prove it,” Barrett said.
As it turned out, it was, indeed, a second example of what collectors refer to as the “Tie Box” set, and it had been a gift from the Darrows to a woman who had home-nursed Mrs. Darrow after childbirth. The woman willed the set to the now 70-year-old woman who had called Barrett.
“I always thought an early Monopoly set might turn up in my area,” said Barrett. “Mrs. Darrow survived her husband and lived in Doylestown, Pa., very close to my place of business in Carversville; and Darrow produced his first games in Germantown, Pa., just 45 minutes from here. Well, it finally happened, although the game came in from Easton, Pa., 45 minutes away in the other direction.”
Barrett went on to explain that, in Easton, it sat on a shelf, unplayed with, for 20 or 30 years. “No one liked using this old set, preferring the newer, folding board versions of the game. But thanks to that phone call, this set, which is in amazing condition, will be offered in our April 11-13 sale in New Hope.”
The “board” is stored by wrapping it around a stiff cardboard tube that sits neatly in its compartment in the box bottom. The set includes four original metal playing pieces that were made as Cracker Jack charms. A good supply of dime store play money also is included, with what Orbanes says is totally unique to this example: some hand-typed bills in various denominations. Darrow was known to hand-type components in earlier sets, so it is safe to assume he typed these. A full complement of deeds is included, but one each of the Chance and Community Chest cards are missing. Also included is a printed copy of the original hand-typed game rules.
“This is one Depression-era investment that didn’t go sour,” Barrett said with a laugh. “We've given it a presale estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, but it's sure to go higher. As games go, it doesn’t get any better than this one.”
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Noel Barrett’s Spring Auction featuring antique toys, trains, Americana and patent models will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 11-13 at the Eagle Fire Co. Hall, 46 N. Sugan Road, New Hope, PA 18938. The Friday session will commence at 5 p.m., with an all-day preview starting at 11 a.m. Both the Saturday and Sunday sessions will commence at 10 a.m., with a preview each day from 8-10 a.m.
A fully illustrated auction catalog is available for $35 postpaid ($40 to Canada, $45 overseas), and the electronic catalog may be viewed online at www.liveauctioneers.com approximately two weeks before the sale. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone, fax or live via the Internet through www.ebayliveauctions.com. For additional information or assistance, call 215-297-5109 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. View Noel Barrett Auctions’ Web site at www.noelbarrett.com.