The incomparable Donald Kaufman antique toy collection in the spotlight at Bertoia's, March 19-21 The debut offering of the world-renowned antique toy collection of K-B Toys' co-founder Donald Kaufman will take place on March 19-21 at Bertoia Auctions. The opening sessions focus on automotive toys
News-Antique.com - Feb 07,2009 - VINELAND, N.J. - Widely regarded as the ultimate assemblage of antique and vintage toys in private hands today, the Donald Kaufman collection is headed for the auction spotlight at Bertoia's, starting with a 1,500-lot offering on March 19-21, 2009. Kaufman, one of the founders of K-B Toys (sold in 1981 to Melville Corp.), is considered a pioneer in the toy hobby, having started his collection nearly 59 years ago.
The Kaufman auction debut will follow a carefully mapped-out plan, with Thursday evening's 6 p.m. session serving as a comprehensive “sampler” of all categories to follow in the full-day sessions on Friday and Saturday. “We've chosen some wonderful highlight pieces for a panoramic overview on Thursday,” said Bertoia Auctions' owner, Jeanne Bertoia. “Collectors won't be able to sleep that night. They're going to have plenty to dream about.”
Traditionally, a symbolic meaning is attached to the opening lot of each Bertoia sale. The Kaufman sessions will open on March 19 with a factory sample of Hubley's Royal Bandwagon, representing the commencement of a procession of toys worthy of a ticker-tape parade. It will be followed by nine more factory samples from the same series, including a very rare Monkey Cage, formerly in the Perelman Museum. The cast iron continues with a Carpenter Engine House (ex L.C. Hegarty collection), an Ives Fire Engine House, and an Ives General Grant Smoking a Cigar.
A superb selection of more than 100 Lehmann toys will be offered, including examples of all five of the tinplate motorcycles produced by the celebrated Nuremberg firm: Pilot, Quex, Roon, Echo and Halloh. The latter two are boxed. Other key Lehmann lots include a Primus (roller skater), three large-size sedans, boxed delivery trucks, a Lo and Li (clown accordionist and dancer), a Snik Snak (man walking dogs) and perhaps the finest known example of a Miss Blondin tightrope walker.
An outstanding Marklin toy in the Kaufman collection is the rare 1909 circus road train with clown riders known as “Fidelitas.” One of the rarest and most immediately identifiable of all European “connoisseur's toys,” it will be joined by exquisite productions from other dominant manufacturers of the golden era of toy-making, like Bing, Tippco, Distler, Hans Eberl and Charles Rossignol.
French autos dating to the turn of the 20th century are expected to garner keen interest. Among them are an Edmond Falure Automobile Vivant runabout with its original box, and a 17-inch-long circa-1908 French town car with open chauffeur's compartment.
The opening session also includes an extensive assortment of figural automotive-theme biscuit and candy tins, including a rare De Andreis racecar and a Lu trolley; airplanes, rare, boxed TootsieToys, and some of the rarest of all racers produced by Gunthermann.
On March 20, the first full day of buying will start with the remainder of Don Kaufman's Lehmann toys, followed by early cast-iron runabouts by Kenton and Harris, and cars made by A.C. Williams, Kilgore, Arcade and Hubley. Kaufman's Hubley clockwork Mack dump truck may be the only extant example.