Noel Barrett's June 19-20 Toys of Summer auction revisits the golden era of toy production In Noel Barrett's June 19-20 sale, a strong core of private collections anchors the array of approximately 900 quality lots, with an especially fine selection of European toys evident.
group of Britains with additional boxed sets and a true rarity: a double-level Boy Scout Display Set No. 181.
A late arrival and a strong addition to the sale's Marklin fleet is a particularly complete example of a scarce first series battleship - the 22-inch Iowa. Consigned by an heir of the original lucky owner who received it when new in 1903, the boat is a truly remarkable survivor, especially when considering the consignor allowed her children to play with it as recently as the 1960s. The boat is totally original and even retains five original sailor figures, a lifeboat and original anchor. And as if there were any doubt, it retains the hand-painted legend “Made in Germany” on the hull.
An array of patent models will take their positions in the auction spotlight, some described by Barrett as “miniature mechanical marvels - very early and beautiful.” Some of the models are agricultural, such as the one that was made to replicate in scale a peat log processor; while others astonish the onlooker with their ability to function as smoothly and precisely as their life-size counterparts. Falling into the latter category is a an intricate (and heavy) model an early ore-mining train that Barrett describes as “truly amazing,” adding, “There are a few collectors I can immediately think of who would have a serious interest in that train.”
Transportation toys are a staple of any Noel Barrett auction. The June sale includes a hearty mix of cast iron, tin and pressed steel from several consignors. Warranting special mention within the cast iron are fresh-to-market examples of Hubley's Royal Circus Rhino Wagon and Farmer Van.
The sale also includes 24 slot machines, a small collection of mostly European-made dolls, doll houses and miniatures, and a small consignment of trains from a Canadian collector that features not only some very desirable Marklin pieces, but also a beautiful, early Ives train station and Ives 32-glass-panel train shed.
Barrett welcomed another late consignor who brought in some excellent standard-gauge Lionel trains, including a Blue Comet and a State Set. Along with the trains came some dolls and miniatures, and a very nice selection of TootsieToys, including scarce boxed sets.
The electronic catalog may be viewed online at www.artfact.com. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone, fax or live via the Internet through Artfact.com. Tel. 215-297-5109 or e-mail toys@noelbarrett. Visit Noel Barrett online at www.noelbarrett.com.
CAPTION FOR IMAGE AT TOP:
A handsome 29-inch hand-painted Marklin battleship made for the American market in the early 20th century could possibly realize $25,000-$30,000 in Barrett's sale.