Donald Kaufman toy collection part II adds $3M to Bertoia's ongoing auction series Part II of the Donald Kaufman antique toy collection added $3 million to the ongoing series of semiannual auctions being conducted by Bertoia's to disperse the fabled assemblage of toys.
News-Antique.com - Nov 02,2009 - VINELAND, N.J. - Part II of the Donald Kaufman antique toy collection, auctioned by Bertoia's on Sept. 25 and 26, 2009, provided yet another golden opportunity for collectors to dip into the most enticing toy box of all time. Following on the heels of the initial $4.2 million sale of Kaufman toys held March 19-21, the 1,129-lot September event added another $3 million to the ongoing series' tally so far (all prices quoted inclusive of 15% buyer's premium).
Blazing into the top slot was a German automotive prize that featured the classic detailing that could mean only one name: Marklin. A superior example of the company's circa-1912 live-steam fire pumper commanded $149,500 against an estimate of $40,000-$50,000. A masterpiece of craftsmanship, the 18-inch-long pumper featured a vibrantly hand-painted open frame with exposed boiler and intricate gear work. One of only five known examples, the Kaufman pumper sold to a European collector.
Runners-up in the sale included an early 1930s boxed Tippco (German) Mickey and Minnie Mouse on Motorcycle clockwork toy, which flew past its $40,000-$60,000 estimate to finish at $71,300; and a circa-1904 Bing (German) four-seat touring car that more than doubled its high estimate at $59,800.
Many, if not most, of the international bidders who had come to the Kaufman premiere in March returned to the United States for a second round of buying. To everyone's delight, Don and Sally Kaufman attended portions of both the preview and sale, chatting amiably with fellow collectors.
The media turned out in full force, as well. Following the New York Times article about the Kaufman collection (June 7, 2009), ABC World News Report ran a preview story and Fox Business News did an actual live broadcast from the event that subsequently aired on Fox News affiliates around the country. Additionally, there was coverage from New Jersey Public Television, Philadelphia's ABC and NBC affiliates, and both local and regional newspapers.
Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia observed that the second Kaufman sale might even have been stronger than the first sale. “Everything did well across the board, with some categories, such as penny toys, performing better than they had done in several years,” he said. “Toy collectors are more motivated than ever to buy, now that we're approaching the midpoint of the collection.”
The traveler who had come the longest distance, Peter Cooke of Fairlie, New Zealand, arrived with his good friend Bob Yurick, of Meriden, Connecticut. A collector of “full-size motor cars,” Cooke said he had never been to a toy auction before and was “curious to see what it's all about.” Cooke's two-month U.S. itinerary included attending the auction at Bertoia's, the fall antique auto show at Hershey, Pa., and a vintage car auction. “It makes it a nice trifecta,” he said.
Three generations of toy collectors from the Swaney family had convened at Bertoia's - Don Swaney Sr. of Uniontown, Pa., and his son Ron Swaney and grandson Zach Swaney, both of Fredericksburg, Va. Don had his eye on pressed steel