News-Antique.com - Apr 06,2010 - VINELAND, N.J. – The dreams of thousands of toy collectors worldwide have come true since last March when Bertoia’s launched a semiannual series of auctions to disperse the renowned Donald Kaufman Collection. Last September when the hammer fell on the closing lot for part II of the series, the incomparable collection of American, European and Japanese toys had already taken in $7.2 million, with much more to come. But many wondered if the massive Kaufman toy box had finally been depleted of its premier examples. Rich Bertoia, who cataloged much of the Kaufman collection, chuckled at the thought of the ultimate wellspring of antique toys running dry.
“If you liked parts I and II, you’ll love part III,” he said. “It’s absolutely the same high level of quality plus there’s the added attraction of part I of Don’s wonderful comic character toys. The only difference collectors will note this time around is that, sadly, Don will not be with us.” Donald Kaufman passed away on Oct. 12, 2009, knowing his toys were in the best of hands at Bertoia’s, and delighted that so many had already gone to fellow collectors in dozens of countries.
The third installment of the ongoing series, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, 2010, at Bertoia Auctions’ gallery in Vineland, N.J., will feature a diverse mix of classic cast-iron, pressed-steel, comic character and European toys in superior condition. “There was only one way that Don liked his toys – factory fresh, or very close to it,” said Rich.
Friday’s session will open with approximately 100 European automobiles, trucks, busses and other unusual pieces. Again, the esteemed Marklin brand will take the spotlight. In addition to limousines and a 16-inch-long white-bodied luxury tourer outfitted with umbrella stand and other fine accoutrements, bidders will have the opportunity to acquire a smaller-scale Marklin fire pumper (estimate $30,000-$35,000). Marklin marketed this particular fire pumper in one of two ways – as an individual toy and as part of a 4-piece set also containing a garage, ladder truck and hose reel truck.
A host of Europe’s most highly revered toy manufacturers will be represented, including Gunthermann, Bing and Carette. “Many of the golden-era limos, cars and tourers are boxed. The selection will astound collectors – something like this won’t happen again in our lifetime,” Rich said. “There are some large-scale cars, like the superb green 14-inch Carette limo ($12,000-$14,000), and some very early French cars, including one that is steam powered. One of my favorites is the beautiful, boxed French racer in a light blue color that has its two original bisque-head figures.”
On the Friday, Bertoia’s will roll out the first offering of Don’s comic character toys, most of which are boxed. The array includes Marx walking figures, all of the figural musician and jigger toys, a scarce Goofy the Gardener made at the Marx plant in Dudley, England; and a Howdy Doody store display with tin background, piano and characters, which Bertoia’s experts