Other obscure comic character gems include a Hi-Way Henry, made by Fisher and distributed by Borgfeldt, that includes its original box. “No one we know of has seen this box before,” Rich noted. A similarly styled lithographed-tin car that is as rare as a dodo bird and possibly a prototype is the “Weekend Automobile.” Yet another rarity is the oversize Toonerville Trolley with Fontaine Fox 1922 copyright, but made in Japan.
Pressed-steel toys include rare Kingsbury designs – a “woody” station wagon, boxed outboard motor boat, and tri-motor airplane with hangar – and a few examples of Buddy ‘L’ factory archive pieces formerly in the collection of the company’s past president Richard Keats. “Don liked all of the pressed steel manufacturers and appreciated each one’s artistic interpretation,” said Rich Bertoia. “Again, the condition is fantastic, especially on some of the trucks.” Also on Friday, Bertoia’s will sell 20 of Don Kaufman’s pedal cars, including three with a comic-character theme.
Saturday’s session will feature 200 lots of European automotive toys, cast-iron and pressed-steel cars, and 30 pedal cars, including a closed-coupe Packard that would have been a luxury model in its day.
Additionally, more than 200 cast-iron toys will be offered, spanning from racers to oil tankers and wreckers. Brands include Arcade, Kenton, Hubley, Champion, Kilgore and more. Among the Arcade highlights are a U.S. Company moving van, a near-mint Hathaway’s Bakery delivery van and a very rare Brink’s express truck that is estimated at $12,000-$25,000.
The last of Don Kaufman’s biscuit tins will be auctioned during the Saturday session. A varied assortment, it includes a boxed Crawford’s racecar, a boxed Spieswagen with locomotive, several busses and delivery trucks, and a coveted Gray Dunn delivery motorcycle with sidecar.
At the first two sales featuring the Donald Kaufman Collection, Bertoia’s staff warmly welcomed members of the toy collecting community and watched with pleasure as their auctions became occasions to remember. “Socializing and sharing has always been a big part of the toy collecting hobby,” Jeanne Bertoia remarked. “As we have done in the past, we will make sure the April preview and sale are festive, light-hearted events that collectors will look forward to attending.”
Bertoia’s no-reserve auction of the Donald Kaufman Collection will take place April 16-17, 2010, with a special tribute and reception celebrating the life and collecting odyssey of the late Donald Kaufman to follow the opening day’s session. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. Information: call 856-692-1881 or e-mail Toys@BertoiaAuctions.com. Visit Bertoia’s online at www.BertoiaAuctions.com.
Circa-1932 Tippco (Germany) lithographed-tin clockwork motorcycle, 9¼ inches long with desirable toothy, five-fingered depictions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, $23,000-$28,000. Image courtesy Bertoia Auctions.