Old Toy Soldier Auctions presents James A. Henderson collection, June 27-29 Retired Cummins chairman/CEO, Henderson acquired soldiers with provenance from HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Malcolm Forbes, Ed Ruby. His premier collection leads Old Toy Soldier's June 27-29 auction.
News-Antique.com - Jun 10,2014 - PITTSBURGH – Old Toy Soldier’s (OTSA) November 2013 auction grossed a record-setting $590,000 for the Pennsylvania-based company, but owner Ray Haradin thinks that record may soon be shattered. Over the weekend of June 27-29, OTSA will present the James A. Henderson collection as the featured highlight of its approximately 1,500-lot auction – an assemblage of soldiers that Haradin describes as “the most exciting collection [he has] handled to date.”
One of America’s top executives, Henderson retired from Cummins Engine Co. Inc. after a distinguished 35-year career that took him to the pinnacle of success. He held senior leadership positions at Cummins beginning in 1977, when he was appointed president and chief operating officer. Eventually he rose to the ranks of chairman and CEO. In his free time, Henderson avidly collected Britains – the best of the best.
“James Henderson has always appreciated provenance, and his collection is filled with rarities formerly in the collections of His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, Britains’ Archive, Malcolm Forbes and Ed Ruby,” said Haradin. “He started collecting in the early 1980s and was very active through the turn of the 21st century, with an emphasis on buying from ‘name’ collections.”
The Henderson collection will be the exclusive focus of the Saturday, June 28 session. Two of the top entries are a Britains set No. 6, the Royal Scots Greys (est. $12,000-$15,000); and set No. 7, the Royal Fusiliers ($7,000-$9,000). Both sets are complete, carry provenance from the Ed Ruby collection, and are featured on the cover of James Opie’s The Great Book of Britains.
“These two sets are, arguably, the most desirable sets Britains ever made. They were a Germanic style of larger-scale, hollow-cast figures that Britains only produced between 1893 and 1897. Very few figures have survived from the production runs of these two sets, so to find either set in a complete state is almost unheard of,” said Haradin.
The figures from sets No. 6 and 7 have plugged-in arms that are attached by an interior rod. Because the arms were separately cast, Britains could adapt them to hold a rifle or trumpet. After a brief five-year run, this particular type of arm was replaced by a moveable arm, Haradin said.
Another special treat in the Henderson collection is the selection of extremely rare and desirable Britains Paris Office sets. Produced for only a short time starting in 1905, figures from Britains’ French subsidiary are identifiable primarily by their paint style, but many are marked “Depose,” Haradin said. “After the Paris branch closed, the molds were sent to Britains’ headquarters in England, so the only sure way to identify the Paris productions is by the paintwork, which is quite distinctive.”
Also in the Henderson collection are a number of special-order pieces that were painted per the customer’s request at Britains’ factory. Among the rare, commissioned items to be auctioned is a Scots Guard Pipe Band set, which was formerly the property of The Duke of Gloucester and is estimated at $9,000-$12,000