Sunday, January 27, 2013

Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
                 (Brrrrr, Still very Cold!)

Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers

    I often go to Liveauctioneers to search out toys. I don't have their permission to use the photos, as it requires permissions from the individual companies. Thus I have to send a request to the specific company for permission. If the images are large enough, I'll select all of the items from this one site. If not, I'll go directly to the home website of the company.

   In looking at toys, there are many auctioneers who sell toys, and others who sell many different types of antiques. Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers is one of those multi-disciplined companies that auctions and appraises in many areas.  The diversity of their company is fascinating if one likes to browse and look at many interesting things.  Their departments include American Furniture and Decorative Arts, Antique Vehicles, Ceramics, Fine Jewelry, Musical Instruments, Science, Technology and Clocks, Fine Wines, and of course - Toys, Dolls, and Collectibles. If I had a broader-based blog, I could be writing posts for the next 1000 years!

    Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers  has galleries in Marlborough and Boston, Massachusetts. Skinner  is a highly respected and known company. What's also interesting,  is that their staff of experts often appears on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.  although I hardly ever see toys on this show.  However, the "experts' on the show certainly know their merchandise. The appraisers on PBS spend lots of time to come up with conclusive evidence to prove that the guest's item is in fact what it is or isnt.

   I see toys more often on Canadian and American Pickers. What I like about Antiques Roadshow is their ending.  Not everyone has treasures, and it's comical and entertaining to see people at the end of the show. Some thought they had fabulous treasures, only to be told that they didn't. That's what I like. Unlike the another PBS show show that's produced in Britain, where everyone seems to bring in some treasure worh 1000's of pounds!

   What I like about high-profile and known auctioneers like Skinner are several things. One is that they are going to take quality photography of their items up for auction. Another is that they will describe their items well so viewers can use that as a start should they want to research further. What also is good to know is that most of the staff are highly-educated people in the respective areas of expertise to which they are responsible for. That's good to know when you're interested in a particular item in one specific field.

     When I went to the Skinner site, I decided to look for an eclectic variety of toys that I don;t normally see,or toys that were more interesting.I did find what I was looking for!

(Please click on the above address to be redirected to the fine site of Skinner)

Three Lithographed Tin Clockwork (wind-up) Toys:
AMarx "Fire Chief" car, a T.P.S. roller-skating chef,and a Mikuni hopping bird with moving tail and wings, as it hops. THe object sizes range from 3 1/2" - 6 1/2" (89 mm - 165 mm)

Japanese Lithographed Tin Friction "Hook Robot", Wacko, circa 1955.
It's described as lacking a hook, and its size measures 7" in height (178 mm)
Marklin "O" Gauge Train Set in its Original Wooden Box

It's described as being overall in good condition with minor paint loss and "craquelure" on the car roofs.
The width of the box is 18" (467 mm). 
(I'll have to check out what the term "craquelure" means).

Clockwork Painted Tin Omnibus, early 20th century
(Length 11 3/8" 289 mm)
 You can see in this photo how Skinner  took the extra time to art direct the composition of this  presentation. Being a photographer, this is a detail that I appreciate, and it'snot that easy to present so many items and have the viewer see them individually.

Group of Thirteen Automobile Toys
I left the additional narrative out, but the collection is certainly interesting. 

I've never seen the airplane, but I have seen the Smith-Miller Firetruck.
Smith-Miller is still going strong and manufactures limited edition trucks that are in high demand.

The 4-engine airplane (circa 1950's)  is cream-coloured with blue wings. It's good to read the "cream-colour" because everyone's computer may display colours differently, and not everyone bothers or knows how to calibrate their screens.

Length of airplane:  19" (482 mm)
The Smith Miller # 3 Extension Hook and Ladder measures 36" (91.3 cm)!

Keystone Khaki-painted Steel Blue Cross Ambuilance, circa 1920's
It has balloon tires,and  is a large toy measuring 27 1/2" in length (69.8 cm)
The description includes the fact that there is paint wear and some rust.

Chein "Hercules" Lithographed Ferris Wheel, circa 1930's with clockwork (wind-up mechanism).
The height is 16 1/2" (41.9 cm)
There is a nickel-plated bell on the other side, that rings as the carts go around. J. Chein was also a highly-successful company when it was in business. The company specialized in lithographed tin-plated toys, and had a vast array of all kinds of mechanical wind-up toys.

 I've seen lots of mechanicl banks, but certainly never one like this.

A Chocoloat Menier Tin Advertising Bank.  
A 6 sided kiosk lithographed on tin with Menier advertisements.
Height:  9 1/2" (2431 mm)
It's described as lacking a hook, and its size measures 7" in height (178 mm)

What's interesting about old toys is their history. When you "dig" long enough, you realize how many companies there were way back then, and that they could all survive in the marketplace. Today, the world economy has changed  everything. There were literally thousands of American  toy companies once upon a time. From time to time, I come upon names that I haven't heard of and have to check out the source. One day, I 'll have to write a post about all of the sites on the Net that have fabulous references for researchers and toy aficianados alike.

Converse Tinplate Lithographed Double Team "Milk" Wagon.
Winchendon, Massachusetts, circa 1913's)
This toy has a wood floor and retains its original paint!
Length: 16 1/2"  (418 mm(
It's described as lacking a hook, and its size measures 7" in height (178 mm)

  I hope that the Skinner Staff will not object to my having removed the dark background that this fine item was resting on. I do advise companies that I like to improve images with their permission, andj this item certainly deserved the clean white background


Cast Iron Kyser & Rex "Organ Bank: Boy and Girl Mechanical Bank
Patented omn June 13, 1882.
The base measures 5 3/8" wide (137 mm).

I'll have to now research this company, as I've never hear do of his company. Way back when , many large hardware companies started to produce other things besides hardware (nails, screw drivers, nails, etc). Hublet and Arcasde were 2 of the largest companies then that did this.

What's interesting about mechanical banks, and in this case, the mechanism looks like a wind-up, is that the date of the patent is stamped or puched into most of them.

I thimnk the way this toy works is that  as you turn the wind-up crank,the monkey (middle figure) tips its hat, and tilts the plate in his/her hand. The coin then drops into the slot in front of the plate.
Ugh! A spelling error above on the word "written".
 This is another image that I felt would present itself better against a light-coloured background.
Even though I do enhance some images, I always let the contributor have the last word. So if they prefer the original image, I will remove mine, ad return the original to this site.

Stevens Cast Iron Mechanical "Hall's Excelsior Bank", patented on December 12, 1869.
Missing a knob and cashier's head.
The base is 3 3/8" (82 mm).

There are companies that will make toy parts and restore parts that are missing or damaged.
It's all a matter of how much that you're willing to spend on the restoration,

A few days ago, I just wrote an interesting post above some uncut parts for Stevens Mechanical Banks.
Mechanical banks are an entire sub-category on to themselves, and are wonderful in the diversity of the mechanics. Many, many companies produced mechanical banks, and Stevens was one of the more-famous and successful companies.

British Lead Soldier Group
The collection is described as coming from different sets, and with 1 scabbard (sword) missing, and 2 heads that were repaired.  

I'd like to write a post about old tin soldiers, and perhaps, I'll be able to find more lead slider groups on Skinner to work from. This specific sub-set of toys agin os a whole world by itself. In the mid 1800's and later, entire armies from around the world were made. There were even specific regiments form different parts of the "British Empire" that were made for collectors. The British are well-known to be collectors of these items. 

I'd like to thank Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers for their help in allowing me to post and use their fine photography, and descriptions.

As always, thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day, wherever you may be.


1 comment:

Mathu Jon said...

Nice article and thanks for sharing your knowledge.During auctioning times, the help must be sought from Massachusetts auctioneers . The ma appraisers will have knowledge of what kind of price something can have given the market situation. The ma auctioneers will have to master the art of realizing how to conduct this event. The Boston estate sales will have good popularity if something of great popular interest in on auction.