Monday, July 14, 2014

An Arcade Avery Tractor Matched to a Hardware Catalogue Page

Monday, July 14, 2014
               Sunny and hot

An Arcade Tractor Matched to a
Hardware Catalogue Photo

   One collectible that antique toy collectors and  regular collectors like to collect are old toy catalogues. The problem is that not many people kept them long ago, and the specify word for collecting paper items not meant to be collected is ephemera. You keep learning the most interesting and odd things when you write about old toys. 

   Last week,  I was very fortunate to get the permission of  a successful ebay merchant who goes by the ebay name of gdawg. He sells lots of fine and old original catalogue pages. But the blest is that a good of the pages are in fact old catalogue pages from hardware stores. At one time, hardware stores across America were the the gathering place to buy all kinds of merchandise. Anytime you watch an American western movie based on the 1850's-early 1900's, you always will see the hardware store in the movie! There were also very large hardware stores located in the big cities, and they also were like department stores that were to follow.

  The fantastic thing about these wonderful catalogues is that they have drawings (illustrations) and photos of old toys with written descriptions. As such, they are excellent references to try and learn about old toys. For today's post, I was looking to write about something else, when I came across an Arcade Avery Tractor in a 1930 page from  a  Blish, Mize & Sulliman Harware Co. catalogue. The company was established in 1871,and was in Atchison, Kansas, USA. The pages that I am presenting from gdawg have been cleaned up by me. Even though they have logos and copyright notices on them , I wouldn't want anyone to use them, since gdawg does in fact make a living from selling these fine collectibles. They make beautiful wall hangings or art when nicely matte-framed with nicely-proportioned mattes.   Make sure to ask for acid-free mattes so that the matte does not acidify the fragile and brown-toned or sepia-toned pages. 

The tractor that I am writing about today is the second one on the left column. I don;t think I ever wrote about this one, because its name reminds me of the Avery Label Company, so I would have remembered this particular item.

Imagine that in 1930, the wholesale cost of 12 of these cast iron toys was
 $ 4.00 (US) or  33 1/3 cents. What's also interesting is the weight of each - 1 pound or 454 grams!

What's of interest for people who would use this as a reference is the fact that this particular tractor is painted with a gray enamel paint, with gold strips, and red wheels.

Bertoia Auctions is a family-owned and operated business located in New Jersey (USA). When I first stopped selling toys, and decided to ask companies and people (collectors or sellers) if I might be permitted to see their photos and descriptions, Bertoia Auctions was one of the first that I contacted and receive their permission. They are an excellent resource for learning about old toys, and of course, they are a very well -respected and renowned auction company.

The Avery tractor below is painted in a green body with red wheels. This certainly is not the colour theme described in the catalogue

Below are two other variations of the Arcade Avery Tractor.
The one on the left has an all-green body with I assume nickel wheels. 

The one on the right most closely resembles the written description of the catalogue. The body is painted black, with red wheels and a gold trim. If I was actually investigating this specify toy, I would look to see if the original factory one was in fact tray or black. However, the one above is closest to all of the ones presented today.

Of course, if you happen to have a copy of the Arcade 1923 catalogue, 
you'd see the above page reproduction. The description is similar to  the Bertoia photographs, but a question remains - can an actual tray Avery tractor with red painted wheels and gold striping be found?

Of course, this would be more important to a very selective collector,
 but I'd take any of these fine old toys - my budget is limited!

Thanks for visiting,
and as always,
Have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may live.

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