This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
A Famous Lawyer's Toy Collection Comes to Auction
Tuesday, October 2, 2014 Partly cloudy with seasonal temperatures
A Famous Lawyer's Toy Collection
Comes to Auction
I'm not part of the antique news press world, so I don't get to receive news of toys before they come to auction or are announced for auction. However, if I had more time, I'm sure I could find out what is going to go to auction in advance. One day, I'll select some of these antique news "spots" so you can read about what will be happening.
I did know that Mr. Max N. Berry, a world-renowned American international trade law lawyer. This specialty area deals with the legalities and problems that can arise when materials, machinery and and foods move across borders or across the world. Mr. Berry has established himself a s a successful lawyer in this area. However, he has also given a lot of his time to American politics, as well as to non-profit organizations in Washington and all over the USA.
As for toys, Mr. Berry is an active member both of the Antique Toy Collectors of America group, as well as the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America , of which I have the pleasure to sometimes write about, and of course to refer to when needing some information about this special area of American antique toys. Mr. Berry also has served these 2 associations as a pro bono (no fees) legal adviser.
Finally, when you visit Bertoia Auctions, you will get to read more about Mr. Berry, and of course see this fabulous collection that is going to be going to auction in just six weeks.
For today, I selected just 2 fine pieces that caught my eye. The two are not the highest priced for the starting bid, nor are they most in demand. However, the pair of toys caught my eye immediately after I looked through a few pages of this collection, and I though tI'd present them today. Of course, I will be presenting many more fine toys, including of course, the many exceptional and rarer mechanical American cast iron banks that percolated the entire strata of social levels in America just a hundred years ago.
Several characteristics of this toy caught my attention right away. First and foremost is the wheelbarrow pose of the clowns. This type of toy is called a pull toy, as well as a bell toy. It would be pulled behind a child and as it moved, a bell would ring. I'll have to check if the manufacturer here (Ives) is in fax the same one who made the famous trains on the early 20th century.
The next characteristic that attracted me is the fine texture to the costumes of the clowns. I didn't want to alter the toy in any way, so the photo here have not been sharpened. I did photo-edited this toy on my computer just to exaggerate the fine lines and texture. This fine detail exemplifies the craftsmanship of that bygone era when many European craftspeople came over to America and brought their fine skill with them. One of the characteristic, (but not always) is how fake cast iron toys or compared to authentic cast iron toys. The "fakes" just cannot match the fine'y-detailed and smooth castings of these marvellous antiques.
Next are the rich-toned colours that over time have aged beautifully.
Finally, those beautiful wheels. SIx heart shapes fill then inner circumference of each wheel, and there are small rounded triangular spaces between touching hear top sides. You can't believe the work I did just to show them to you. The original photos are excellent but are against a dark grey or black foundation and background.
I must confess that my whitened effect here could use some work to soften the hardened edges of the wheels and spokes (perhaps I'm too hard on myself!).
I've written about antique bicycles and my favourites are the exaggerated huge two-wheelers. With this toy tricycle, we have three wheels. Long ago, you would need a small step-up to be able to get
on to the seat of the real bicycles or tricycles.
The beautiful colours, the expression of the policeman, his costume, all immediately caught my attention after the huge wheels. But mores,I've never seen such a toy before!
Then we have the bell that for so old a toy has no rust!
And finally, a clockwork mechanism to people the toy.
I wonder if itworks? What also caught my attention is how the clockwork (wind-up) mechanism is delicately positioned between the two back wheels, and surprisingly that doesn't both me - it's as if the "real tricycles"had such things!
Of course, excellent photography always is great to be able to see the many different angles and details, and so Kudos to Bertoia Auctions and their photographers for always making my visits so worthwhile.
So that's it for this post. I didn't want to present my usual 10 toys on this post, because I felt that these 2 toys would not get the attention that they so deserved.
You might want to visit Bertoia Auctions website to see all of the collection that will be sold.
If you like toys, you really can never get tired of new discoveries or exceptional toys.