Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let's Rumble!

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Sunny and cold

Let's Rumble!

  We're already more than a month into the fall (autumn) season, and all of the auctioneers are presenting their fall lineups. The fall season offers people more time to spend indoors, but they still like to go out. So lots of auctions take place inn the fall. Winter, of course is less busy,, because many people are off to the south (florida), or spent  lots of money on Christmas presents. When springs starts to arrive, everyone has been "hibernating" indoors, and they all want to get outdoors, and so more auctions happen once more.

   I've been visit James D. Julia many times lately to see all of the fine items that he and his staff have up for auction. Sometimes I'll know exactly what I'll be writing about, and sometimes, I'm like a shopper that keeps coming back to the store, unsure of what to select.  James D. Julia has lots of fine items, and it was his fine auction company that introduced me to the "salesman's sample", which I have written about on many occasions.  But for today, it's his grouping of motorcycles that caught my eye.  Most times, auctioneers list and sell items one at at time. But if the value is lower, then they can group some to many items together, and have people bid. It saves time, and offers collectors a change to win a whole grouping in 1 bid.

   When I first went to James D. Julia, I also was not aware that he had many different divisions, one of them being guns. His company's photography is superb, and the knowledge that the writers have to add to these items is encyclopaedic in nature. What's amazing is that guns deem to move on in time, and you can find the most historic armaments, especially relating to American history.

Since these toys will be going to auction on November 7, 2014, I have included the  original condition descriptions that were described with  the original photos. 

The motorcycle on the left is a Harley Davidson with a front working headlight (battery operated).
The one on the right is an Indian brand. Harley Davidsons have their famous "V"_shaped cylinders, while the Indian motorcyles were more vertical in design.

When you see a quartet of motorcycles, each one seems to enhance the beauty of the other. What I first noticed on cast iron toys were the brilliant primary colours. Next of course was the design,followed by nickel plated wheels. Imagine, nickel was used for the wheels to keep them from rusting. That certainly worked!

What I am impressed with is the fine detail that could be achieved from cast iron. You have to remember that the cast iron process is one of the first processes that man made when he learned to mine ore and melt it. What makes these toys so exceptional is the detail. You have to be careful when buying cast iron because there are a lot of "fakes" and reproductions. However, one of the way s to differentiate "fake from authentic" is to look at the smooth surfaces and fine detail. American toys made from the 1880's-1930's used very fine sand, with exceptional craftsmen, and it's this detail that makes the toys so much enthralling.

Look at the folds and pleats in the policeman's uniform. Then of course, is the small round indentation on the holster, representing probably a snap or button to keep the gun secure. I can;t be sure, but do I see a small indentation in the eyeball representing the iris?

I whitened the foundation (what the toys are sitting on), in order to focus moron the toys. 
I don't think this photo was taken by Julia's professional photographer, but was taken to add more photos.  The photo was underexposed, and a bit out of focus. Nevertheless, I saw a great photo here.  
When I improved it, it came pout great. I like the high camera angle that presents to you the seat of the red motorcycle. But I like even more is the photographic composition, I like how the toys on the  left and right  sides are cropped (cut off) tightly so that the emphasis is on the bred and blue motorcycles.

Finally, here are the last two cast iron photos for this auction.
As I mentioned earlier, presenting the motorcycles in groups certainly gives you a sense of the diversity of these toys made back in the early parts of the 20th century.

What is also nice is the lighting. A soft diffused lighting is used on the toys to make the exposure easy to record details. Harsh lighting is harder to capture detail. What Julia's photographer ask did is make the background dark. He or she does this by using a barn door (a light blocker) to create a shadow on the background. What this in turn does is to emphasize the motorcycles again the dark.

They're certainly beautiful!

These photos are best looked at in Blogger's slide mode, since they are larger than I can present them to you. But if you really want large, venture over to the James D. Julia website. There, large photos are used to best present their fine items to viewers.

You won't be disappointed!

Thanks for dropping by, and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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