Friday, January 9, 2015

I Looked for Toys and Found a Museum - Part 3

Friday, January 9, 2014
Overcast, some flurries, and cold

I Looked for Toys 
and Found a Museum 
Part 3

   This is the third and final post for a 3-part series titled "I looked for Toys and Found a Museum".
If this is the first time you've been to my blog, please look for the two previous posts of this series. My regular day starts with seeing if anyone has written me so that I may answer their questions or comments. Then I start to visit several places to search for new material and toys to write about. 

   About 6 days ago, I found Fairfield Auction, LLC on Liveauctioneers with a fine collection of toys coming up for auction on January 18, 2014.  I had seen the toys, but the more I looked within the auction ( hundreds of items besides toys), the more I was impressed and excited about all of the antique items that ere were. If I wanted to spend more time in writing,which I enjoy, I'd have a second blog about antiques, and a third about very interesting things, but I digress.

   After seeing all of the "non-toys", as I like to call items that aren;t toys, I decided to write a 3-part series on Fairfield Auction, LLC. THis post is about fine toys that I have seen and written about, yesterday's post was about most of the toys I have not seen, and 2 days before were the exceptional antique items including some of my favourite interests - you'll have to read the post - these items are exceptional!

There wasn't much narrative (text) accompanying the photos on the Liveauctioneers website. I was very tempted to add information to the narrative, but I didn't.  I leave the descriptions as they are unless there might be a mistake,in which case I will inform the auctioneer.
 It's very, very rare that I ever find errors.

So instead of "filling in the blanks" with information about the toys, I simply decided to see how much I might remember about the toys presented today. In my 40's (age) and later, I found that rather than study material to remember and learn it, it was better to simply read it for pleasure, or to practise with software,rather than reading a 600 page manual or reference book.  This I "discovered" seemed to work for new learning. When I watch Jeopardy ( a famous knowledge question-based  American TV game show), I can usually answer many of the questions.
 However, if I were to appear on TV, I would "freeze" sweat,and get tongue-tied!

I found that with today's to presentation, I did know a fair amount about the toys. I had "absorbed" a fair amount on information just by repetitive writing about the toys, and just appreciating what I was doing. You'll see what I mean when I "ad-lib" with my writing in-between the photos.

By the way, one of the reasons I selected Fairfield Auctions,LLC to write about is their excellent quality photography and the larger-sized images that they present to readers and potential bidders for the auction.

I purchased a similar Hubley racer like the one below. In the "era of cast iron American toys", Hubley was one of the largest and most successful of the time.  The cast iron toys are one of my favourites. The wheels are nickel-plated, and the hood opens up on both sides to allow you to see the engine.

The Wilkins Toy Company was purchased by the Kingsbury Company (Keene, New Hampshire) a long time ago. Both companies are long since gone.  THe key attribute to both many of the Wilkins toys, and the Kingsbury toys are their wind-up mechanisms.

I'm still learning about the many different carts and wagons there are.  Below is a dray - and you'll have to look for what a dray is in a dictionary. It's truly amazing how many horse-drawn people-carriers and merchandise carriers there were with so many different names to identitify each one!

Below is another Wilkins toy,but it's not mechanized. This toy is called a "pull toy",
and would be pulled by a cord by a young child along the road. Being a late 1800's or early 1900's toy,there were not many paced roads in the USA at the time.

I don;t know if the large cord-bound bales of "straw" are original, but their colour contrast brilliantly with the deep blue colour of the wagon (not a dray!).

With the large-sized and quality photograph, I naturally saw the metal rack around the roof edges.
Was that for additional bales of hay or for workers to move the bales into the wagon from the outside?

My wife always says that I ask too many questions!

Toys always are modelled after real life items and people of the time. This is another pull toy, and the rider would have had a set or reins to guide the horses. I can imagine one of thes "real"  pumpers literally "tearing down the street" with spoke bellowing from the larger boiler. The boiler would be used to pump water on to a fire. Imagine the horses panting as they pulled this massive boiler,  and the wagon creaking down the road!

The eagle is a familiar motif to many of these toys of the time.

This is a beautiful set of toys - a fire pumper and it's station.  I think this  might be a "transitional" toy based on the real transitional fire pumper of the time. A "transitional" pumper was a motorized pumper that replaced the horses, but still retained the older pump system and of course, there is a round-shaped disk under the driver. I'm thinking that  I like how the fireman is made from what is probably tin, because he's so thin (the rhyme was accidental).  Notice the small but interesting detail to the right side of the station building. I think it would have been a bulletin board.

I purchased an old unknown name one of these toys when I first started to write about toys. Sadly it arrived broken. It must have weighted 20 pounds  or 9.07 KG. This Kenton truck is 31 inches or .787 meters - a huge toy for the time.  It's another pull toys, and the detail is astounding. I can even imagine all the noise that this toy would make being pulled along the road or wooden sidewalk!

This toy is a bank, but a specie bank called a "mechanical bank".  This type of bank differs from the "still bank" type in that it does "trick" with a spring-activated mechanism.  The excellent photography with a nice number of photographs helps to illustrate what this J & E Stevens mechanical bank does.

At the time (1880's 1940's) most of the cast iron companies of the time produced these banks.They were so popular and still are. Today, there is an association (club) in the USA dedicated solely to mechanical banks. The name escapes me, but I will find it later today,and add the name to the post.

 This is a superb  close-up photo of the clown.  These banks were all made by hand and then hand-painted.  This photo truly gives you a great appreciation  of the casting ability of the craftsmen of the time to make these toys.

Another great pair of fine photographs.

What caught my attention to this toy was how well the paint on the toy was. I then read the description that said that the handlebars are reproductions and the driver was "professionally" recast. You can easily understand how the collector and other people  are so enamoured with collecting toys that they even restore the toy completely to this condition.

If you search for Hubley motorcycles" on my blog, you will see some of the finest  cast iron toy motorcycles ever made in the USA or for that matter around the world. Of course, I've only ever come across cast iron toys in Sweden, besides the USA, but that does not diminish in any way the exceptional quality and craftsmanship of these Hubley Motorycles. By the way, this one is modelled after the famous American real Indian Motorcycle Company. You can tell this is an Indian motorcycle by the engine, even if the label were missing.

I've only presented a "sampling" of merchandise form this fine auctioneer. If you venture over to Liveauctioneers and search for Fairfield Auction, LLC, you scan see the entire collection of items for sale.  However, set your alarm for 2 hours, otherwise you might forget the time and your wife, girlfriend or children will be wondering where you are! 

I know- my wife is always calling me to dinner or to do some work around the house!

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

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