Monday, February 5, 2018

James D. Julia Revisited

Sunday, February 4, 2018
Overcast with Snow
-1 C  30.2 F

James D. Julia Revisited

One of the finest auctioneers in North America happens to be James D. Julia.
A few years ago, Dan Morphy Auctions purchased the company from Mr. Julia. James D. Julia had up to that point auctioned collections of rare toys. When the companies merged, James D. Julia stopped auctioning toys. However, they still auction fine antiques of all categories.

What I always liked about James D. Julia, was the fact that they took very professional photographs of their items for sale, and their written descriptions were expertly researched and 
written up. The company also happene to be one of the first ones that granted me permission to use their fine photos and descriptions.


This phenomenal toy is both intrinsically appealing and charismatic. This toy was made in the latter part of the 19th century and would be the focal point for an advanced toy, bank or folk art aficionado. Often called the alphabet man, its true name according to patent papers is “The Educator”. This short, stout fellow with disproportionate extremities, upon depressing the lever, lowers his pointing hand, blinks his eyes and a new letter appears at his bow tie while his hand rises back up pointing to said letter. Just as cast iron mechanical banks were designed to educate and encourage children to save, it is obvious this toy was designed as an early educational toy to teach the children the alphabet or various words with that first letter. Only a handful of these rare toys have survived over the past 100+ years. Made of cast iron and gaily enameled in vibrant colors, it contains a somewhat intricate mechanism concealed within his body. NOTE: This toy has been referred to as the “Alphabet Man” or “The Educator” however the original patent papers indicate that it’s called “The Educator” or “The Yankee Schoolmaster”. SIZE: 10″  ( 254mm) height. PROVENANCE: Ex- Robert Stuart Collection. This toy was prominently displayed at the famed Perelman Toy Museum in Philadelphia, PA for many, many years. 

                                             GROUP OF CAST-IRON MECHANICAL BANKS.

Last quarter 19th century. American. 1) Cast-Iron Teddy and the Bear mechanical bank. J & E Stevens Co. 2) “Bucking Mule” Cast-Iron Mechanical Bank by The Judd Mfg. Co. 3) Man in period costume shooting at tree, J & E Stevens Co. Engraved “Creedmore Bank” in flat stone on base. Corning cap on base stamped “Feb 2 1875”. 4) Kyser & Rex Cast-Iron butting buffalo mechanical Bank with raccoon with mottled green paint decorated base. 5) Kyser & Rex lion and monkey bank with green mottled base. Patent date stamped on coin door “July 7 1883”. SIZE: Varying sizes from 6″  (152 mm) h x 7-3/4″ (197 mm) l to 9-1/2 (242 mm)″ h x 9-1/4″  (235mm)l. PROVENANCE: Contents of a lifetime collection “Brook Crossing,” South Pomfret, VT.

You can still go to the James D. Julia website and view past auctions of old toys, even though they are no longer selling toys as a division of Morphy Auctions. It's a great resource for excellent photographs, as well as the some of the best written toy descriptions on the Net!

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day or night.

Stacey Bindman

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