Monday, June 30, 2014

Philip Weiss Auctions - Some Great Turner Trucks

Monday, June 30, 2014
          Cloudy, hot and humid

Philip Weiss Auctions-
Some Great Turner Trucks

  Last week, while searching out other toys on Liveauctioneers, I came across a nice Turner toy truck that had a very different front grille. I hadn't seen it before, and so decided to search for more Turner toy trucks.  I decided to search for more trucks, and Philip Weiss Auctions came up with the most Turner trucks, including the one with that different grille. I sent an e-mail request, and got permission from Mr. Philip Weiss to go ahead with the post.

About Philip Weiss Auctions

For 25 years, Philip Weiss Auctions has grown into one of the premier Collectibles and Estate Auction Houses. We treat our customers respectfully and treat all our consignors with prompt attention and timely payments. Our consignment terms are considered to be the most reasonable in the industry, and we never charge added fees or hidden costs to our consignors. We hold worlds records in almost every area in the collectibles field, yet we do not hesitate to handle moderate to lower end items as well.*

*Description used with permission of Philip Weiss Auction 

  At the top of the Philip Weiss Auction web site are photos and results of some of the record-breaking items sold at auction, was well as high-priced results of items that also went to auction. The items and categories are numerous and have included art, money, stamps, comic books, original drawings from  newspaper comic writers, and of course toys.

When I screen-captured Philip's logo, I kept the address. Naturally, being very inquisitive, I decided to find out where Lynbrook, New York (USA) is. It's a village Nassau County (NY State) and is 24 miles (39 KM) from New York City. What's interesting is that the American TV program "Everyone Loves Raymond) was set in this village.

This is the truck that caught my attention. Up to now, I had never seen a nice front grille like the one on this Turner truck. The Turner toy company produced  heavy gauge pressed steel toys from the 1920's-1940's. Most of the toys were trucks and cars, with rubber tires.

I selected this truck because I always like too see what an old toy would have looked like when new.

 This truck certainly got lots of play time over the many years of its life.

This truck has a friction motor. When you push the toy, the energy is transferred to a friction gear. When you remove your hands from the toy, the truck will move by itself, due to the saved-up energy inside the red box at the rear of the toy (the friction motor).

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

Exceptional "Les-Paul" Modern Era Toy Reproductions

   Monday, June 30, 2014
Overcast with very high temperatures & humidity

Les-Paul Toys

  A few days ago, I was on the Pook & Pook Inc. website selecting nice cast iron toy and salesman sample ovens for yesterday's post. At the same time, I notices a few contemporary (modern) reproductions of old trucks. These were made by a company called Les-Paul. I tried to research the name, but forgot to bookmark the little information that I could find.  What I do remember is that 2 brothers created the company. I don't think that it's in business anymore, but they made a nice collection of reproductions based on the pressed steel toys of the 1920's-1930's. Also, the major problem when searching for a toy company by the name of Les-Paul is that you keep getting results for the famous American electric guitar by of course Les Paul!

Every Les Paul toy has a riveted nameplate on the side. 

That's a reproduction of 1920's Mack Truck logo
It's hard to see what the logo is, but it's a bulldog shredding a newspaper in its mouth.

 This is a beautiful Richfield twin tanker that measures a massive 49 1/2" ( 1.257m).
I'm 100% sure these items are collectables rather than being used as toys.

I like the old-fashioned  brass-coloured spout or spigot that you see above.

Pook & Pook Inc. usually present just 1 image for each auction listing. However they have an excellent feature that allows you to zoom in and examine details close-up. I did a screen-capture to illustrate this.

I'll be presenting more of these fine contemporary Les-Paul toys in the near future. When I see restored toys or modern-era reproductions, I try to visualize what a child in 1920-1930 must have felt when he received such wonderful toys for his/her birthday or Christmas!

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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pook & Pook - An Exceptional All Around Story

Sunday, June 29, 2014
     Clear skies, hot and humid

Pook & Pook
An Exceptional All Around Story

   If you were to tell me 10 years ago that I would be writing an antique toy blog, I'd probably have asked you if you were feeling alright! However, 4 year plus in writing this blog, I am constantly rejuvenated and invigorated with the overall experience.

   First and foremost are the great people who have helped me throughout my "journey".  Almost all of those tho whom I write return my e-mails and are happy to help me out. Pook & Pook, Inc. are exceptional. Great items coming to auction, an excellent reputation in the auction world, excellent photography, and of course fantastic people.

  I always try to return to everyone who I have written about, because I know I will find great surprises that I have not yet seen before. And so, when I  revisited Pook & Pook Inc.'s upcoming auction I was aghast!. The upcoming July 15, 2014 auction has toys, but also a most unique collection of cast iron stoves. So I was thinking - stoves, stoves and toys, or  toys. Back and forth in my mind, until I had one of those Eureka moments! Why not write to Pook and Pook Inc. and see if they might wish to select what I could both post only blog, and of course have viewers venture over to their website.

  So I wrote to Deidre Pook  Magarelli, the Vice President of Pook & Pook, Inc. who wrote back to say that she would forward my request to Mr. Jaime Shearer, their toy expert. Jaime wrote that he could offer me a nice collective photo of stoves and recommend some stoves that I could present to my readers. He asked Ms. Jaime Perez of the Pook & Pook, Inc. photography department to send me that composite photo.  I'm truly thankful and hear warmed that I could receive so much help from people who I don;t even know but for having written them., and as well by just writing a blog!
People in the "working world (I'm retired) surely have lots to do, but to stop and work with me is truly "exceptional"  Also, I had asked Jaime Shearer for some information about the exceptional stove collection,and I received a unique narrative that went with the stove collection. Below is the narrative word-for-word from Jaime:


Deirdre asked me to respond to this since I was the one who cataloged the toys.  The stoves came from the collection of Marion and Donald Woelbing of Franklin, Wisconsin. The bio that was used other items we sold of there is as follows:

Marion and Donald Woelbing were the solid citizen types that for generations have built American small businesses.  They were a true partnership supporting each other in their diverse interests from breeding and showing American Kennel Club grand champion prize winning dogs, to building with their own hands “Thorntree” their home in suburban Milwaukee, to building an impressive collection of 17th and 18thcentury American antiques, to collecting varied toys and “collectables”.  Donald’s father Alfred started a small company in 1937 that became Carma Laboratories, the manufacturer of Carmex™ lip balm after a varied business career during the Depression.

Marion and Don met while in high school, were married for 55 years, and best friends for life.  When somebody once asked Marion if the two of them ever disagreed, her response was “About what?  We pretty much agreed upon everything and in those rare instances where we didn’t, we deferred to whomever felt the strongest.”

Before joining Alfred in the little Carma Labs business Don was a stone mason.  In the early days of Carma Labs there was not enough business to support two families, but as the business grew Alfred asked Don to join him in the business.  Don had a particular talent for mechanical innovations, so as Carma Labs grew the employees came to produce more Carmex with less effort.

It was quite natural that when Carma Labs became a financial success Don would want to build a house with his own hands, in the way he had persevered in setting the foundation for Carma Labs’ business success.  Don and Marion wanted to build an adaption of a Pennsylvania stone farm house and furnish it in an appropriate fashion; to have it be “perfectly correct” would have meant bring many tons of stone from eastern Pennsylvania, and Don decided that in this instance historical accuracy would be extravagant.   “Thorntree” had all the modern conveniences, but some things, such as light switches, and heating outlets were cleverly hidden so they were not readily evident when one entered a room.   Just as they did everything in their many varied collections they entered into furnishing “Thorntree” with enthusiasm after careful study. 

The Woelbings were generous when there was something for the community that needed to be done.  When the local fire department needed a new fire engine Marion and Don gave them one.

In addition to dogs Marion and Don enjoyed horses, and were active in personally taking care of these as members of the family.  In addition to having two sons and two grandchildren there was room in their house and hearts for others in need, and they acted as surrogate parents for a young woman who needed a home. 

If you wanted to include a photo or two, lots 24, 337 or 481 are some of the better examples or I also have a group shot that has 20 or so stoves in one shot.

Let me know I would be happy to forward anything that you need.


Jamie Shearer, Vice President, Appraiser
Pook & Pook, Inc. Auctioneers and Appraisers
463 East Lancaster Avenue
Downingtown, PA 19335
Mon through Fri. 9 am to 5 pm
phone: 610-269-4040

The cover drawing for the July 2014 auction catalogue

The above group photo is great because it illustrates the relative sizes of the toys and the stoves.
Some of the stoves in the collection are in fact "salesmen samples" as well as toys. I've written about salesman samples because although not really "toys" they are so unique as collectibles.  These samples would be moved around the USA by train with representative salesmen of companies. They were exact replicas of the "real" product" but for the downsizing of the item.

You can search pout my blog for "salesman samples" to see this most unique collectible category!

This stove is especially interesting due to the fact that is has provenance linking it to 
President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

For those who do not know the meaning of the word provenance,
A record of ownership of a work of art or an antique,
 used as a guide to authenticity or quality.*

I've seen cast iron stoves when I was a child in the "country". We would go in the summertime to Mississquoi Bay, Quebec located on the Canadian side of Lake Champlain. In the 1950's  you'd find many houses there still had these fine stoves. Also, when I'd go fishing "up north", you'd also find such stoves when you'd rent a cabin for your fishing trip. Of course, the fishing stoves were not as luxurious as the beauties presented here!

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Homestead Auctions with "Loads" of Courtland Toys

Friday, June 27, 2014
             Sunny and Hot

Homestead Auctions 
with "Loads" of Cortlands

   Earlier in the week, I introduced you to Mr. Jeffrey P. Prinz and  Homestead Auctions. I had found this fine auctioneer on Liveauctioneers, but now he and the company may be found on  Proxibid, as well as their own website (please see below). I presented some of their  nice American-made Courtland toys (circa 1947-1954), and decided to continue with the Courtlands again for today. The toys were made in Camden, New Jersey  from 1944-1954, but their legacy lives on in being collectibles that still work and in usually very good to excellent condition.

 You can almost always tell a Courtland toy from the following characteristics:

1. Lithographed pressed steel (tin?)

2. The lithogaphy is circa 1940's style. If you look at vintage cartoons 
from the newspaper of that ere, you will easily know what I meant by that.

3. Most of the Courtland had wind-up motors tightened with an attached key. But the most interesting thing was that these motors were guaranteed for life (read the writing on the motor).

I like the steam shovel operator lithography. He's smoking a pipe, wearing a turned up brim of the cap,  gloves, and a heavy duty overcoat. 

On several of the Courtland toys, the folds of the edges of one part of the toy fold over the other and secure the 2 parts together. Someone engineered this very well, as you can see how the toy has stayed together so well for all these years.

The yellow cab of the firetruck appears to be plastic. I would assume that this toy and the last one below (blue pick-up decorators truck) were manufactured in the 1950's, rather than in the 1940's.

The unpainted or un-lithographed parts of several of the toys appear to be rust-resistant.

Price-wise, these toys are within reasonable reach of most collectors, and would make a nice collection for someone interested in collecting. Of course, they may not appreciate in value, but you'll have loads of fun playing with them (if you're "young-at-heart". 

When you're around toys, you have to be!

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Homestead Auctions of Norton,Ohio, USA

Wednesday, June 26, 2014
          Clouds and high humidity

Homestead Auctions of 
Norton, Ohio, USA

   I'd seen the toys and logo of Homestead Auctions many times on Liveauctioneers. However, with my current selection of many people, collectors, sellers, auctioneers, and museums, I don't always think of broadening my scope of contacts. I was looking a few days ago for Courtland Toys on Liveauctioneers, and saw that Homestead Auctions had sold a fair amount of these toys.  So that was my initiative to try and make a new contact.

   I wrote to the company, and received an answer from  Mr. Jeffrey P. Prinz. The message was short and I had Mr. Prinz's permission to write about Homestead and use their photos. Homestead Auctions has been in the business for 25 years, and is located in Norton, Ohio (USA). They have a busy schedule this summer, and their auctions contain all kinds of merchandise ranging from of course toys to antique furniture to fine Asian figures.

Homestead was originally on Liveauctioneers, but is now with Proxibid.

   For those who may not know, Liveauctioneers and Proxibid are internet websites that allow people to bid online for items that are up for auction. This process has of course evolved with the Internet and the computer. Even the Internationally-renowned auction companies also auction their merchandise in this manner. Of course, people can still visit the particular auction in person, but the Internet has made bidding and auctions an international business and broaden the audience (bidders) to many more than in times past. These companies have strong security, safeguards, and scrutiny to ensure that all bidding is fair and honest, and and everything is perfectly legal and legitimate.

   I was going to present a range of Courtland toys, but I kept seeing the same truck and car body many times but with different design and lithography on the outside. Form this, I decided that for the introductory presentation of Homestead Auctions, I would do a post on all of the the same truck bodies, but with different outside lithography.  This particular is about 7"  (178 mm) and had lithography over what I assumed is tin. There are black rubber tires that are moved by a wind-up and friction mechanism.

    There are 2 things that caught my attention when I was screen-capturing and looking at these particular toys. 

The first is the address on the boxes.

Courtland Manufacturing Co., Inc., 
Camden, N.J.

A simple address like this always reminds me young children who write to 
Santa Claus, The North Pole. Of course, a country like Canada will take the letter and send a reply during the happy season of Christmas. But at one time, you could in fact send a letter or a return item to a company, and just with such simple information the toy would find its way there.

The second interesting thing was a warrant on the wind-up mechanism. If the mechanism failed to work, you could simply mail it to the company, and they would either repair the mechanism or replace it.

Try to find a guarantee like that today!

"Founded 1944, Camden, New Jersey / USA by Walter Reach. Walter started out producing die-cut cardboard toys and turned to tin after the war. In 1947 its sales exceeded 1.5 million dollars, had 600 workers and had moved production to Philadelphia. Production ceased in 1954."*

*Brief history courtesy of

What I like about the toy is the graphics and late 1940's-early 1950's style of drawing. The typography and the characters are so "retro"!

I like how the driver and passenger appear both in the front through the windshield, as well as on the sides of the car.

It's  not unusual for a company to manufacture different designs using the same frame. If you look at the posts of Tootsietoy Grahams, or Hubley Airflows, you will see that they to have used a similar production technique. I'm sure this offered the children a better selection of a similarly-designed toy, while at the same time, kept production costs down.

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Marvellous Structo Discovery

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
            Overcast with rain

A Marvellous Structo Discovery

   I was looking on the Liveauctioneers website when I came across a nice old Struco toy.It was probably made  in the early 1930's or earlier, and I had never seen it before. There were only 2 other that showed up when I did a search on Liveauctioneers for the same toy. I then did a Google search, and only found a few more.  

I normally don't ever add the price of a toy on my blog, nor direct people to the exact page of the item. However, in this case I did so. I was surprised that if there are so few of these toys available for sale or can be found on the Net, why then did it sell for a "moderate" but relatively higher price than the usual "rare" toy?  Of course, if anyone is reading this and would care to comment, by all means please send me an e-mail. 

Of course, I'm going to search for more Structo toys to see if the company made similar toy trucks but without the decals specific to this model. I like small challenges, and  of course, to try and answer my own questions.

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Some of Bing's 1920's Limousines

Monday, June 23, 2014
    Sunny and seasonally cooler

Some of Bing's 1920's Limousines

  I'd written about Bing toys in the past. One of my favourite Bing post was when I was able to match up actual catalogue drawings and written descriptions with the original toys. The Bing toy company (Germany) was one of the most successful toy companies in the world at the beginning of the 20th century. The company had a huge catalogue of toys, and made all kinds of toys. German engineering teamed up with excellent skilled workers helped in the success of the company.

   I decided to simply select 5 limousines of the 1920's and present them to you. Several of these toys came from the Bertoia Auction of the celebrated toy collector - the late Donald Kaufman. If you ever want to see superb toy collections, then you must venture over to the Bertoia website. Over a period of 3 sessions, the collection was sold, and garnered praise, as well as final auction bids.

I always an enraptured (amazed) by the fact that such old toys nearing the century mark could be kept for so long in such great shape. If only these toys could talk! I'm sure the stories that they could tell would be even more wonderful to listen to than the toys themselves.

I haven't been posting as much lately since I've been busy. My sister and brother-in-law came in from Toronto for a wedding here in Montreal.  I've also started to cycle again and teamed up with a fellow retired phys-ed teacher from Dawson College. He's in great shape,and we cycled about 50 kilometres this past Sunday - I'm still recovering! 

I also signed up with my city to use a lot of land 8' x 16'  ( 2.44 M x 4.88M) for growing vegetables.
It's a daily minor chore to check out the vegetables and water. It's also a learning experience. So far, my lettuce are having trouble. I think a groundhog decided to eat some of the long-leafed purple lettuce variety, and some of the other purple lettuce varieties are suffering from heat stroke. Everything else, including the green lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs are all doing fine. It's too bad the growing season up here is so short, but it's enjoying. 

I'll kep you informed as to how the garden is growing.

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