Antique toys, trains, dolls and more on Morphy’s March 5-7 roster

Fine toys, trains, antique advertising and the P-nuttiest collection of Planter’s memorabilia to come to auction in many years are waiting in the wings for Morphy Auctions’ 2,100-lot spring sale, March 5-7, 2009.

Antique advertising and general store items are slated for the opening session on March 5. Among the highlights are a collection of early apothecary candy jars, including a 12-inch ground banjo jar; and a single-owner collection of more than 200 advertising pieces from the categories of automobilia, soda pop, tobacco, thermometers and more. In addition, bidders will be able to take their pick from syrup dispensers, trade signs, string holders, spool and ribbon cabinets.

A collection of more than 250 Coca-Cola advertising pieces encompasses signs, calendars, coolers, vibrant festoons and a rare set of five life-size Coca-Cola cardboard “serving girls.” In near-mint-plus condition, the quintet of figural signs is expected to fetch $10,000-$15,000.

Planters’ Mr. Peanut, will strut across the podium as part 1 of the renowned Van Benedict collection is auctioned. Among the top pieces in the 80-lot Benedict selection are a 6 1/2-foot-tall 1930s Mr. Peanut sign that came from a wall at Planters’ Nashville production facility, estimate $15,000-$25,000; and a Canadian papier-mâché statue of Mr. Peanut that stands 20 inches tall, estimate $5,000-$7,500. A lithographed, diecut-tin Mr. Peanut wrap-around jar display is also estimated at $5,000-$7,500.

The Friday session will open with antique and vintage marbles. Within the 80 lots to be offered is a 1 1/2-inch-diameter clown onionskin marble with suspended mica, estimate $8,000-$12,000. Many other handmade marbles will be available, as well as a large selection of machine-made marbles that came from a 60-year collection. Next on the Friday docket is a collection of more than 80 Victorian figural silverplate napkin rings. Highlights include a Rip Van Winkle estimated at $2,000-$3,000 and a tall giraffe under a palm tree that carries a $1,500-$2,200 estimate.

Friday’s session concludes with vintage baseball cards and nodders, a portion of the Carl Lobel character toy collection, and more than 100 pressed-steel vehicles. Rare entries by Buddy ‘L’ include an outdoor roundhouse, a set of aerial tower tramways, a hoisting tower with coal chute, and an original outdoor railroad engine and tender. Other pressed-steel entries include Keystone airplanes and customized mascot cars, topped by a 24-inch-long American National car.

Much of the Saturday session is devoted to trains. First up will be 20 lots of European trains, mostly by Marklin and Bing. The top Marklin lot features a big FE 2 gauge engine and tender with three, hand-enameled cars: dining, sleeping and smoking. Each features a hinged roof and outfitted interior, with tables, chairs, etc. The train’s selling price could exceed $30,000.

Other Marklin lots include a 2 gauge set with Congressional Limited cars; and another set with a Kaiser car and Crown car. An early Marklin floor train from 1909 or earlier was quite possibly a one-of-a-kind production.

The Saturday session then moves into figural metal, with more than 85 lots of cast-iron mechanical banks and a collection of approximately 80 European painted-lead still banks; followed by a selection of 260 doll lots, including a Jumeau and a number of dolls from the 1930s through 1950s. The latter grouping “may not be antiques,”said Morphy, “but it’s a consistently excellent assortment from a West Coast collector who was a stickler for buying only examples that had original tags and paperwork.”

For more information visit, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail Morphy Auctions is a division of Geppi’s Entertainment Auctions.

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