Hake’s Auction No. 198 features unusual toy, advertising and sports memorabilia

TIMONIUM, Md. – Hake’s Americana & Collectibles is offering what just may be the greatest selection of collectibles in the firm’s history in Auction No. 198, which closes Sept. 10.

In addition, Hake’s has slashed opening bids for the vast majority of lots to a mere 25 percent to 35 percent of conservative retail evaluations.

“These low opening bids present a great opportunity to acquire collectibles of remarkable quality in nearly all of our usual categories spanning two centuries of American history and popular culture,” according to Hake’s Web site, www.hakes.com.

An overview of the highlights is a testament to the diverse and eclectic offerings the company is known for discovering for its buyers.

They include:

One of the most desirable of all Wizard of Oz collectibles, a complete Wizard of Oz Waddle Book copyright 1934, the 208-page original story by L. Frank Baum illustrated by W.W. Denslow.

The story is followed by 3 pages of illustrated instructions for the assembly of six die-cut cardboard character figures and a ramp walkway. Figures include: Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Wizard. These figures are typically missing but all are included with this book and assembled with metal links as issued. When assembled and placed on the walkway, the characters “waddle” their way down the Yellow Brick Road. The set carries a starting bid of $3,500.

A notable lot in the political memorabilia category is a 1789 George Washington inaugural clothing button. The 3/4-inch brass memento reads, “Long Live The President" and is decorated with a laurel wreath at the center accented by tiny star below. The piece is considered fine and rare, with these smaller versions actually showing up in the marketplace much less frequently than the larger versions. It has an opening bid of $1,250.

Two more fine pieces of Americana can be found in a pair of “magnificent” William Henry Harrison 1840 hand-painted brooches.

One brooch measures 7/8-inch by 1-inch and is in considered in mint condition; the brass frame has a brilliant luster both front and back. The original pin is intact. The front glass cover has a narrow beveled edge around all four sides and all four corners are sharp with no chips. The illustration is in deep vibrant color and includes image of a flag on pole at right, log cabin with smoking chimney at center, hard cider barrel at lower left and shaded green large tree at far left all set on a green panel representing foliage in the foreground. At press time, the brooch is expected to bring $2,000 to $5,000.

The second brooch is vertical and measures 1-inch by 1 1/8-inch, which makes it much larger than the first.

The brooch’s size isn’t the only quality that separates it from the rest. Of the other known hand-painted examples, the artist usually put the cider barrel on the right. However, this artist chose to put the flagpole at right with cider barrel to the left of the cabin. Like the first brooch, the larger version is expected to sell for between $2,000 and $5,000.

Among the highlights of the sports category is an autographed copy of the book “Babe Ruth’s Own Book of Baseball.”

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 1928, the book is of a limited edition of 1,000 printed that were signed by author George Herman “Babe” Ruth. This copy is 401 of 1,000. Ruth’s bold and distinct signature appears in black ink on a specially printed interior page. Still retaining its original dust jacket that features Ruth in a black and white photo, Hake’s expects the book to bring $5,000 to $10,000.

Strong advertising pieces are expected to sell well, with a rare Elsie the Cow store display expected to reach $400 to $700.

Measuring 5 inches deep by 8 1/2 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches tall, the painted composition depicting Elsie from chest up, apron and her usual daisy necklace about her neck was produced in the 1940s.

Another unusual advertising piece likely to find wide crossover appeal from a variety of collectors is a mammoth 2 feet wide by 17 1/2 feet long a canvas banner, once used by shop owners to promote newspaper comic strips.

Printed at the top of the banner are the words “Get The Habit – Save Your Favorite Comics – Lots Of Fun!” followed by “Introducing The Comics.” What follows is a row of individual panels featuring a cavalcade of characters from comic strip titles and their creators’ names.

The banner advertises the following strips: “Bringing Up Father” by Geo. McManus showing Maggie and Jiggs, “Mickey Mouse” by Walter Disney showing both Mickey and Minnie Mouse, “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray showing both Annie and Sandy, “Ella Cinders” by Bill Conselman and Charlie Plumb, “Our Boarding House” by Ahern showing Major Hoople, “Dick Tracy” by Chester Gould and showing both Dick Tracy and Junior, “Mutt and Jeff” by Bud Fisher, “Skippy” by Percy Crosby, “Moon Mullins” by Frank Willard showing both Moon Mullins and Kayo, “Gasoline Alley” by King showing both Uncle Walt and Skeezix, “Joe Jinks” by Vic and “Felix” by Sullivan showing Felix the Cat throwing bricks in a scene reminiscent of Krazy Kat.

Probably produced in 1935, black and white art is silk-screened with all color being hand-painted. The banner is expected to sell for between $1,000 and $5,000.

Hake’s Americana & Collectibles’ Auction No. 198 closes Sept. 10. All bidding takes place online at www.hakes.com. More information about the sale may be found online or by calling 717-434-1600.