FAIRFIELD, Maine — There’s a time and a place for old friends. There’s something even comforting about seeing the familiar. But in the auction world, collectors prefer a fresh to the market selection of goods over merchandise that has been seen, bought and sold by everyone under the sun. Renowned for assembling vibrant, quality sales in a variety of categories, James D. Julia Auctioneers is about to present another auction extravaganza for a highly developed buying public. The forthcoming 3-three-day event will combine the efforts of Julia’s advertising, toy and doll division head Andrew Truman and glass and lamp department head Dudley Browne in an outstanding array of quality antiques. Heirlooms and treasures abound from some of the finest collections and private homes in the country.
The upcoming event, to be held Nov. 19-21, includes numerous specialty groupings such as a massive single owner collection of German military toys and figures from one Texas businessman. Concentrated on World War II, it includes over 80 manned vehicles. These quality toys by Lineol, Elastolin, and others represent a prime buying opportunity for the military toy aficionado. Included are two large troop carriers with clockwork motors, electric lights, retractable canvas tops, and rubber caterpillar tracks that are complete with a squadron of detailed composition soldiers heading off to battle. The detail of these machines makes for an incredibly lifelike toy. A period example in steel gray camouflage comes with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. A smaller version with chain link tracks and equally impressive detail is expected to bring $600-$800. In addition are numerous spotlight cars, field cannons, transport vehicles, and even a wind-up black open limousine carrying ‘the Fuehrer.’
Helping to complete one’s setup is a massive array of wood and composition accessories, bunkers, high wall trenches, hospital tents, and other setups. Highlights include a large pillbox cannon built into a hilltop, giving a 360-degree vantage, which is estimated to sell for $800-$1,200. In addition are over 200 unusual composition soldiers, uniformed officers, flamethrowers, spies, medical personnel, Nazi flag bearers, even representations of Hitler, Goering, and others.
German innovation has long been a favorite among collectors of antique toys. Among the most sought after is a very clever tin litho clown artist toy by Phillip Vielmetter. When affixed with one of several double cams, the seated clown actually draws pictures on the paper in front of him with a turn of a crank. This ingenious toy created between 1895 and 1905 is expected to sell for $2,500-$3,500. A selection of Gunthermann hand painted tin toys should also gain much attention. Fanciful in nature, the upcoming offering includes a bespectacled old gent affixed with angular wings on his shoulders and a clockwork propeller at his heels. He is expected to soar to $1,500-$2,500. He is joined by an aerial trapeze artist who does his routine via clockwork and pulley mechanism, which is estimated for $1,000-$2,000. Other German offerings include a near mint example of a Lehmann Kadi (also known as ‘The Busy Coolies’), with its original box and packing excelsior. Depicting two Chinese men carrying a tea caddy between them, the toy comes complete with its original flywheel wrench and an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.
American toys add to the parade of playthings. Heading the list is an all-original Ives horse head perambulator. Fresh from a New England attic, this stunning piece features a figure with papier mache head and tin hands and feet, riding a wooden hand crank tricycle with cast iron wheels. This rare and desirable piece is expected to finish up at $8,000-$12,000.
A single owner collection of HO and S-gauge trains will also be offered. The collection contains hundreds of examples by Marklin, Fleischmann, Metrop, Hag, Hornby, Rivarossi, Trix, and other obscure American and European makers. Most retain their original boxes and are in exceptional condition. The collection is to be offered as individual items and small lots coming with estimates in the range of $400-$800 apiece.
Several fine Buddy L pressed steel toys will also be offered. Heading the list is an outstanding 8-piece outdoor train set. Not only does it include the engine, tender, tanker, gondola, cattle car, flatcar, and caboose, but it also has a seldom-offered crane car. Add to that its splendid condition, and it’s something one will find difficult to pass up. It carries a presale estimate of $7,000-$9,000. Other pressed steel includes a Buddy L bus with solid construction, original decals, and steel side mount spares. Also in very good original condition, it is expected to bring $7,000-$9,000. It’s not every day one will find a scarce Buddy L pump scooter; it easily carries a large child and a $2,500-$3,500 estimate.
Cast iron includes some seldom-seen banks such as a Squirrel and Tree Stump mechanical bank depicting a full bodied squirrel about to deposit a coin in a nearby stump. This desirable bank comes with a $5,000-$7,000 estimate. And an all-original Indian Shooting Bear bank in exceptional condition with the scarcer white bear is expected to sell for $4,000-$6,000.
Collectors will be delighted with a selection of fine French dolls. Seldom seeing the market is an outstanding 20-inch 200-series “Crying Jumeau.” This lifelike character with mouth agape and eyes wrung with ill humor comes with a presale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. From the same collection and away from the public eye for almost as long is a rare 16-inch Einco googly. With her wild side glancing eyes and impish smile, this beauty is expected to sell for $14,000-$18,000. Also included are several lovely examples by Leon Casimir Bru. A 21-inch close mouth Bru Jne 10 with deep blue paperweight eyes, blond mohair wig, and original dress carries an estimate of $8,000-$10,000. Next up for bid are two 16 ½-inch Jumeau E 7 J bebes. Each with brown paperweight eyes and close mouths, fine modeling, and attractive outfits, they come with estimates of $4,000-$6,000 apiece. A large 26-inch Tete Jumeau 12 with charming facial features and amber paperweight eyes is expected to sell for $3,000-$4,000. Not to be outdone, two considerable 35-inch Jumeau 16’s with blue paperweight eyes come with estimates of $2,000-$3,000 apiece.
Speaking of considerable, a massive Cape Cod doll’s house from a Maine home features 2 1/2 floors, numerous individual rooms, and rests on a custom swivel base. Lovingly constructed and ready for occupation, it comes with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
Other selections include a collection of Door of Hope dolls such as a duo of Amah & Child. The loving grandmother with carved pear wood hands carries her swaddled grandchild on her back. The pair is expected to bring $1,500-$2,000. Others from the collection include a rare policeman in his original outfit (estimate $500-$1,000) and an elaborately dressed bride and groom (estimate $1,000-$2,000 for the pair).
In addition to the variety of toys will be a grand selection of coin-op arcade, vending, and slot machines. An Aeromatic basketball game on its original stand pits one player against another in an action-packed match. It comes from a West Coast collection and carries a $10,000-$15,000 estimate. Two Mills Baseball slots (one restored and one unrestored) add to the sports theme. Featuring a decorative porcelain front panel and baseball motif reel strips, they come with estimates of $6,500-$8,500 apiece. The selection of slots includes a Watling Rol-a-Top and the earlier Rol-a-Tor — two similar style machines, but with distinct differences. The 5-cent Rol-a-Top with nicely restored Bird of Paradise front joins the 5-cent Rol-a-Tor with the coin cornucopia front. They carry estimates of $4,000-$6,000 and $3,750-$4,750 respectively. A complete set of four Jennings Club Chief slots on their integral Art Deco stands presents a rare opportunity. All four 5-, 10-, 25-cent, and silver dollar denominations hardly ever come to public auction. They carry estimates of $3,000-$4,000 apiece.
Vending includes a rare, nicely restored Whiffs of Fragrance perfume machine with four scent choices and great style. It is expected to sell for $5,000-$8,000. And a selection of pulver chewing gum machines featuring the Yellow Kid highlights a private collection centered on the comic character. Included here are two lesser known versions of the gum vendors, a wood and oak case version and an ebonized wood, glass, and porcelain version. They are expected to bring $5,000-$8,000 and $2,000-$3,000 respectively. Created by R.F. Outcault, the same man who first drew Buster Brown, the character became a very popular mascot and merchandising tool for various products in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One such product was the Peerless automobile. Included here are several humorous and action packed ads picturing the Yellow Kid, Buster Brown, Tige, and early black stereotype children wreaking havoc in their Peerless open air vehicles. Each is expected to sell for $1,000-$3,000 apiece. The collection also includes scarce comic books, trade cards, pinback buttons, printer’s blocks, songbooks, and more.
Advertising items with crossover appeal for collectors of black memorabilia include a large 3-sheet lithographed poster for Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Encouraging the viewer to “Jes come along an laff,” this popular poster comes with an estimate of $1,500-$2,500. A vibrant die-cut string climber advertising Aunt Jemima’s pancake flour is in great condition and carries a $1,500-$2,000 presale estimate.
Other advertising includes soda related items such as a Hires Munimaker syrup dispenser. This massive countertop dispenser for the popular root beer maker features a marble base and large nickel plated spigot. Surely a money maker back in the halcyon days of soda fountains, it now comes with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000. A restored Coca-Cola Vendo-81 is expected to sell for $1,500-$2,000. Other advertising pieces include a mammoth reverse label beer mug for Jac. Ruppert’s lager that carries enough beer to make a good start and an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.
More information on the Julia auction can be obtained by going to their Web site at www.jamesdjulia.com or calling 207-453-7125. Free full-color brochures are available, or their full-color, detailed and illustrated catalogs are available for $39. Previews for the auctions will be Nov. 18 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 19-21 from 8-10 a.m. with the glass and lamp auction commencing at 10 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and the toy and doll auction commencing at 10 a.m. on Saturday, all taking place at their auction facilities on Rt. 201 in Fairfield, Maine.
Photos courtesy James Julia.