Pristine Chein circus toys, with rare original boxes, consigned in 1,000-lot sale

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Old Town Auctions’ “Spring Treasure Hunt” auction will offer up more than 1,000 lots of antique and vintage toys, antique advertising and more June 11-12. “Old school” hotel room and parking lot trading will be encouraged at the event, which will be held at the Grand Venice Hotel in Hagerstown, Md., between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., said Old Town Auctions owner Matt Protos.

Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame Celebrating the Greatest Toys of All Time!Exciting color photography and delightful text capture the essence and evolution of the country’s most beloved toys.

To reward those who attend in person, Protos is offering a discounted buyer’s premium and the chance to bid on an uncataloged section of offerings prior to the live portion of the sale.

Saturday’s roster consists of a broad spectrum of toys, plus bicycles, country store and advertising items. A huge collection of early diecast vehicles from such makers as Matchbox, Corgi, TootsieToy and Lesney will be offered. Almost all are boxed.

“This is a very clean collection. There are some very good Corgis, including Batman and Green Hornet, and the Matchbox Gray Wheels run almost the entire gamut of production in the 1950s and ’60s,” Protos said.

A large collection of more than 100 Western cap and toy guns, most of them holstered, include licensed types branded for The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and more.

The tin and cast-iron toy section is led by a racer — possibly by Carette — that came from an Iowa estate. It is joined by a rare, boxed Structo Auto-Builder No. 10 Racer and several nice Lehmann wind-ups. Circus and clown toys will add color and whimsy to the sale, as will many boxed Chein toys.

Mephisto Drill Bits store display with devil character.
Mephisto Drill Bits store display with devil character is featured in the advertisment section of the June 11-12, 2011 auction.

The battery-operated category includes many space toys, including a full set of boxed Archer Spacemen and a Hasbro Lunar Launcher game that propels plastic flying saucers when the target is hit. The toy lineup continues with postwar toys by makers including Remco and Ideal, as well as automotive toys, including slot-car sets.

Highlights of the bike category include Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy models and early cruisers with fat tires. Schwinn bikes are represented by a Green Panther and a Manta Ray. A shiny Whizzer Sportsman motorcycle and Cushman Red Eagle scooter also will hit the auction block.

Antique advertising will be led by several fine Coca-Cola lots, including porcelain signs and a string holder, and a large, porcelain sign for the English brand Player’s Navy Cut Cigarettes. Other advertising signs include an 8-foot-long framed, die-cut porcelain Mobiloil Pegasus sign and a United Motors sign. Several appealing flange signs, a Sauer’s Regulator clock, a lighthouse-shape store display and a Mephisto Drill Bits store display with a devil mascot complete the category.

Sunday’s auction will be headlined by an impressive collection of exonumia (medallic art), many pieces of which are Art Deco or Art Nouveau in style. In many cases, the pieces represent achievements in transportation, technology, invention, art, science or events, such as World’s Fairs and historical occasions.

In addition to live bidding at the auction venue, Old Town accepts phone bids (call in advance to reserve a line) and both traditional and Internet-assisted absentee bids. For additional information contact 301-416-2854 or or view the illustrated auction catalog.

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