Famous collection at Noel Barrett, April 11-13

NEW HOPE, Pa. – One of the great, early collections of Americana claims top billing in Noel Barrett’s 1,400-lot auction, April 11-13.

6-MonopolyGame AT 4-9.jpgThis Monopoly set is one of only two known examples of  the “tie-box” version of this ever-popular game. The printed oilcloth “board,” which rolls around a rigid cardboard tube for storage, was hand colored by Charles Darrow himself – the man credited with bringing Monopoly to Parker Brothers. The other known example is sometimes on display at toy manufacturer Hasbro’s headquarters. The set to be auctioned has the full complement of property cards, four figural metal tokens, wooden houses and hotels, and a printed copy of the original typewritten instructions. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

The Jerry Smith collection, which was acquired in its entirety by the Hallmark Corporation years ago, was amassed at a time when few were seeking private ownership of such things as carousels, trade signs, cigar store Indians and antique toys.

Containing an immense array of superior-quality antique figural trade signs and other amusements, the Jerry Smith collection comprises a substantial portion of the Friday evening session, and will be flanked by other exceptional consignments, including a unique assortment of one of a kind, three-dimensional working patent models. Most have come from the Rothschild Patent Model Collection, with examples including a paper collar machine, pool hall ball rack and brick-making machine. Toy-related examples include a tightrope walker, a cyclist and a smoker.

5-FloorTrains AT 4-9.jpgEarly American train floor toys include a scarce Althof-Bergmann Union Pacific train (top) (est. $3,000-$4,000) and a Welker-Crosby clockwork locomotive (foreground) made of iron and wood (est. $400-$500).

Two major, lifetime collections of toys and trains take the spotlight in the Saturday session. Andy Lukach, an artist by profession, amassed a superb collection of American tin and cast-iron (including horse-drawn firefighting) toys and trains, European live-steam trains including Marklin and Carette; and a very solid specialty collection of English brass dockyard-style locomotives, which Barrett described as “a significant part of the sale.”

The second featured component of Saturday’s (and Sunday’s) sessions is the Eugene Straub collection of trains and toys, which is especially strong on 20th-century American track trains, including Dorfan – a fairly scarce make that ran third behind Lionel and American Flyer. “The Straub collection is a nicely rounded, varietal toy collection,” Barrett observed, “with a range that runs from Buddy ‘L’ to boxed TootsieToys, including a TootsieToys Funnies set.”

7-PatentModels AT 4-9.jpgUnique is an often misused word, but not in the case of these United States patent models, each of which is a one-of-a-kind production. From 1790 to 1880, the U.S. Patent Office required a working 3-dimensional model to be presented before a patent could be granted. Shown here are a collar-making machine, planter, pool hall rack, artificial leg, and a game table. Estimates range from $800 to $3,000.

Noel Barrett’s Spring Auction will take place at the Eagle Fire Co. Hall, 46 N. Sugan Road, in New Hope. The Friday session will commence at 5 p.m., with an all-day preview starting at 11 a.m. Both the Saturday and Sunday sessions will commence at 10 a.m., with a preview each day from 8-10 a.m.

For more information, call 215-297-5109, or go online to www.noelbarrett.com.

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