DENVER, Pa. – A “strong, lively crowd” and “strong Internet bidding” were the key elements fueling a $2 million gross in Morphy Auctions’ Winter Sale on Dec. 6-8, said the firm’s chief operating officer, Dan Morphy.
The sale’s top lot was a 55-inch-long by 53-inch-tall painted-wood hanging trade sign made for the Alaska Fur Co. Dating to around 1890 and depicting a gold seal climbing atop a corporate logo, the carved, double-sided sign was described in the catalog as “one of the finest original examples in existence.” Estimated at $50,000-$100,000, it realized a very respectable $86,250 (all prices include 15 percent buyer’s premium).
Alaska Fur Co. trade sign, circa 1890, 55 inches long by 53 inches tall, on original metal hanging bracket, $86,250.
Auctioneer Dan Morphy, sensitive to what the sign represents, made a donation after the sale to an animal preservation organization.
Pressed-steel toys rose to the occasion, with several over-the-top prices noted. Among the highlights was a circa 1925 Sturditoy ambulance, estimated at $7,000-$9,000, which sped to $17,250.
Within the tin toy group, a Linemar battery-operated Mickey the Magician with original box sold for $2,588, while an ultra-rare Atom 13-inch wind-up Batman walking toy, 1960s, with original Japanese-language box, achieved $13,800.
Made by Atom Japan, 1960s, Batman tin wind-up superhero with cloth cape, original box, $13,800.
In the fine art section, a Guy Wiggins oil-on-canvas Manhattan snow scene fared best, selling to an online bidder for $17,250. Titled The Public Library, the painting once belonged to famous American tenor Richard Tucker, through whose family it subsequently descended.
A division of Geppi’s Entertainment Auctions & Publications, Morphy’s will host an April 4-5 toy auction, its first-ever doll and teddy bear auction on May 17-18, and its annual Spring Auction on May 29-31. Sales are held at the Adamstown Antique Gallery in Denver, Pa., with Internet bidding through eBay Live Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.com.
For more information, call 717-335-3435, or go online to www.morphyauctions.com.