Cast iron Uncle Sam Chariot pull toy may bring $25,000

600-plus-lots of antique 19th- and 20th-century toys also offers only known example of famed ‘1905 bank’

TIMONIUM, Md. – Fine European antique toys and train stations, plus an array of still and mechanical banks are at the heart of RSL’s 621-lot auction to be held July 1, 2012. Titled “Toys, Train Stations, Banks & Americana,” the auction’s varied selections include the John Jirofsky architectural still bank collection, the late Dr. James Laster’s collection of train stations and other carefully chosen consignments.

cast iron Uncle Sam Chariot pull toyCirca-1905 Kenton Hardware Uncle Sam Chariot, cast iron ($18,000-$25,000). Photo courtesy RSL Auction Co.

A longtime collector, Jirofsky is a member of both the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America and Still Bank Collectors Club, a reflection of his penchant for both mechanical and still banks. “We sold John’s mechanical banks in June of last year; now we have his still banks, which were his true collecting passion,” said RSL partner Ray Haradin. “There’s great diversity in his collection, especially among the painted buildings. It contains the only known example of the ‘1905 Bank.’” Having an almost mosque-like appearance with its tall spires, the 1905 Bank could cash out at $12,000 to $18,000.

Another highlight is a red Palace Bank with exceptionally fine detailing and a smooth, lustrous patina. It is expected to bring $10,000-$15,000.

From a different consignor comes a rare and exceptional 1890s polychrome-painted Ives Santa bank, complete with a removable wire Christmas tree accessory. The bank’s gilt-edged trail of provenance includes the distinguished Leon Perelman and Donal Markey collections. ($8,000 to $12,000).

Bing postal station

Markin 1 gauge postal station, circa 1925. Est. $2,500-$3,500. RSL Auction Co.

RSL is honored to have been chosen to handle the European train station collection of the late Dr. James Laster, whose specialty was German 1 gauge. Fifteen train stations from the Laster collection will be lined up to meet their new owners on auction day, including a large, circa-1905 Marklin Café station (1 Gauge), formerly of the Ward Kimball collection. It could bring $18,000 to $25,000, Haradin said.

A circa-1910 Bing station with patio, in excellent condition, is entered with hopes of realizing $4,000-$6,000. There will also be a host of other, smaller Bing, Marklin and J. Krauss stations from the early 1900s.

The Marklin name will also be represented by a circa-1895 three-tiered castle. “It’s a pristine example from the Lutz /Marklin era and should sell for $14,000 to $20,000,” Haradin said.

A first-rate assortment of American tin toys is highlighted by a circa-1885 Ives “Giant” locomotive. Measuring an impressive 17 1/2 inches long, the Giant was the largest locomotive of the American clockwork-toy era. One of only four known, the entry in RSL’s sale is estimated at $12,000 to $18,000.

Cast-iron American toys exhibiting particularly fine condition include a “super-mint” circa-1905 Uncle Sam Chariot, made by Kenton Hardware and retaining 99.5 percent of its original paint. The 12-inch-long patriotic toy, whose chariot replicates an American eagle, is expected to achieve $18,000 to $25,000.

A featured section of the sale is devoted to antique European character and automotive toys by such makers as Lehmann, Nifty, Schuco and the coveted French brand Fernand Martin, whose “Orange Vendor” and “Gendarme” ($3,000-$4,000) are rarely seen.

bread winners mechanical bank

J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners cast-iron mechanical bank, circa 1886. Est. $26,000-$32,000.

A grouping of 18 character toys and other items with a black theme will be led by a circa-1895 papier-mache and cardboard Dandy Ball Toss. German-made and displaying bright colors, the toy is designed so the “dandy” nods his head when a ball is tossed into an opening in his midsection.

The July 1 auction includes approximately 175 high-end cast-iron mechanical banks, many in near-mint condition. Among the top lots is a circa-1886 J. & E. Stevens Bread Winners bank designed by Charles Bailey. With pristine paint, it has the potential to realize $26,000 to $32,000.

Other coveted classics include a superior circa-1905 J. & E. Stevens Calamity bank ($35,000-$55,000) and a near-mint circa-1888 Kyser & Rex Butting Buffalo ($20,000-$30,000).

All forms of bidding will be available in RSL’s Sunday, July 1 auction, including Internet live bidding through For additional information, visit RSL Auction Co.

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