Everything on my desk stops when a new auction catalog arrives via snail mail. Tucked inside the latest 240 pager from James D. Julia’s May 5 Advertising, Toy & Doll sale is the Barbara Thornsjo collection. Thornsjo (1928-2010) spent 70 years in the business so it’s no wonder how she got access to such great stuff. The sheer amount of the collection impressed Julia himself. From the catalog:
“When Jim Julia & Bill Gage arrived at the (Thornsjo) house for the first viewing they were truly astounded at the quantity upon opening the front door … the two could honestly say that they never had to side step through room after room, in single file before.”
I imagine the scene to be right out of an episode of “Horders,” although in this case it must have been a treasure hunt to dig through the piles. Thornsjo’s eclectic trove of antiques, funk and ‘junque’ spans the first 129 lots of the auction’s second session, which can be seen in the online catalog.
The sale has a number of investment-grade vintage advertising and clockwork toys, but the Thornsjo collection was made for those who love antique oddities and instant collections. The way Julia is combining the lots of paper litho toys, Disney books, papier mache puppets and vintage Halloween decorations creates a rare chance to fill a single shelf with unusual odds and ends at one fell swoop.
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