FAIRFIELD, Maine — James D. Julia’s June 21 Advertising, Toy & Doll Auction offered a lively array of antique toys, dolls and antique advertising items. After the final gavel fell, the auction boasted a final gross of more than $1.2 million against a presale estimate of $816,000.
Toys featured a generous selection of American pressed steel items including a
single-owner collection of more than 20 choice examples. With a focus on quality, condition and rarity, the grouping saw tremendous action and strong prices. A Sturditoy American Railway Express truck with an open cab and a screen sided back end showed exceptional condition and went out at $7,702. Another rarity was a Sturditoy ambulance in cream with a red cross emblazoned on either side. Likewise exhibiting strong original condition, this seldom seen vehicle found a buyer at $6,517.
From another private collection came a solid offering of cast-iron horse-drawn and automotive toys. Highlights included a Hubley Elgin street sweeper. Well constructed with tremendous detail, it brushed up $4,740. Other service vehicles from the collection included a rare Hubley Ingersoll-Rand compressor truck. This Mack truck was faithfully styled after the original of the time period and featured a detailed, separately cast motor, expansion tanks and nickeled cast-iron spoke wheels. It sold for $5,925.
Approximately 50 examples of tin character toys that were as strong in condition as the day they were made, and nearly all retaining their original boxes, performed admirably.
Highlights included some scarce examples such as a Popeye windup “Air-o-Plane” (pictured above) with its box that featured everyone’s favorite sailor in flight gear rolling about erratically in a graphic one-seater. It went to a museum in the Orient for $11,257. Perhaps better suited to his station as a sailor was a Popeye battery-operated remote control rowboat. Also with its original box, this lively and rare toy with bright lithography and great action finished at $3,495.
For more information contact James D. Julia’s at 207-453-7125 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.jamesdjulia.com.