DENVER, Pa. – The energetic team at Morphy Auctions has successfully concluded production of three major sales in a 6-week period – each achieving 20 to 30 percent more than the overall high estimate – but chief operating officer Dan Morphy says the best is yet to come. Commenting on the 2,200 lots to be auctioned over Sept. 11-13, Morphy said, “There’s every indication that this will our strongest Fall sale ever. It’s going to be a very diverse sale, with outstanding merchandise in 15 different categories. The majority has come from 30+ year collections. We couldn’t ask for a fresher, nicer selection of items to offer collectors.”
Fine and decorative artworks are the main focus of day one, with the centerpiece being a beautiful collection of more than 50 pieces of Moser glass from a 35+ year collection. “Most of it is in pristine condition,” Morphy noted. “The consignor was very particular.” A luxury brand made in the 19th-century Czech Republic (then known as Bohemia), Moser glass is highly sought after for its superior artistry and technically perfect production.
The art glass section also includes a fine Tiffany Studios American Indian ‘basketweave’ leaded-glass lamp. A signed example “straight out of a house,” it is expected to fetch $25,000-$35,000.
Also worthy of note in the opening session are 200+ silver figural napkin rings from a single consignor, and approximately 50 early lithographs, many depicting famous battles and historical scenes. Of exceptional quality, the artworks date to the latter 19th century.
Twenty early coin-operated machines will be offered, including a rare upright Mills “The Judge” slot machine with music box, in original condition. Also, the session features more than 100 general store lots, 200 lots of antique advertising, and a small but select grouping of Halloween items. “There are only 10 lots, but each is an absolute killer piece,” said Morphy.
Morphy’s will pop the top off Friday’s session with more than 100 Coca-Cola and soda-pop-related lots, followed by 100 European tinplate windup toys, including a nice grouping of Lehmanns and Martins. Next up will be a selection of coveted Secor toys – including a Banjo Player, Tambourine Player, and Brudder Bones – each in fine, original condition. Also crossing the auction podium will be more than 100 excellent Linemar toys, highlighted by a special grouping from the Carl Lobel collection. Friday’s proceedings will conclude with 100 train lots, with a heavy emphasis on Lionel.
Saturday sessions at Morphy’s traditionally open with marbles. The Fall sale will do just that, with 70 marble lots including a 2-inch Joseph onionskin in pristine condition (estimate $8,000-$10,000) and a 2-inch clambroth in beautiful near-mint condition (estimate $3,000-$4,000). Those who favor sulphide marbles are sure to be charmed by an example containing a brown bear on a green base. It, too, is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.
More than 200 cast-iron and tin banks, both mechanical and still varieties, will be auctioned. A special inclusion is a Chronometer mechanical bank that Morphy describes as being “in original condition and from the original family.” The weight-driven bank registers the amount deposited after a coin is dropped into its slot. Collectors can also look forward to more than 75 figural cast iron lots, including doorstops (a Mallard Hen might bring $2,000-$3,000), bookends and other items.
Transportation and automotive toys feature prominently, with 200 lots of pressed steel, including Buddy ‘L’, Smith-Miller and Keystone; and the incredible Andy Huffer toy motorcycle collection numbering 125 examples acquired since 1971. Mostly American made and of cast iron, almost all of the bikes are accurate depictions of real motorcycles. Among the many rarities in the collection – which includes both cast-iron and lithographed tinplate types – are a blue and red Harley Traffic Car with original driver and pull string, a Harley with sidecar and lady passenger, and multiple versions of Hubley’s Say It With Flowers delivery motorcycle van. Huffer explained that the Lancaster, Pa., company Hubley had the exclusive right to reproduce Harleys and Indians in toy form. “Then in the mid-1930s, Hubley stopped using the Harley and Indian names and began making their own iterations from previously used patterns,” he said. “These bikes have ‘Hubley’ on the gas tank.”
Huffer’s collection also includes several very rare versions of bikes that came from Hubley designer, inventor and patternmaker Jacob E. Brubaker. The toys are showroom samples that passed down through the Brubaker family. One of them is a Popeye on Motorcycle, while others are prototypes that never actually made it into production. Yet another outstanding piece in the collection is a Hubley Harley-Davidson Indian “armored” ’cycle with bulletproof shield. “It’s in brand-new condition, and has never been assembled,” Dan Morphy noted. “It still has its original generic box that says #13 Indian Armored Car.”
“We’re expecting a big turnout and heavy absentee and Internet bidding for this sale,” Morphy continued. “We’ve noted that, in spite of the stock market’s erratic performance this year, there’s still a very strong market for antiques and collectibles of the type we sell. People are more inclined to put their money into good-quality tangible assets when the market is volatile. This has been the trend for nearly a century and held true even during the Depression Era.”
Diamond International Galleries-owned Morphy Auctions will hold its Fall 2008 sale Sept. 11-13 at the Adamstown Antique Gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517 (on the Adamstown antique strip). Auction sessions commence at 12 noon on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 11 and 12; and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. The entire inventory may be previewed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. any day leading up to the sale except Wednesdays, which are by appointment or by chance only. On all three days of the auction the preview will begin at 8 a.m. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through eBay Live Auctions. A hardcover, fully illustrated color catalog may be purchased for $45 postpaid ($50 postpaid to overseas addresses). An electronic version of the catalog may be viewed in its entirety online at or www.morphyauctions.com or www.liveauctioneers.com.
For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.