Mammy with Spoon mechanical bank may bring $7,000 in antique toy auction

DENVER, Pa. – Mickey Mouse, a formidable legion of comic book Superheroes, and a classic 1950s Lavender Robot will all be on board when Morphy Auctions presents an Aug. 12-13 auction of antique and vintage toys, banks, marbles and comics. More than 1,100 lots will be offered in the mid-summer sale, which will be held in Morphy’s new gallery on the Adamstown antique strip, one hour northwest of Philadelphia.

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The fun begins with a selection of 80 cast-iron mechanical and still banks. The mechanical group is led by a coveted Kyser & Rex Mammy with Spoon (red-dress version) estimated at $4,000-$7,000, and a J. & E. Stevens football-theme Calamity bank, $4,000-$6,000. The “stills,” on the other hand, will be following a whimsical leader – a French cast-iron Standing Mickey embossed with the words “J. Manil Vieier Au Court.” Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.

A fleet of boxed, early to mid-1950s Banthrico still-bank vehicles will join a varied lineup of other vehicles that includes a Hubley cast-iron fire pumper ($600-$900) and a delightful Kyser & Rex cast-iron Santa with double-reindeer sleigh toy ($1,500-$3,000).

The bus stops at Morphy’s on Aug. 12 for the sale of one of the most comprehensive toy bus collections known. The Wayne Mathias collection includes more than 100 toy depictions of Greyhound, Continental Trailways and other buses. A scarce plastic mold of a Greyhound Scenicruiser – one of several that were sent to Greyhound’s top 50 sales offices in the late 1950s – is expected to make $1,000-$3,000.

American and European trains – both prewar and postwar – will be next across the auction block, with highlights including a standard gauge 400 series loco and tender ($1,500-$2,500) exemplifying the largest steam engine ever made by Lionel. A one of a kind, museum-quality motor coach train made in 1932 by Russel Nord of Quincy, Mass., was modeled after one of the first known passenger trains, the DeWitt Clinton. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000.

Displaying unmistakable Continental style, an array of 25 European tin toys includes such favorites as a Lehmann Zig-Zag ($800-$1,200) and a menagerie of fabric-over-tin Schuco wind-up toys. Two German-made Carette cars – one with a roof rack for luggage; the other an open tourer – come with figures of drivers and passengers. Their estimates range from $1,200 at the low end to $2,500 at the top.

The session’s second featured collection – coming from toy soldier aficionado Bud Ritter – features more than 50 sets of vintage and contemporary soldier, animal and civilian figures. Many of the sets were made by Britains and retain their original boxes.

Japanese old-store-stock tin friction toys and wind-up vehicles will motor past the podium, with premium lots to include an 18-inch 1961 Yonezawa Cadillac Fleetwood and an 11-inch red Cadillac convertible by Alps. Both are accompanied by beautiful pictorial boxes and carry individual estimates of $800-$1,200.

More than a dozen robots await their day at auction, with the premier entry being a 15-inch Masudaya Non-Stop (a k a “Lavender”) Robot with its original multicolored pictorial box. This striking member of the Japanese large-bodied, postwar robots known collectively as the “Gang of Five” could realize $4,000-$8,000.

Saturday morning starts off with 150+ lots of marbles, including sulphides, swirls and lutzes. A very rare sulphide with the suspended figure of a flying bat could reach $2,000-$3,000.

A great assortment of Schoenhut painted-wood character figures, animals and circus accessories has been apportioned in 35 lots. Two old-timers from the comic pages, Boob McNutt and Happy Hooligan, are dressed in their original clothing and are in excellent condition. Each was produced in 1924 and is estimated at $300-$600. The Schoenhuts are followed by 10 lots of Palmer Cox Brownie memorabilia.

Saturday’s session also contains a fine selection of 1960s-1980s old-store-stock toys, mostly in sealed boxes or on header cards, Flintstones and Jetsons figures and vehicles, 15 lots of military toys from a single collection, including rarely seen Soldier of Fortune sets; and early Disney tin and celluloid toys, watches and other memorabilia. A Capodimonte porcelain tableau depicting Snow White and Seven Dwarfs at the dinner table was created by Italian designer Enzo Arzenton, and is estimated at $1,500-$2,500.

An exceptional and complete Lionel Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Circus Train has its original tin wind-up train, colorfully decorated circus tent, gas station and other accessory pieces, including the all-important composition figure of circus barker Mickey. Described in the catalog as “one of the nicer sets we have ever offered for sale,” the factory-boxed set comes to auction with a $4,000-$8,000 estimate.

The Saturday session concludes with more than 300 lots of 1940s comic books, all from the original owner who purchased the comics brand new. All are fresh and ungraded, but there are several good candidates for grading, including 1948 Phantom Lady #17 ($600-$800), 1947 All Star Comics #33 ($700-$1,000), and 1941 Startling Comics #49, whose cover art features an Alex Schomburg image of a robot wading through water with a frightened woman in his arms ($800-$1,200).

All items auction items are currently available to preview at Morphy’s gallery. All forms of bidding will be available for this auction, including in person, by phone, absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or For further information call 717-335-3435 or email

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