Tin Toy Expert To Visit Trenton City Museum

Noted tin toy authority Alan Jaffe will speak at 2 p.m. Jan. 11, 2009 at Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum, in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition A Toy Story: Seven Decades of J. Chein and Company, New Jersey Toymaker. Jaffe, a former newspaper reporter, editor and contributor to Inside Collector, an antiques and collectibles magazine, has collected antique toys and advertising characters since the early 1980s. Copies of his book J. Chein & Co., A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker (Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1997) will be available at Molly’s, the Shop at Ellarslie, after the talk and while the exhibit is on display.

Beginning in 1903 and lasting into the 1970s, the J. Chein and Co. began churning out millions of tin lithographed mechanical toys, many featuring the visages of the 20th centuries’ most beloved cartoon characters. These toys have become iconic collectibles sought after at auction the world over. This winter, a never-before exhibited collection of J. Chein tin toys and memorabilia will be on display at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Trenton, New Jersey’s beautiful Cadwalader Park. Chein family members are exhibiting their personal collections, which include their most memorable toys, accompanied by pieces from the extensive collection of Georgia Marsh, the world’s leading collector of Chein Toys.

Jaffe’s work outside the antiques community is well-known in southern New Jersey and suburban Philadelphia. A working  journalist for thirty years, Jaffe spent nine years with the Courier-Post as an editor and columnist on antiques and collectibles, and another eight years as a news editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Currently he is public relations manager for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which produces the Philadelphia Flower Show and also writes a column on historic building preservation for PlanPhilly, a website based at the University of Pennsylvania. Jaffe and his wife, BJ, live in Center City Philadelphia, in a 19th-century home filled with antiques, including vintage toys.

For additional information visit the museum website at www.ellarslie.org or call 609-989-3632. Visitors to the Museum should enter Cadwalader Park at the intersection of Parkside Ave. and Bellevue Ave., (between E. State and Stuyvesant Streets) and follow the drive through the Park to the Museum.

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion is owned by the City of Trenton, Douglas H. Palmer, Mayor, maintained and operated by the Department of Recreation, Natural Resources & Culture, Division of Culture. This program is made possible in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts. All programs and additional support provided by The Trenton Museum Society.

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