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Bertoia Auctions To Host Annual Sale of Antique Toys

Arcade cast-iron Flat Top Yellow Cab taxi, 8in long, original rubber tires. Pristine to Near Mint condition. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Image: Courtesy of Bertoia Auctions.

Antique toy collectors won’t have to wait till December for their holiday gifts to arrive. All of their Christmas wishes will come true this month at Vineland’s world renowned Betrtoia Auctions festive Annual Fall Sale. The 2023 edition takes place November 17 and 18 and features an array of cast-iron mechanical and still banks, spelter banks, sensational European tinplate toys, aviation toys, superlative Christmas, Halloween, and other holiday antiques.

Vinelander Bill Bertoia, original founder of Bertoia Auctions, single handedly created the art of hosting toy auctions and was responsible for many of today’s most talked about sales.

Considered one of the most prominent dealers and toy auction house directors in the world, Bill’s tenure set the standards for promoting the finest sales events on record. His passing 20 years ago only helped strengthen his vision and unique inventiveness to promote the best possible auction venues by members of his family operating the company today.

At this special auction event this weekend, European toys will take their turn in the spotlight, with all forms of transportation ready to roll—on land, sea or in the air.

A luxe assortment of lithographed tinplate toys includes a dozen motorcycles from KiCo, M&K (Muller & Kadeder) and Fischer, as well as boxed Lehmann ’cycles.

A select grouping of Japanese robots and other toys will roll across the auction block, including a stellar ASC Tremendous Mike with its crisp original box, a sought-after Nomura Walking Batman, and a boxed Bandai Atom/Astro Boy.

The approximately 150 still and mechanical banks to be sold are anchored by the collection of the late Heath Hurlbert, who was an active member of the MBCA.

Antique bank enthusiasts won’t want to miss the chance to bid on Part I of the Jim and Genia Willett collection of colorful German spelter still banks. The Willetts spent decades amassing their whimsical, ornately detailed banks, which rate very highly for condition.

Californian Bob Davis’ collection of airplanes and aeronautical toys includes dozens of lithographed and hand-painted tinplate rarities, from primitive Ernst Plank pusher planes to Gordon Bennett-inspired Gunthermann productions.

Collectors of early cast iron can take their pick from prized items across several categories, including mechanical and still banks, doorstops, horse-drawn toys, and vehicles.

High-stepping horse-drawn toys are ready to march and entertain, starting with a large white Bandwagon and other examples from the Hubley Circus series.

Figural cast-iron doorstops are expected to attract a diverse audience, given the variety of themes and consistently pristine condition seen throughout the selection.

Those who love pressed steel toys and pedal cars will be treated to airplane pedal cars from the Bob Davis collection as well as several automotive cars, large trucks, a Keystone Packard Coast-to-Coast Bus, and a Sturditoy Fire Pumper No 7.

The Philadelphia toymaker Schoenhut leads the wooden toy category with favorites that include an Abbott’s Milk Wagon, Alderney Dairy Wagon, and Hood’s Dairy Wagon.

Bertoia’s was delighted to make room in the November sale for top-quality country store and advertising items from the Ray Burgess collection, including a beautiful Hires Root Beer embossed tin sign and a Cherry Smash soda fountain dispenser.

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