Toys and Carousels
> 1867 The Optical Doll
2018 SOLD for $ 333K including premium
In 1867 Dagron demonstrates the possibility of reducing the glass view down to about 1 mm while retaining a considerable amount of information in the image. He develops during the siege of Paris in 1870 the transmission of microphotographs by pigeons.
Rochard filed two patents for applying Dagron's invention to dolls. The Rochard-Jouets identification on these documents suggests that he was not associated with Dagron's company but was instead a competitor.
The first of these patents, in 1867, transforms a doll's bust into an optical toy. The head includes a kaleidoscope to be watched through the slit of the mouth. The back of the head is open for carrying the ambient lighting. The upper chest is decorated with a necklace made of Stanhope lenses whose metal frames are inlaid in the porcelain. It is also lit from behind. The second Rochard patent, in 1868, describes a tool for the industrial manufacture of his lenses.
The observer's position in front of the doll's mouth and chest was uncomfortable. It is likely that most of the highly rare Rochard dolls were equipped very early with a wig and a dress that obscured the lighting holes and thus canceled the optical effects. The bodies are attributed to Jumeau or Barrois.
It seems that Rochard's activity ceased around 1875. His dolls could not benefit from the electric lighting invented in 1879 by Edison.
On January 6 in Newport Beach CA, Theriault's sells a 76 cm high Rochard doll with a rotating head, lot 17 estimated $ 80K. It still has 24 of its 28 original 1 x 1.4 mm Stanhope views. The kaleidoscope is missing. This doll is narrated by Florence Theriault in the video shared by Theriault's Dolls.
< 1884 The Banks of Kyser and Rex
2012 SOLD 200 K$ including premium
The auctioneer Dan Morphy is a specialist of mechanical banks. Sold by his auction house on October 27, 2007, the Steckbeck collection realized $ 7.7 million in 492 lots. The top result, $ 414K including premium, rewarded Jonah emerging out of the whale, produced by Stevens, the best known manufacturer in this category. This model is extremely rare in its original configuration.
On September 15 in Denver PA, Morphy Auctions disperse another important collection. Now, the top lots were produced by Kyser and Rex in the 1880s. Some of them had belonged to the Steckbeck collection.
These were not pseudonyms! Louis Kyser and Alfred Rex worked in cooperation in Frankfurt PA from 1879 to 1884. The catalog pages of three lots highlighted in the press release are linked below.
The Merry Go Round is estimated $ 125K. It once belonged to Steckbeck, but this one is not the copy sold $ 172K including premium in 2007. The colors of the canopy are different.
The Mikado, on the theme of the illusionist, is estimated $ 100K. The Steckbeck copy, in another color, was sold $ 290K including premium in 2007.
Roller Skating is estimated $ 100K. The Steckbeck copy was sold $ 195K including premium in 2007.
These three lots for sale are in excellent condition, but like for any other category of multiples some very small differences can cause significant changes in the price.
POST SALE COMMENT
Here are the results before fees, available on LiveAuctioneers:
The Mikado was the most outstanding lot. It reached $ 160K. Merry go round sold for $ 89K and Roller skating for $ 74K.
1893 The Rosebud of American Toys
2014 SOLD for $ 234K including premium
2018 SOLD for $ 144K including premium
Among the toys to pull along, a piece in cast iron 50 cm long made by the Ives company in Bridgeport CT around 1893 is noteworthy for the quality of its realization. It takes the form of a snow cutter sleigh pulled by a harnessed horse.
The details are exquisite. The horse is articulated. The sled has two almost invisible small wheels that reduce friction when the toy is moved. The seated woman is holding a rein in each hand.
Time passed and it remains only a single specimen that has retained its original driving woman. Fortunately, it is in very good condition. The collector Max Berry called it his Rosebud. This toy is part of the sale of his collection by Bertoia in Vineland NJ on November 15, lot 230 estimated $ 100K (link goes to LiveAuctioneers bidding platform).
An example without the doll and the reins was sold for $ 86K including premium on March 25-26, 2011, also by Bertoia.
I invite you to play the video (here below) shared by LiveAuctioneers to preview the next sale. It also includes a Monkey Wagon made by Hubley around 1920, lot 275 estimated $ 75K. Another copy of this highly rare and ingenious toy was discussed in this column. It was sold for $ 98K including premium on March 19, 2009, also by Bertoia.
RESULTS BEFORE FEES
Ives cutter sleigh : $ 190K.
Hubley monkey wagon : $ 95K
LATER AUCTION (not caught before sale)
SOLD for $ 144K including premium by Bertoia on September 22, 2018., lot 296, over a lower estimate of $ 100K.
Details through tweet below and Maine Antique Digest.
Ives horse-drawn cutter sleigh, circa 1893, sold for $144,000 at @bertoiaauctions. It is the only known example with an original seated passenge. The clockwork toy measures 19½" long https://t.co/lxbQGg9UBL #toy #toys #sleigh #antiques #antique #Ives #auction #horse #horses #art pic.twitter.com/tqFN5tt1Tg— Maine Antique Digest (@AntiqueDigest) December 10, 2018
1900-1902 The Preferred Ship of Dick Claus
2012 SOLD 265 K$ including premium
He sells his collection at auction by Bertoia in Vineland NJ. The first sale on May 12 enabled collectors to buy the best pieces, mostly Märklin toy boats. The Providence was sold for $ 247K including premium. This paddle wheeler boat 66 cm long replicated a real boat of 1866.
One star was missing, the Chicago, the favorite of Dick Claus that illustrates the cover jacket of his book. Patience is rewarding the amateurs: the Chicago is finally listed in the second and final sale of the Claus collection on November 10.
Executed by Märklin at the same time as the Providence, circa 1900-1902, the Chicago is also a paddle wheeler, but it is distinguished by some unique characteristics.
With this model animated by characters, Märklin has managed to recreate the atmosphere of luxury boats. Details are extremely careful and this example is in very good condition. This large toy 79 cm long is estimated $ 200K. Here is the link to the catalog on LiveAuctioneers.
POST SALE COMMENT
Presented with its box, the Chicago was sold $ 230K before fees. This result is in line with the price achieved on May 12 by the other marvel of the Dick Claus collection, the Providence ($ 217.5K hammer, 247K including premium).
1900-1902 The Märklin Fleet
2012 SOLD 247 K$ including premium
Märklin made great boat toys of large size, replicating with much details the actual liners and warships.
Looking into the archives of this group : made circa 1912, the Lusitania toy, nearly one meter long, was sold $ 195K including premium at Sotheby's on December 17, 2010.
On May 12 in Vineland NJ, near Atlantic City, Bertoia sells a specialized collection of nautical toys, in which two fine examples of Märklin boats are highlighted. Dick Claus, the collector, sells after publishing a book, but he keeps his preferred Märklin, the Chicago.
Made in 1900-1902, the Providence is a steamboat equipped with paddle wheels. 66 cm long, it is estimated $ 110K. Here is the link to the catalog. It is replicating a 1866 boat.
Launched in 1906, the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria was then the largest steam liner in the world. The toy, probably contemporary of the launching, is also the largest of the Märklin fleet, 1.17 m long. It is estimated $ 90K. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
In this very successful sale, the star was the Providence, as expected. Sold $ 217.5 K before fees, this toy even exceeds the Lusitania of the Forbes collection, mentioned above.
The Kaiserin Augusta Victoria gets the third price of the sale with $ 120K before fees, slightly exceeded by the Maryland, a battleship made by Märklin around 1915, sold $ 127.5K before fees.
1903 The Grand Parade of Barnum and Bailey
2016 SOLD for $ 250K including premium
The leading wagon is 8.50 m long and weighs 6100 Kg. It was built by the Sebastian Wagon Company of New York. The decoration was carved by S.A. Robb, the supplier of gigantic signs in wood for the tobacco industry. It symbolically displays the two hemispheres of the globe, Western on left side and Eastern on right side.
The bandwagon is pulled by forty horses four abreast, a considerable team that was not needed for the effort but rather for the spectacular effect as it is likely that three elephants would have sufficed. A considerable strength was nevertheless required to hold the 32 Kg reins throughout the parade : this driving role is entrusted to the giant performer of the circus, Jack Posey.
The bandwagon was later used in the traveling parades of the circus. This activity was terminated in 1918 with the excuse of the obstacles brought in the streets by the power cables but also because the cities did not welcome any more the damage to asphalt and paving caused by this entertainment from another time.
Most of these cumbersome carriages have disappeared. Fortunately, the wagon with the two hemispheres survives in good condition. It is listed with a $ 200K opening bid by Heritage in Dallas on May 14, lot 42196.
1915 Lorraine by Albert Marque
2015 SOLD for $ 310K including premium
In 1915 Margaine-Lacroix conceived in her shop the project of an exhibition of dolls for which she will realize the costumes. The realistic and expressive bébé's heads are commissioned to Albert Marque, a sculptor specializing in children's busts. The bisque is made at Sèvres.
Marque executed about one hundred pieces that are the masterpieces of the French doll. The variety of clothes for girls and boys, provincial or exotic, royal or peasant, demonstrate the passion of Margaine-Lacroix for the history of costume. Unfortunately she did not appreciate the tremendous cultural quality of her project. After closing out the exhibition, she offered the dolls for sale with a limited success, and the whole set will never be reassembled.
On July 12, 2009, a boy wearing a costume of the Ballets Russes was sold for $ 263K including premium by Theriault's.
On January 10 in Newport Beach CA, the same auction house sells Lorraine, number 94 in the series signed by Albert Marque. Inspired by Louise de Lorraine who was the last queen of France of the Valois dynasty, her sumptuous costume belongs to both categories of regionalism and royals.
This doll 56 cm high is estimated $ 160K, lot 17 in the catalog of Theriault's also shared on the bidding platform Proxibid. It is the second of two dolls discussed by Florence Theriault on the video shared on YouTube by the auction house:
1915 The Doll with the Aigrette
2016 SOLD for $ 240K before fees
A renowned couture designer in her time, Margaine-Lacroix has conceived this exhibition as an anthology of the costume. The themes are often inspired by regional clothing, but not only. About one hundred dolls were serial numbered. Folk art is fragile: less than twenty are located today. As a consistent set, this seductive work is lost forever.
The number 94 was sold for $ 310K including premium by Theriault's on January 10, 2015. Named Lorraine, it wears the complex costume of a French queen of the sixteenth century.
The number 21 was sold for $ 263K including premium by the same auction house on July 12, 2009. The boy in a flamboyant costume had reserved a pleasant surprise to the experts: it is titled Ballets Russes N 3, confirming the interest of its authors for the most innovative show of their time.
The number 7 is a character doll dressed in a costume adorned with gold and with turquoise colored jewels and wearing a hat with a tall aigrette.
The knowledge of its provenance is exceptional. It was purchased to Margaine-Lacroix in 1915 by a collector whose son founded a doll museum in New Hampshire, later transferred to Winter Haven FL. It was accompanied by another doll of the same series and their costumes were both identified as Persian.
Number 7 was sold to a collector after the closure of the museum in 1984. It has just resurfaced and is estimated $ 180K to be sold byTheriault's in Newport Beach CA on January 9, lot 17. It has changed ownership only once during its one hundred years and is in near mint condition. The catalog is linking its costume to the Ballets Russes, which is not in contradiction with a Persian style.
This doll is the first one discussed by Mrs Florence Theriault in the video introducing the sale.
1998 The Carousel of Milhous Brothers
2012 SOLD 1.2 M$ including premium
The top pieces of this set deserve to be analyzed in these columns. It was funny to start with the most personal: a carousel made for them according to their specifications, installed in 1998, to be auctioned in the session of February 25.
This spectacular machine, estimated $ 1M, is 16 m in diameter. It includes 42 wooden animals and two chariots in three rows, and the sound is provided by an original Wurlitzer 153 band organ. This organ of the early twentieth century was one of the most popular. Not being the biggest, it could be transported from one ballroom to another. The wooden horses are replicas of old models.
RM Auctions is accustomed to sales of prestigious cars. Their enthusiasm to introduce this new collectible theme is a pleasure. I invite you to join this festive atmosphere by playing the video presentation of this lot, shared by the auction house on YouTube (copyright by RM Auctions Inc).
POST SALE COMMENT
This is the best possible tribute to an exceptional collection. The custom carousel of Milhous brothers was sold $ 1.05 million before fees.
2010 Barbie visits an Auction Room
2010 SOLD 302 K$ including premium
Her name is 'BarbieTM by Stefano Canturi'. Designed and equipped for the occasion by the Australian jeweler, she wants to be the most expensive Barbie ® in the world with a lower estimate of $ 300K. The lot is offered without reserve for the benefit of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation ®.
Blonde, dressed in an elegant black gown, wears an opulent diamond necklace made at her scale by Canturi. Cubist-inspired, this jewel is centered on a very saturated purplish pink diamond (fancy vivid purplish pink) weighing 1 carat. Its natural color is exceptional but the clarity is I1 classified meaning that inclusions are eye visible.
Barbie and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel, Inc. © 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
POST SALE COMMENT
This charity lot was sold $ 302K including premium after a suitable media effort. The lower estimate is not reached. This does not surprise me, because the clarity of the diamond was not very good.
The image of the doll was shared before sale by NewsFeed.