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The Most Widely Read Collector’s Newspaper in The East

Transcript of Antiques & Auction News 011813



    Published Weekly By Joel Sater

    VOL. 44, NO. 3FRIDAY JANUARY 18, 2013

    attleships and oceanlin-ers lined up alongsidepaddle wheelers and sub-marines to form a mighty

    flotilla at Bertoia AuctionsNovember sale of the DickClaus Collection, Part II inVineland, New Jersey. The sec-ond and final offeringof spectacular antiquetoy boats, naval fig-ures and trolleysdrew keen interna-tional interest andabove-estimate prices,with the days total

    registering $1.6 million(inclusive of 15 percentbuyers premium).

    Many pieces in the salesurpassed their high estimates,including the top five lots. TheMarklin Paddle WheelerChicago sold for $264,500against an estimate of $200,000to $250,000, said BertoiaAuctions owner JeanneBertoia.

    The German-made circa1900-1902 Chicago was thevery example depicted on thedust jacket cover of The Allureof Toy Ships, the respectedreference Claus authored in2006. From stem to stern, the31-inch-long clockwork vesselwith tiered decks, side-positioned lifeboats,finely hand-painteddetails and six originalcrew figures was described byBertoia as a marvel of artisticperfection.

    No small detail was over-looked in the creation of theChicago. It featured ornatelyturned handrails rather than flatones, a complex double-tierbridge at the front and evenfancy curtains inside the windows.

    Competitors vying for thepricey Chicago includedthree phone bidders, online bid-ders and several bidders in thegallery. An East Coast US col-lector who had sent a represen-tative to assess the toy prior tothe auction claimed the daystop prize with a phone bid of$264,500.

    The buyer of the Chicagohad been the underbidder on therecord-setting MarklinProvidence boat, which soldat Bertoias for $247,250 onMay 12, 2012, (Dick Claus col-lection, Part I). He wasntgoing to miss out this time,Bertoia said.

    Of the top 10 lots, six werebattleships. An imposing circa-1902 Marklin first-seriesBattleship New York wasready for engagement with itsarray of guns, an armoredcanon, crane at stern side, andrailed observation decks. The

    formidable 35-inch clockworkwarrior was a crowd favorite andsailed off to an East Coast USbuyer for $155,250 - more thantwice the high estimate.

    A second-series MarklinBattleship Mexico boasted a

    busy superstructure

    with gunspositioned in a row at itssides and at upper and deck lev-els. Beautifully hand painted intobacco and cream with corn-flower blue accents, the 30-inchvessel achieved $126,500 againsta presale esti-mate of $60,000to $70,000. Thetoy was shippedback to itsG e r m a nhomeland.

    Sold toGermany viathe Internet, aM a r k l i nD e u t s c h l a n delectric-poweredocean liner com-manded

    $149,500 -nearly triple the low estimate. Itwas one of nine boats that brokethe six-figure barrier in Bertoiassale, prompting Jeanne Bertoia toobserve that, when compared toauctions of even a few years ago,prices on fine European toy boats have escalated quite dramatically.

    The Claus collection alsoincluded rare, early toy trolleys.Several floor bidders and threeother bidders on the phoneschased the premier entry of thegroup, an 18-inch electric-pow-ered Voltamp #2115 InterurbanTrolley with tin-on-wood framewith cast wheels and fittings.

    Estimated at $14,000 to $15,000,it collected a much heftier thanexpected fare of $24,250 froma bidder in the audience.

    Many of the Heyde sailor fig-ures, which had served as acces-sories to the period boats in the

    Claus collection, doubled andeven tripled expectations. Agroup lot replicating a blue-uni-formed work party had beenestimated at $600 to $800, butdidnt have to put in any over-time to reach $3,450.

    Approximately $600,000 ofthe sale total was attributableto floor bidders,some of whomhad flown infrom Europeexpressly toa t t e n d

    the auction.Approximately one-third of the

    374 lots went to the Internet;phone and absentee bidders pre-

    vailed on the remainder.Interest in the renowned

    Claus collection didnt endwith the final drop of theauctioneers hammer,

    however.People who had

    attended the auctioncalled afterwards to saythey didnt know whythey hadnt raised theirhand to bid on this par-ticular lot or that

    one, andw a n t e d

    t o

    know if any toyswere available to purchase post-sale. But the collection was 100percent sold, Jeanne Bertoiac o n f i r m e d . I v ea l w a y ssaid thatif youpay ah i g h


    for an item,you forgetabout it in a month. But itsthe one that got away that younever forget.

    In retrospect, it was evidentthat the November 10 sale was a

    social event enjoyed by all. Inkeeping with what is now a tradi-tion at their higher-profile sales,Bertoias hosted a cateredgourmet luncheon to thank thosewho had come to the gallery for alive auction experience.

    Guests sipped wine anddined on freshly carved

    turkey, stuffed pork andother deliciousofferings.

    After thesale -

    like our othersales in the past - we

    received nice thank-you

    notes and even gifts from peo-ple who said they appreciatedour hospitality, said Bertoia.We do make an effort to createan atmosphere that will encour-age our friends in the hobby -and friends wehave not yet

    met - to attendour auctionsin person.

    W e v ef o u n d

    t h a t

    o u ra u c t i o n

    environment has motivatedmore couples to attend, whichis very nice to see.

    (Continued On Page 2)



    The auctions top lot:Marklin Paddle WheelerChicago, 31 inches, circa1900-1902, accompanied byoriginal box (not shown),$264,500. Bertoia Auctionsimage.

    Marklin Rheinocean liner, 38inches, circa1919-1931,

    $40,250. BertoiaAuctions image.

    A high-energy adventurefrom start to finish, the two-partauction of the Dick Claus antiquetoy boat collection left little roomfor doubt regarding the currentstrength of the antique toy mar-ket. The combined total fromBertoias auction sessions heldMay 12 ($1.8 million) and

    November 10 ($1.6 million) -both featuring the Claus col-

    lection exclusively - confirmedwhat the rest of the antiques andfine art market has known forseveral years, now - that therarest and best items of any cate-

    gory are like moneyin the bank.

    The average lotprice during the

    210-lot May ses-sion was a

    r e m a r k a b l e$8,500, a figure

    that woulddelight nearly

    any auction-eer. Thetop lot,

    Marklins majestic 26-inchclockwork Providence boat,took the blue ribbon at $247,250.

    The prestigious Marklin branddominated

    Part I, claiming seven out ofthe top 10 slots with highlightsincluding a Kaiserin AugustaVictoria steam-powered oceanliner, $138,000; a boxed first-series Battleship New York,$109,250; and a circa 1915 sec-ond-series BattleshipBrooklyn, $103,500. Asdescribed in the accompanyingmain feature, Part II followed avery similar pattern, withMarklin productions ruling thehigh seas and a Paddle WheelerChicago realizing the highestindividual price of any toy in theClaus collection: $264,500.

    What Dick Claus accom-plished in building this magnifi-cent collection was quite a feat,said Bertoia Auctions owner,Jeanne Bertoia. When the col-lection was initially consigned tous, I knew it was the best antiqueboat collection in the UnitedStates, but I wasnt sure if it wasthe best antique toy boat collec-tion in the world. Now that Ivebeen in touch with so many of thetop boat collectors in Europe,there is no doubt whatsoever thatthe Claus collection was theworlds best. To collectors ofnautical toys, it was the equiva-lent of the Donald Kaufman col-lection. The Kaufman collec-tion, composed primarily ofantique automotive toys, wasauctioned for $12.1 million in afive-part series (2009-2011) atBertoias.

    Two-Part Auction Of Claus Collection Was A $3.4 Million

    Luxury Cruise

    Marklin Deutschland ocean liner, 28inches, circa 1909-1915, $149,500.Bertoia Auctions image.

    MarklinBattleship New

    York, Series I, 35inches, circa 1902,$155,250. BertoiaAuctions image.


    Recent Auct ion Celebrated The OtherImportant Claus In The World Of Toys

  • www.antiquesandauctionnews.net2 - - Antiques & Auction News January 18, 2013

    Electric-powered Voltamp #2115 Interurban Trolley, 18 inches,$24,250. Bertoia Auctions image.

    Marklin Jolanda clockwork yacht, 16 inches,$31,625. Bertoia Auctions image.

    Marklin battleship, circa 1915-1934, German dreadnought con-figuration, $51,750. Bertoia Auctions image.

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