Thursday, December 5, 2013

“I want a Toy Train for Christmas, Please Santa.”

This was the heartfelt wish of my husband, son and thousands of little boys all across the country not too very long ago.  Back in time before Gameboys, Nintendos and Wiis appeared to focus our children’s minds on a screen - enough said.

Toy trains still hold their charm and can still delight the young and old to create a miniature world of their own.  Whether it is around the Christmas tree, or on a sheet of plywood down in the basement or (what I am wishing for) through the garden to show off my herbs which are the perfect scale plants for “G” gauge.

This auction we are happy to offer some amazing trains and other items for the advanced train lover or the beginner.

Please see item 105 A very rare Marx Tin Litho Union Pacific Overland Mail Model 10005 engine and six cars.

If you are just starting may I suggest item 59 or 60 we have two Brand New in Box Tyco Rail Master 102 Giant Train Sets. Guaranteed to provide lots of fun.

If you have a set and are looking for the perfect piece to enhance your collection please see the Gilbert real timber Log Car and red Caboose in item 106.

Don’t forget the vintage railroad crossing signs in item 101.

Hope this helps cross some gifts off your list this Christmas and from our family to yours have a very Merry Christmas, blessed Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year. Thank you for your support.

Happy Bidding,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"What is all the fuss about trading cards?”

I couldn't see it until we started researching the large and varied collection of sports trading cards we have in the current auction.  Then I (reluctant fan, just ask my husband) was hooked.  We hope you will be too.

It is more than just the card, it’s the stats, the competition between teams, the memories, and the players of course.  Just picking up that special card can transform you back to the time you were at the stadium with your Dad. Together, you actually saw one of those recorded home runs happen.  The crack of the bat! The roar of the crowd! What a thrill!

Cards are traded for more that just their memories.  To value a card, check out this site. Most values are based on age and low circulation. After 1988, there were endless companies making numerous cards, and some made multiple sets. While some individual cards still have good value like Ken Griffey Jr. (Upper Deck rookie), cards of today’s stars can have value, and sometimes you just have to wait. Some cards are valued based on condition, if it is centered properly and if the corners are sharp (not fuzzy).  eBay can determine value. For our baseball cards, see items 7, 35, 39 and 69. 

Baseball cards have been made and collected since the late 1870's. Companies used the popularity of baseball players to sell their products. Nearly all baseball cards have some form of advertising. Some cards were given away for free. In the early 20th Century some cards were sold in packs of cigarettes or candy. In the 1950s-70s Topps sold their cards with a stick of gum. We have cards in our auction that still have their gum. Cards have promoted the sale of nearly everything from cheese to underwear to dog food to beer.

Today's cards include other sports and are popular enough that they are sold alone or together with photographs of the athlete.  In our auction, we have the National Football League represented in items 8, 9, 14, 63 and more. The National Hockey League represented in these items. And the National Basketball Association cards can be found in item 27.

Once purchased, cards need to be protected if you want to preserve value.  There are many cute ideas on the web to decorate using your cards.  Otherwise, do what we did as kids, open the packs and trade them with your friends.  Fair warning, my little nephews will be bidding on this auction, they know these cards would make great stocking stuffers.

Enjoy your sport and enjoy your cards,

Happy Bidding,


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Founding Fathers and Suffragettes

“Where have all the women gone?”  Reading an American history textbook can seem like half the population must have disappeared!  All-girls’ Catholic high schools tend to be proponents of women in leadership (I should know since I went to two in two different orders)--but what about those history books?  So many scholastic history and science books tend to be largely devoid of mentioning women leaders (I mean, after all, the Founding Fathers were Fathers).  So you can imagine how exuberant I was in 12th grade when I read in my history book about Pittsburgh’s own Mary Cassatt!  Not only an American, but a woman, had breached the exalted halls of French impressionism!  Impressive feat for the 1800s!  

At 15, Cassatt began studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  At 22, she moved to Paris; since women were forbidden from attending the great French art school, the École des Beaux-Arts, Cassatt determinedly studied on her own under one of the school’s teachers.  Daily, she went to the Louvre Museum and copied paintings of the old masters.  After only two years in Paris, one of her paintings was selected to be shown in the exclusive Paris Salon exhibit.  After returning home to Pennsylvania, her work attracted the attention of the Archbishop of Pittsburgh, who commissioned her to paint in Italy, and off she was again to Europe.  

In 1877, Edgar Degas (famous for his paintings of dancers) invited Cassatt to join an unconventional group of French artists, the Impressionists. “I accepted with joy,” Cassatt stated.  She was one of a handful of women, and the only American, to exhibit with the Impressionists.  

The Parisian Impressionist exhibit of 1879 was the most successful of the Impressionists’ exhibits to-date; however, the critics were still so hard on the Impressionists.  The Revue des Deux Mondes wrote, "Mr. Degas and Ms. Cassatt are, nevertheless, the only artists who distinguish themselves."  Although journalists accused Cassatt's realistic style of being too accurate to be flattering, the journalists were harsher on Claude Monet, who desperately needed money.  Kindly, Cassatt used her earnings from the Exhibit to purchase a work by Degas and one by Monet.  Could the Monet she purchased be one of those in Item 10, which includes lovely water lilies and the boats at the Grenouillere resort and spa?
 Item 10

In 1880, Mary Cassatt painted, Le Thé, The Tea (Item 8).  In 1890, Japanese masters exhibited in Paris and influenced her style; Cassatt loved the simplicity of the Japanese art and their use of color.  Towards the end of her life, fighting the blindness which disabled much of her artistic abilities, Cassatt actively campaigned for women’s suffrage.  What a hero for women!
 Item 8

A contemporary of Cassatt and Monet, Jacques “James” Tissot also was influenced by Japanese art.  He often included Japanese objects and costumes in his pictures.  In fact, a Degas portrait of Tissot in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York shows Tissot with a Japanese screen hanging on the wall.  This auction also features a Tissot print; a few years after Monet painted the Genouillere rowboats in Item 10,
 Item 10
Tissot painted "The Return from the Boating Trip” in Item 6.  Notice the fine detail of the woman’s clothing--his parents worked in the fashion industry.  Raised in the port town of Nantes, Tissot also frequently painted shipping vessels and boats.
 With his interests in coastal art, he would have loved Item 74, whose peaceful white lighthouses are surrounded by flowers and beautiful blue skies.

For the music lover, there is Item 106, "Lyrical Wonder" by Ray Clearwater, a set which features piano keys and stringed instruments in wavy style and colorful tones.  Sounds like a duet between Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jefferson!

I visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, ten years ago, and I realized that our third President wasn’t only a down-to-earth, hero of the American people; he was also an expansive genius.  To be in the home he designed is to step into the shoes of a most remarkable man and to come closer to realizing how diverse his genius actually was.  I don’t think his mind ever stopped; he was always analyzing something, improving something else, and his house shows this myriad of interests.  Most know him as a visionary leader and appreciate that he had a specialized political intelligence.  However, his intelligence was much broader; he was not a political “nerd” with singular interests.  Really, he had an incredible general intelligence spanning interests as diverse as architecture, music, scientific invention, and religion.  He was a practicing lawyer and played the violin for entertainment (with Mrs. Jefferson on the piano).  He spoke five languages and lived in Paris as a diplomat.  An avid reader, he had so many books (over 6,000) that they served to replace the Library of Congress, which had been destroyed in the War of 1812.  

It was Jefferson’s books which taught him much of what he knew.  “I cannot live without books,” he wrote in a letter to John Adams.  During his nineteen-day trip to France to relieve Benjamin Franklin as Minister to France, Jefferson taught himself Spanish.  In Virginia in Jefferson’s day, there were no architecture schools so Jefferson taught himself architecture.  It is remarkable that a self-taught architect could design the masterpieces that are Monticello and the University of Virginia.  Sitting on a hill, Monticello is Italian for “Little Mountain,” and I am proud that can offer you a charming drawing of Monticello which you can hang in your own home to remember this stunning piece of history and architecture (see Item 39).

What great art!  From our Founding Fathers like Jefferson to the suffragettes like Mary Cassatt, the art in this aypToday auction features some masters!

Happy Bidding!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Art Brings Back Happy Memories

“She had seen the flower painting by Fantin-Latour which had recently been exhibited.”--Proust, In Search of Lost Time

Well, until this auction, I did not remember I had personally seen a Fantin-Latour flower painting (see Item 116because of the vastness of the Musée d’Orsay!  A French major in college, I studied French art in undergraduate classes at Vanderbilt University, and so I am delighted to see copies of famous works as well as some new works (Item 115) in this auction!

Item 116

During my year in Paris earning my masters from Sciences Po and working for the OECD, I enjoyed visiting the Parisian art museums during my free time.  The Louvre Museum is expansive and center-town beside the Seine River.  It was originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century and then transformed into a palace and finally declared a museum.  My favorite works in the Louvre are the Napoleon paintings, which are bigger than life--standing several meters tall.  I never realized how large the paintings were until I saw them in real life towering above me.

Lucky in location during my first six months in Paris, I lived a block from the Musée d’Orsay.  A former train station, the museum features works from 1848 to the beginnings of cubism, including the impressionists and post-impressionists.  My favorite artist featured in the Musée d’Orsay is Vincent van Gogh.  During my undergraduate study abroad in the South of France, I visited Arles, walking in van Gogh’s footsteps.  From the Starry Night Over the Rhone to The Café Terrace At Night, Arles looks much the same now as it did in van Gogh’s paintings; in fact, the cafe featured in The Café Terrace At Night is still there.  Influencing artists from van Gogh to Cézanne, the South of France has an amazing warm, bright yellow sun.  Originally from the South of France, Cézanne is also a favorite painter of mine; I have climbed Mont Sainte-Victoire, which Cézanne frequently painted.

Whereas Cézanne habitually painted Mont Sainte-Victoire, British Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896) often painted children.  Millais’ "Little Speedwell's Darling Blue," 1892, is featured in this auction (see Item 124). 
 It is a lovely painting of the artist's granddaughter, Phyllis, seated by (and holding) flowers.  An unusual title, it is from Lord Alfred Tennyson's In Memoriam, section LXXXIII:

“O sweet new-year delaying long;
Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,
Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire.”

Also included in this auction, is a print of a child painting (Item 122).  It appears to be a copy of a Loren Entz (1949-); an American from Kansas, Entz focuses on the quiet, domestic side of Western rural life.  In Entz’s paintings, the audience can appreciate how gently the artist depicts the love of children and family.

This auction also features some other adorable pictures of children!  See the teddy bears on the porch swing and young love in Item 120.  Well, we all know young love can sometimes lead to trouble (as seen in Jan C. Verhas’ "The Broken Flower Pot" which is item 105).  When the going gets tough, that’s when we need home, family, pets (Items 114 and 118), and friends.  "American Homestead Spring" (Item 122) shows a peaceful pastoral home, and "Romantic Moment" by Lena Lih (Item 123) depicts a calm country retreat far from the world’s woes.  Finally, in "Two Sisters" (Item 104), 
Robert Edward Morrison illustrates the love of family.  

From our family to yours, we feel so fortunate to share with you these great pieces of art!

Happy bidding!


Oh You Beautiful Doll!

Dolls vary in price point, materials and subject matter. Some people collect only baby dolls, other collect fashion dolls, other collect a certain brand or time period.  Still others collect dolls they played with as a child or dolls from a certain country or region.  The possibilities are endless. Decide what you like and ask questions then jump in and have fun.

An interesting place to visit if you want to see beautiful dolls is The Doll House Museum in Harrisburg. Their website is  It is situated in a life-size Victorian Dollhouse.  There are over 5,000 dolls and toys on display. The Doll House Museum, 2004 State Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17103. Call first 717-233-3099 - they close from January to May.
We have a wonderful and varied collection of beautiful dolls just waiting for you in our current auction.  Did I mention we ship? Your doll purchase can be delivered to you or someone else nation wide if you have a gift in mind.  Let’s highlight some of my favorites and we would love to hear about some of yours.
We have a Dawn Doll. Topper Corp. produced Dawn Dolls from 1970 until their close in 1973. Dawn dolls are 6" tall. This doll has painted eyes and "real" eyelashes. She is made of soft vinyl, and is jointed at her neck, hips and shoulders.  Her knees have a bending mechanism and her waist twists for posing. See item 12.

Vintage dolls from other countries can be found in our auction.  Notice the wonderful details of the dolls, their wonderful clothing and tiny accessories.  As each country is different, so is each doll. See item 38.

Heritage Signature Collection Porcelain dolls are pretty porcelain dolls that many doll collectors love. They have distinct features and pretty hair. Their outfits are very well detailed. They range in size and height from nine inches tall to a large seventeen inches tall. Some of the dolls in our auction come with their Certificate of Authenticity which may add to their value. See item 51.

We know you will enjoy getting to know our beautiful dolls.

Happy Bidding


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Collect the Real Thing, Coke!

While researching for this auction, I was thrilled to find a number of Coca-Cola collectibles, all new in box or package.  To see what was behind all the hype, I visited the real site to learn about the Coca-Cola Company.  Here is a video I think you will enjoy.

What a bunch of advertising geniuses! If the product was useful or just plain fun, then Coke had it’s name on it.   Coca-Cola even shaped our vision of Santa Claus.  Haddon Sundblom, was an artist hired by Coca-Cola in the thirties.  That smiling Santa Claus, we know now,  brought cheer with a bottle of Coke in his hand.

There's a wide variety of collectible Coca-Cola Christmas items on the market, and in our auction including trays, tree topper bottles, Santa and polar bear figurines, alarm clocks and ornaments.
When collecting, look for whatever items tickle your fancy, the condition, and the original Sundblom images if you can find them.  Our items have been stored, never used and are new their boxes or packages.  

Coca-Cola has many Collector’s Clubs.  They are plenty of comprehensive price guides and product lines that keep getting bigger and bigger.  Check and see what wonderful Coca-Cola items we have for you.

Happy Bidding,


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Be Prepared Always!

This current auction will get you there. There are wonderful items to help you be prepared in so many areas of your life; your computer, your home, and your campsite to name just a few.   Here are some of our favorites for your automobile.

We direct your attention to item 9. Among other things, a 90 piece Tool Kit in a sporty red leather zippered case, that no car should be without.  Or two Warning Triangles see item 60.


It wasn’t until this auction, that I learned about “real” travel coffee mugs.  See item 131. Smart Mug 2 by JLR gear plugs into 12V Auto lighter power socket and keeps beverage hot or cold. How cool is that? 4 preset temperatures, digital LED display, nonskid rubber base. New in the package.

How about the Wireless Back-up Camera System with color LCD Monitor for your car? The camera mounts to your visor or dash and the camera mounts to your license plate. It installs as easy as 123. Fits all cars. As before all of these items are new in box.  See item 25.

Being Prepared has never been easier!  Just look at our category “For your Car.”

Happy Bidding,