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'World's most expensive toy' glides to $161,000 in US auction

'Quality collectibles are bringing strong money,' says auctioneer after selling a vintage Santa sleigh

There's more money in vintage dolls and old advertising than you might think - with James D Julia's Toy, Doll & Advertising auction netting nearly $2.1m, last week (June 30-July 1).

Among the sale's numerous highlights was a Bergmann Santa sleigh pulled by goats, described as "the rarest and most important of all early-American tin toys."

Bidders eventually dragged the sleigh to a phenomenal $161,000.

The remarkable sale makes the sleigh the most expensive American tine toy sold in the last 15 years - and the most expensive toy of any type sold at auction in the last two-to-three years, anywhere in the world.

"We and our consignors are absolutely elated with the results," said auctioneers James D Julia in a statement.

The Althof Bergmann Santa Sleigh with Goats was billed as 'the rarest and
most important of all early-American tin toys... [and] perhaps the acme of
clockwork American tin toys.'

"In our present economy, it is very difficult to predict what auction results will be.

"But this sale proved that fresh to the market, quality goods that are reasonably estimated are still bringing strong money," said the auction house.

Meanwhile, the Malcolm Deisenroth collection of early American tin toys was touted as the finest and most significant of its type to ever come to auction - and this was certainly confirmed by the sales results.

Deisenroth's collection was estimated to bring around $870,000, but eventually far exceeded that to bring an incredible $1.04m.

Elsewhere, the sale featured many other quality consignments, including mechanical banks, coin-op, fine dolls, salesman samples and antique advertising.

Among the other star lots, an all-original Caille upright double slot machine sold for $80,500 (well over its $45-65,000 estimate). 

James D Julia is based in Fairfield, Maine, US.


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Images: James D Julia



Last updated: 8 July 2010