Alexander Calder's Push Toy valued at up to $300,000

Alexander Calder's Push Toy is among the highlights of an auction of post war and contemporary art at Bonhams.

The work is valued at $200,000-300,000 ahead of the November 10 sale in New York.

Alexander Calder toy
Alexander Calder was a key figure in post-war American art

Made from discarded tin cans and a length of rod, this piece was made by Calder (1898-1976) for the son of his close friend, the architect Clifford Hirsch, in 1950.

Calvin Hirsch, the son in question, comments: "The friendship between the Hirsch's and Calders was marked by periodic gifts...when I was a toddler, he gave me a pull toy made of Ballantine beer cans, and a push toy made of assorted cans.

"I only was allowed to play with them when he and Louisa were over; otherwise, the toys were stored in the attic."

Calder was at the height of his creative powers during the 1950s. In addition to his iconic mobiles and stabiles he made hundreds of gifts for friends, ranging from jewellery to kitchen accessories.

Bonhams comments: "The way a stabile floats and moves is never the same twice, and is based on the way the wind blows or a viewer touches the delicate hanging discs.

"Whether the participant is a child or an adult, this personalized result begets a wondrously curious pleasure.

"The toys the artist made for Calvin Hirsch when he was a toddler were no exception: they too required participation."

The sale will also feature the Ballantine beer pull toy, which is valued at $150,000-200,000.

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