By Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$2,650 (37 bids): Big Red Kugel, Grape Shape.
Very good condition, commensurate to age. No damage at all. Gilded metal natural patina. One bottom side lost mercury.
While this is a high price for a Christmas ornament, this example is more unusual since it is larger, from the early 1800s, and in a fruit shape, which is harder to find.
$7,900 (40 bids): Sun Mfg. Co. Coin Op Bicycle Trade Stimulator Cigar Arcade.
This coin-operated machine was manufactured in the late 1800s (around 1896). The player would deposit a nickel in the slot, flip the handle, and the coin would drop down, striking the bell and land in an enclosed glass area. The bicycle wheels will then spin. When they stop, the player then adds numbers on the wheel and checks to see if he or she is a winner from the award card under the bicycle. The winner was paid in cigars.
Original finish, original award card. Works and operates as intended; however, the mechanism could stand to be lubricated (a little sluggish). The cash door is missing, as is the key. There is a chip in the top cabinet on the left rear side. The wooden rope trim is in great shape.
$5,989 (50 bids): Wood & Brass Toy Boucher Live Steam Engine Ship Boat Pond Yacht.
This is a superlative circa 1930s live steam engine model steamboat. It is 37 inches long and has unbelievable detail and quality to the workmanship. I have seen some Boucher steamboats approaching this level, but this is really something to behold. It is made of wood with brass and steel details and is quite heavy. Nothing was overlooked. It has several lifeboats with the more elaborate one actually having a clockwork motor that powers the propeller of the launch/lifeboat.
The ship/boat itself also has electric wiring and lights in several locations, including a large spotlight in the upper bridge where there is also a telegraph and helm station. Behind the upper helm station near the brass smokestack, you can see the steam gauge and steam whistle. Underneath the pilot house is the steam engine with the large boiler under the grate on the roof and water tank under the aft cabin.
The boat is in good condition and mostly intact, aside from some railing and some of the rigging. The wood finish has some gatoring to the finish, but overall, it looks great. Propeller turns, and you can hear the little pop of the compression of the steam engine. Also included are two 4 x 5-inch period 1930s photographs taken by the builder of the boat with some of the info and builderís name on the back (Bill Coleman, Pasadena, Calif.)
$2,070 (17 bids): Muratti Picana Cigarettes Tin Manchester London.
A very rare and very early Picana cigarettes tin by B. Muratti Sons Co., of London and Manchester. An extremely difficult tin to find in any condition, and this one is actually in a very nice state of preservation. But what really makes this a neat item is what’s inside. Someone lined the tin in paper and attached several dried flowers on Tuesday, June 5th, 1900, to remember the celebrations of Pretoria Day, which signified the capture of Pretoria during the Boer War in South Africa.
A very neat piece of history! (Photo: eBay seller bluenoser85.)
Deborah Abernethy is a certified appraiser with the International Association of Appraisers. She can be contacted at 404-262-2131 or Deborah@expert-appraisers.com.
Her website is www.expert-appraisers.com.