Three-day sales seem to be all the rage. Two of them start this weekend, one in the city and one in South Jersey.
The Jersey event is Bertoia Auctions' spring toy sale today, tomorrow and Sunday in Vineland. Titled "All Toys Aboard," it winds up with the liquidation of the John Panzenhagen model-train collection.
Some unusual collectible categories are offered as well, including hotel call bells and more than a dozen vintage cast-iron lawn sprinklers. The sprinklers - along with cast-iron coin banks, doorstops, trucks and trains - will be offered at today's session, beginning at noon. The rarest is a 14-inch-tall mermaid expected to sell for $1,500 to $2,000.
As usual, today's top prices are likely to go for some of the 300 still and mechanical banks, notably an 1880 "initiating" bank whose action involves a man who sends the coin into the mouth of a frog. It is expected to sell for $18,000 to $22,000.
Tomorrow's session, beginning at 9 a.m., will offer some of the toys that have made Bertoia famous, particularly for windups. The top item this time is an Ives General Grant Smoker, a clockwork figure of the Civil War general seated in uniform on a cast-iron chair and puffing on a cigar. Patented in 1877, it is expected to sell for $22,000 to $24,000.
Five-figure prices are expected for several other items in the session, including a boxed J.B. Secor mechanical piano player ($16,500 to $17,500) and several early Mickey and Minnie Mouse items. Those include a Nanny Minnie carrying Baby Felix in cages ($12,000 to $15,000) and another pushing him in a pram ($20,000 to $25,000).
Sunday's session, beginning at 10 a.m., will be devoted to the Panzenhagen train collection. The more than 440 lots, mostly Lionel but also some American Flyer and Ives, range from early windups to 1940s Lionel sets, but shun the later limited-edition brand-name novelty fare.
Among the top items are a cast-iron Ives O-gauge windup passenger train expected to sell for $12,000 to $14,000, even though the tender does not match the locomotive; a rare box set Lionel O-gauge streamline Rail Chief ($8,000 to $10,000), and a large-scale Erector New York Central 4-6-4 (the so-called Hudson), measuring 48 inches long and expected to bring $5,000 to $7,500.
Previews are from 9 a.m. to sale time today, 8 a.m. to sale time tomorrow, and 9 a.m. to sale time Sunday at the gallery, 2141 Demarco Dr., just off Route 55. For more information, call 856-692-1881 or go to www.bertoiaauctions.com.
The three-day sale in the city is Barry S. Slosberg Inc.'s auction Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 2501 E. Ontario St. More than 1,500 lots will be offered, beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, including 500 lots of furniture, rugs and artwork.
Among the top furniture items is an octagonal Rococo Revival center table with a top of pietra dura. Slosberg expects it to sell for $7,000 to $10,000.
Monday's session, beginning at 6 p.m., will offer 40 lots of clocks; bronzes - notably a 16-inch signed sculpture by C.H. Humphres titled "Indian Appeal to Manitou" and expected to sell for $5,000 to $8,000 - and art glass. The last includes an 18-inch Muller Freres cameo glass vase, a Daum Nancy rain-scene vase, and a Galle hyacinth vase, each expected to sell for about $10,000.
Tuesday's session, also beginning at 6 p.m., will feature 200 lots of jewelry, including Mexican and American Indian pieces, and 100 lots of silver.
Previews are from 2 to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to sale time Sunday, and 3 p.m. to sale time Monday and Tuesday. Information: 215-425-7030.
Textiles in New Hope. Beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Eagle Fire Company, Charles A. Whitaker Auction Co. will conduct a sale of vintage clothing and textiles, featuring two private collections.
Tuesday's session will feature Asian, Indonesian, ancient Egyptian and European textiles assembled in the 1930s by Charles Mullin, plus items from the collection of Bruce Riddick, a Canadian specializing in Northwest American Indian artifacts, including a Haida button robe from about 1880.
The button robe, a 55-by-70-inch olive wool trade blanket and one of nearly 450 lots in Tuesday's session, is expected to sell for $12,000 to $20,000. A grouping of Coptic weavings bought by Mullin in 1932 from the Cairo Museum is expected to sell for $1,200 to $2,500, but in general prices should be in the three figures.
Most of the 500 lots of designer fashions in Wednesday's session also are expected to bring three-figure prices, although a 1921 Paul Poiret silk print dress and a 1957 unlabeled Dior ball gown are each expected to sell for $6,000 to $8,000.
Previews are from noon to 6 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to sale time Tuesday and Wednesday at the sale site, Route 202 and Sugan Road. Information: 215-817-4600 or www.whitakerauction.com.