Auction featuring the collections of the late FBI agent Bill Rosenbaum will be held March 21st
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Auction featuring the collections of the late FBI agent Bill Rosenbaum will be held March 21st
G-Men tin litho friction toy motorcycle, 10 inches long, made in Japan by Hadson and featuring a steerable hard rubber front wheel and G-Men graphics (est. $300-$600).

AMESBURY, MASS.- A Collector’s Novelty Auction featuring the G-Man and tobacciana collections of the late FBI agent William L. Rosenbaum – plus vintage pinball machines, slot machines, general advertising and novelty lots from other collectors – will be held Saturday, March 21st, by John McInnis Auctioneers, online and in the Amesbury gallery at 76 Main Street.

The auction will begin promptly at 11 am Eastern time. Doors will open at 8 am for an all-day auction preview that will last throughout the sale. Private previews by appointment will be held on Thursday and Friday, March 19th and 20th. To schedule an appointment, call 800-822-1417.

For those unable to attend in person, Internet bidding will be provided by and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Terms and more information are available at

John McInnis Auctioneers wants everyone to know that it is taking the COVID-19 Coronavirus threat very seriously and is taking every precaution possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable auction experience. This includes sanitizing all hard surfaces, handrails and door handles. Hand sanitizer and wet wipes will be available.

The staff has been trained in following the practices recommended by the CDC and is being updated as new information is released. Anyone who is exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms, or has traveled to an impacted community or has been in contact with someone who has, is asked not to attend the auction.

William L. Rosenbaum served as an FBI special agent in Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Boston in a career that began on November 16, 1970 and lasted until 1995. Along the way, he indulged his passion for the items in this auction that will be passed along to a new generation of collectors.

As an FBI agent, it made sense that Bill Rosenbaum would collect G-Man items. Like the large group of FBI “Wanted” poster copies, including ones for John Dillinger, Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker and Osama Bin Laden, being offered as one lot (est. $100-$200); and the framed signed photo of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, plus four Hoover and FBI-related items (est. $100-$200).

The G-Man collectibles had a lighter, more whimsical side, too, with items like the following:

• A G-Men tin litho friction toy motorcycle, 10 inches long, made in Japan by Hadson and featuring a steerable hard rubber front wheel and G-Men graphics (est. $300-$600).

• A Mustang toy car named the FBI Commander, made in Japan by Bondai, a friction drive heavy gauge metal scale model with top light, siren and original box (est. $150-$300).

• A Marx Siren Sparkling tin litho toy machine gun in the original box (est. $50-$100).

The tobacco-related items in Mr. Rosenbaum’s collection consist of vintage advertising labels, packaging and the like; no actual tobacco is being sold. But empty soft packs will be a prominent part of lot 263 – 35 pieces related just to Lucky Strike cigarettes. Included are game cards, paper dolls, magazine ads featuring Amelia Earhart and Dolores Del Rio and more (est. $300-$400).

A framed advertising poster for Old Honesty plug tobacco (“Never Varies, Always the Best”), depicting a bearded man cutting off a piece of plug, plus a plug tobacco bag, should reach $100-$200; while a Mohawk Pipe Mixture box and a Mohawk Chief 5-cent cigar tin with a separated top, the tin measuring 5 ½ inches by 6 ¼ inches, will be offered as one lot (est. $800-$1,000).

A Daval Penny Pack trade stimulator, set up for gumball distribution and featuring cigarette packs on the reels, including Lucky Strike, Camel, Chesterfield, Old Gold, Philip Morris and Spud, has an estimate of $300-$600. Also, a Sunset Trail 5-cent cigar tin by the Roby Cigar Company, with multiple graphics of a man and woman on horseback, should hit $100-$200.

The pinball machines, slots and coin-ops from other consignors are generally higher-ticket items. A Mills “Hightop Bonus” 5-cent slot machine and base, in good working condition, is expected to hit the jackpot for $800-$1,600. The three-reel, nickel slot features a cast aluminum front, back door, key and coin box. It sits atop a sturdy oak base with a cast chrome figural emblem.

A tennis-themed pinball machine produced by D. Gottlieb & Company in 1976, one of 2,900 made, designed by Ed Krynski and art by Gordon Morison, also had an estimate of $800-$1,600. Music lovers will swoon over a Seeburg 100 Select-O-Matic jukebox produced in 1953 that holds up to fifty 45 rpm records and features colorful, light-up columns (est. $750-$1,500).

Miscellaneous items will include an antique barber shop hot towel steamer, 57 inches tall, having a nickel-plated steamer and boiler section with overlaid base and tray (est. $2,000-$3,000); and a four-piece, six-sheet movie poster for the 1962 film It Happened in Athens (20th Century Fox), starring Jayne Mansfield, measuring an impressive 79 ½ inches by 78 ½ inches (est. $200-$400).

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