Old Toy Soldier to host May 29-31 absentee, online and phone auction featuring Mike Endres collection

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Old Toy Soldier to host May 29-31 absentee, online and phone auction featuring Mike Endres collection
King and Country 12-piece Scots Highlanders boxed set, estimate $250-$350. Old Toy Soldier Auctions image.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- Bidders are on their marks, and battle lines have been drawn for Old Toy Soldier Auctions’ (OTSA) May 29-31 sale of military and civilian figures and sets. Over the three-day period, OTSA will offer more than 1,650 lots from several advanced collectors, including Mike Endres, whose collection is the centerpiece of the sale.

The auction lineup is highlighted by “connoisseur pieces – primarily military figures and miniature military models – that were detailed to perfection by some of the great master painters of our time,” said OTSA owner Ray Haradin. Among the brands represented are Stadden, Lasset, Courtenay, Courtenay Greenhill, and Greenwood & Ball, manufacturers of one of the sale’s featured pieces – a hand-painted figure of Brigadier Sir Pratap Singh Bahadun in ceremonial attire, complete with Sikh turban, medals and sheathed sword.

A fine selection of Britains includes an extremely rare circa-1890 “Horse Race” toy, the only known example retaining its original factory box. Exhibiting beautiful original paint, the gyroscopic toy includes two competing horses in full stride, each mounted by a jockey in colorful “silks.” As the label on the box attests, “The Winner Is Positively Uncertain,” owing to a random-action feature that would have kept youngsters amused for hours.

There are many other rare Britains waiting in the wings for their moment in the auction spotlight. Among them are an iconic circa-1902 Set #72, Life Guards Past and Present, featuring saber-wielding British Life Guards with plumed helmets on high-stepping black horses; and a Set #1903, “Indian Mountain Artillery,” with figures and pack animals still tied to the box backing. An exceptionally rare three-dimensional painted figure of Disney favorite Minnie Mouse is “dressed” in a red skirt with yellow polka dots, with red shoes, yellow gloves and a jaunty green hat as accessories. Figures of her friends Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Clarabelle Cow are up for bid, as well.

A broad variety of civilian figures includes many interesting pieces by Austrian manufacturer Wollner and premier German brand Heyde. The latter company also produced the boxed Spanish-American War battle set that is entered in the sale with its original box. Each figure in this particular set is well crafted and fastidiously hand painted. Some of the men aim rifles or bayonets, while others hoist flags or hold a bugle. The set even comes with skillfully molded and painted lead trees and shrubbery.

Two lots from the manufacturer Ping warrant special mention. They include a seldom-seen circa-1952 figure of King Edward I that was commissioned expressly for the world-famous Hamley’s toy store in London, and a superbly detailed figure of Sir Thomas Wyat, which is presented on a wood plinth with metal identification tag that notes the nobleman’s 1529-1554 dates of birth and death.

Novelty boxed sets include two sizes of “Britains Zoo,” a Britains “Model Farm,” an Oak Apple railway set, Johillco’s “Farm” and “Railroad” sets; and a very rare English-made Cherilea baseball set. The team consists of 10 uniformed players in batting, fielding, throwing and catching poses, plus an umpire with arms outspread to indicate the ruling of “safe.”

Day three of the sale will focus primarily on figures and sets that are of undeniably high quality but of more contemporary manufacture, by such popular makers as Steadfast, Mignot, Ducal, and King and Country. It’s a broad-based offering aimed at all collector levels, with estimates that range from $20 to $5,000. Highlights include boxed examples of the Royal Marine Light Infantry from the “Regiments of the British Army” series by All The Queen’s Men, and King and Country’s colorful “Scots Highlanders” set.

OTSA’s May 29, 30 and 31 absentee, phone and online auction will begin each day at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. View the entire catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

To contact OTSA, call Ray Haradin at 412-343-8733 (tollfree: 800-349-8009) or email raytoys@aol.com. Visit OTSA online at www.oldtoysoldierauctions.com.

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