Sunday, July 09, 2000

Main Auction Galleries to sell a bundle of toys

By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Boats, trains, wagons and fire engines — especially fire engines — go on the auction block Tuesday at Main Auction Galleries, 137 W. Fourth St., downtown.

        “It's a man's lifetime collection,” says auctioneer J. Louis Karp, although, following the family's wishes, he can't say who the man was. “He lived in Kennedy Heights,” Mr. Karp says. “That's all I can say.”

        Serious toy collectors from around the nation will gather to bid at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Main Auction Galleries is Cincinnati's only full-time auction house. This is its first toy auction since 1978.

        The tin and cast iron toys date from the 1890s to the 1950s, nearly 300 items in all. The greatest part is a collection of steam fire engines and ladder wagons pulled by teams of cast iron horses, complete with crews of tiny iron firemen. An added plus: shoe boxes filled with spare parts.

        There are mechanical, wind-up and motorized trains, trucks and ships from American, German, British and Japanese manufacturers, including World War I battleships, circus wagons, a wind-up tin Ferris wheel, complete Lionel train sets.

        On Tuesday, Main Auction will change its usual custom of selling a mixture of items, furniture, silver, rugs and art, and concentrate only on toys. The collection will be displayed 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.. Information: (513) 621-1280.


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