1977 Louis Marx Co Auction Catalog Of Factory Toys

1977 Louis Marx Co Auction Catalog Of Factory Toys

Many collectors of Marx toys are familiar with the history of the Marx toy company from the companys start-up in the early 1920s to their eventual demise in the early 1980s. The Greenberg's Guide to Marx Toys by Maxine Pinsky, volumes l, ll, and lll are recognized as essential references for Marx toy enthusiasts.

Pinsky referenced many of the toys listed with a "PB84" number designation. When the Marx collection of factory toy assets were auctioned off in 1977 over a three day period, it was Sotheby's, New York City, which did the auctioneering. Both Marx and non-Marx toys competitor sample toys were sold. The "PB" refers to Parke Bernet, which was a separate division of Sotheby's. The ග" refers to the street address; 171 East 84th Street. This was the catalog which Pinsky used to cross reference the auction sale with the specific toy listed in the Guides. However rather than using the actual corresponding lot numbers Pinsky chose to use Marx company catalog numbers so to match them up with the Greenberg Guides is not an easy task. Still, it provides an invaluable complimentary reference.

Hundreds of toys were dispersed over 350 lots during the sell off. A single lot contained as many as 23 separate toys, most with their original boxes, and all in unused mint condition. Protypes and unlicensed toys were sold, as well as competition factory samples. Those toys which remained after the sale were hauled to a landfill and buried.

Original catalogs like this one are indeed rare. This is only the 4th one I've found in the past 17 years. A far cry from the full color hardback toy auction catalogs of today. The PB84 catalog is a small 5½" x 8½" soft cover 80 page book with stapled spine and yellow glossy covers. Black and white photos taken at the auction house show individual lots of multiple toys on display shelves. Approximately 1 3 of the toys were photographed.

Lot descriptions consisted of the manufacturer's catalog number, the actual toy name, and sometime the year manufactured and size. This information was provided only occasionally, or when the original box was available. Many lots were described generically. For example Lot 235 was "Twelve American and German Lithographed Tin Train carriages" or Lot 247 as "Sixteen Prototype and Production Spinning Toys". Unless a photograph accompanied the generic description the actual toy is unknown.

A three page grouping of selling estimates is included as part of the catalog.

The final price sold at auction was mailed separately several months after the auction ended. I've seen only one original copy of this mailer. However, this copy has the final selling price of all 350 logs written in pen next to the lot number. No other marks were made in the book except for the nearly invisible word "priced" on the top cover margin.

Size: 5½" x 8½"

Sold: Apr. 2008

Price Sold: $ 204


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Subject: 1977 Louis Marx Co Auction Catalog Of Factory Toys

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