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Archive for the ‘Auction’ Category

See-saw circus clown bicycle

See-saw circus clown bicycle from the David Metz Museum. Copake Antique & Classic Bicycle Auction. April 12, 2014

This homemade see-saw bicycle for a pair of circus clowns will be on the auction block at Saturday’s 23rd Annual Antique & Classic Bicycle Auction in Copake, New York. Here’s hoping unicyclist Keith Nelson, whose alter ego is the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus‘s Mr Pennygaff, buys it, so we can one day see it in action. The sale begins at 9:00 am with online bidding available via live auctioneers.

Among the 900 lots from museums and private collections are boneshakers, high wheels, adult tricycles, and early pneumatic safeties from the Metz Bicycle Museum of Freehold, New Jersey, which closed after the 97-year-old collector’s death last year. In addition to the see-saw bike, unusual bicycles from the museum include children’s bicycles, an ice bicycle and a pontoon bike from the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

On the day after the auction, Sunday, April 13th, a bicycle ride around Manhattan will celebrate the life of David Metz. According to the website of The Wheelmen, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping alive the heritage of American cycling: “This ride is open to all wheelmen and wheelwomen, all who are friends of the Metz Bicycle Museum or the Copake Bicycle Auction, and anyone else who was a friend to David. The ride will start from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in the Battery, NYC, at 10:00 AM.”

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March 14, 2014: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Celebrates 20th Anniversary

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December 10, 2010: Rare & Vintage: Original Coney Island Motordrome Bike

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Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine

Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine. German, c.1950. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery

Isn’t this the cutest? There are already two bids on this circa 1950 “Bimbo Baby” arcade machine featuring a monkey orchestra. It has a starting bid of $1,000 and a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$4,000. The sale is on Saturday morning at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass., not far from where my Dad once had a real live monkey on the midway.

Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine. German, c.1950, coin operated automaton box lights up inside with 6 figural cabana monkeys on a tropical decorated stage, the figures dance, shake and play their instruments; has a speaker built into the base which plays music through a Tefi Spezial-Band cassette (tape in cassette is unwound). Animated mechanism is in good working condition. 38 in. high x 24 in. wide x 23 in. deep.

Now if somebody would just drop a dime in the slot and make a YouTube video of the toy monkeys dancing and playing, we’d be delighted.

Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade

One of the Monkeys in Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine. German, c.1950. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery

Update: Found on YouTube! There are quite a few videos of “Bimbo Box,” the larger version, in operation…

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Gogo and Didi Do NYC

Image on autographed T-shirts being auctioned on eBay Giving Works to benefit City Harvest

A series of photos of actors Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen hamming it up at New York City tourist spots during rehearsals for their Broadway run in Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land has been a hit on twitter. Called “Gogo and Didi Do NYC,” the social media campaign took the bowler-hatted duo from the Empire State Building and Katz’s Deli to Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel and Nathan’s. With their last performance set for March 30th, McKellen and Stewart are now inviting fans to bid on three autographed T-shirts custom-printed with their image at a Coney Island souvenir shop during their September visit.

Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen riding Wonder Wheel,

Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen riding the Wonder Wheel, Coney Island, September 2013

Current bids on the shirts (small, medium and large) range from $560 to $625, making them the most expensive Coney Island Tees in history. It’s for a good cause. The proceeds of the eBay auction, which ends on April 3rd, will benefit City Harvest. As Stewart writes:

In Waiting for Godot, Gogo and Didi are two old tramps, needy indeed. They don’t know where they’ll sleep that night, they don’t know where their next meal will come from, and they hoard their meager resources, sharing whatever they do have. In short, they’re hungry. It seemed a natural fit—Gogo and Didi and City Harvest. City Harvest helps to feed nearly two million New Yorkers facing hunger each year. So bid early, bid often, bid high, and know that you’ll be funding a vital and important organization.

Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in Coney Island

Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen eating at Nathan’s, Coney Island, September 2013

As for Stewart and McKellen’s trip to Coney Island, it was memorable…

But one day in particular was unusually fun—we went out to the famous Coney Island and had a marvelous time. We played skee ball, hopped on the Wonder Wheel (the view from up there is lovely), and went and scoffed hotdogs at Nathan’s. (Ian, being a pescatarian, delighted in corn-on-the-cob and clam chowder.) In a truly bizarre moment, to our surprise we found Leonard Nimoy, seated outside a few tables away, himself indulging in Nathan’s for the first time. After lunch, we strolled back to the boardwalk. Ice cream for me, candyfloss for Sir Ian, on a bench, on the Coney Island boardwalk…two old(ish) Brits enjoying a classic American seaside landmark. As we left the fairground area and the late afternoon was approaching, we stopped off at a souvenir vendor’s booth and posed for a silly portrait that we impulsively had printed up onto three t-shirts.

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