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Royal York makes child's play of memorabilia sale

| Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Still looking to get in touch with your inner child• Well, forget the shrink and head to East Liberty, where the Royal York Auction Gallery puts an amazing assortment of vintage toys on the block.

Well-heeled bidders should beat a path to the Warhol Museum's Web site for details about an online auction of shoe drawings by top fashion designers and celebrities. Meawhile, Constantine & Mayer maintains its ramped auction schedule with a mid-month sale.

Royal York Auction Gallery

In the '60s, pop star Connie Francis pined for a place where the boys are. Come Saturday, owner Bob Simon will sing a happier tune at East Liberty's Royal York Auction Gallery, because that's where the toys are. Simon and crew admit that setting up for this sale seemed more like child's play than work.

Tucked away for decades, this collection of kid stuff travels down memory lane with cast-iron toys, early 20th-century Lionel standard-gauge trains, 1920s solid mahogany doll-house furniture, Tootsietoys, a blue willow tea set, tiny German bisque-head dolls and enough other playthings to fill a children's museum. Our favorite is the near-mint Arcade Manufacturing Co. cast-iron replica of a tractor-train people mover from the 1939 World's Fair in New York City.

For more grown-up tastes, several pieces of golden oak office furniture add a mature touch, as does a pointedly adult collection of daggers. In addition, bidders should take a shine to a sterling-silver trophy cup once awarded to the winner of an annual shooting match at the former Jones & Laughlin mansion in Sewickley.

Take a sneak peek at all the goods during previews from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Saturday's sale begins at 9 a.m. at 5925 Baum Blvd., East Liberty.

Details: (412) 661-1171 or www.auctionzip.com/PA-Auctioneers/1973.htm .

Constantine & Mayer

Jeff Constantine continues his string of really big sales with an April 18 auction that includes items from South Hills, Shadyside and Oakmont households. The co-owner of the Oakmont-based auction firm says "quality is strong across the board" with standout goods such as an 1890s or early 1900s Regina inlaid oak music box and matching cabinet, plus more than 50 playable metal disks.

On a historical note, a signed, dated letter from President Ulysses S. Grant thanks a citizen for a gift. From the studios of Friedrich Goldschieder, an Art Nouveau figural plaque marked "Fabrique En Autriche" displays the craftsmanship that earned worldwide acclaim for the Austrian ceramics maker. Artistically speaking, the sale offers many choice European and American paintings, furniture ranging from Victorian to Mission; Rookwood, Roseville and other ceramics; and a selection of perfume bottles.

Setting up his gavel once again at the West View Fireman's Banquet Hall, 938 Perry Highway, Constantine will open the doors for previews at 3 p.m. before the 5 p.m. April 18 sale.

Details: (412) 828-7015 or www.constantinemayer.com .

The Andy Warhol Museum

Get your foot in the door for a one-off auction that "Sex and the City" shoe freak Carrie Bradshaw would die for, as the Andy Warhol Museum goes online to sell exclusive drawings from world-class designers and celebs such as Manolo Blahnik, Kenneth Cole, Paloma Picasso, Isaac Mizrahi, Steve Madden, Kate Spade, Patti Smith, John Waters, Peter Max and Martha Stewart, sans ankle bracelets.

Created exclusively to benefit the museum's Saturday "Spike-a-delic" gala fund-raiser, the signed drawings will be up for bid on eBay through that date. To place your bid, take a walk on the Web's side at www.warhol.org .

Fair Warning

J.S. Dill Auctions: A triple-header schedule starts with this Thursday's auction, which features a nice selection of oak and Victorian furniture and an assortment of equine-themed clocks. The following Thursday, April 14, owner Jack Dill will sell off the contents of a "high-end" Crawford County home. Closing out the trio two days later, the Dill crew forges a red-hot sale that highlights many blacksmithing tools, plus early 19th-century furniture and vintage advertising items.

All auctions will take place at 2341 Evans City Road, Zelienople.

Details: (724) 453-0853, (412) 362 9001 or www.jsdillauctions.com .

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