Schoenhut Humpty Dumpty Circus Band, ca. 1910

Value (2004) | $10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

Well, I know they're Schoenhut, and I found them at a farm auction in Wisconsin about, oh, eight, nine years ago. I have never seen another set of them. I've seen pictures of them, but never... never a set of them.

Tell me how you bought them.

I think that's... Well, it was farm auction, and it was box that looked like junk. And I bid five dollars on it, and that's what I got it for.

That was a pretty good buy, don't you think?

I think so.

Well, what do you think they're worth?

I would say they're maybe worth about $100 a piece, pricing out some of the other Schoenhut items.

Yeah, yeah. Well, it's the Schoenhut Humpty Dumpty Circus, which was made by the Schoenhut Company in Philadelphia. A lot people think Schoenhuts were made in Germany, because it's a German name, but they were made in Philadelphia starting in the 1890s, and the circus was made well into the early '30s. Uh, we've had pieces of the Humpty Dumpty Circus before on the ROADSHOW, some of the animals, and, of course, I've always considered this Humpty Dumpty Circus the... one of the first play set toys ever made in America, and one of the great classic, American toys because it allowed the child to recreate that fantastic circus, and it is a truly fabulous toy. But probably one of the most rare components of it is the band.

The band.

And uh, you absolutely made a fabulous find, and this felt is almost perfect; usually these are moth-eaten. Now, they're a little dirty-- all these pants could be cleaned up-- they could be brought back to really wonderful condition. You're missing a helmet here or there. And, of course, you see this fellow here with the bent limbs? You know why he was able to sit down? He was usually on top of a bandwagon.

Yeah, he was the driver of the bandwagon.

But it's an absolutely fantastic set, and very, very hard to find, in pretty amazing condition. In today's market I would value this set at easily $10,000 to $12,000.

Great. I'm very pleased.

You did very well.

I did very well.

Appraisal Details

Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, PA
Appraised value (2004)
$10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
St Paul, MN (June 26, 2004)
20th Century

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