There are two types of collectors. Many come to the hobby later in life, often by happenstance: meeting another collector and acquiring the contagion or seeing an object that speaks to them somehow. Others are born, perhaps with some sort of recessive gene – they begin as children when something sparks an interest. Bud Newman is in the “born” group – in the third grade he fell victim to the allure of stamp collecting and the collecting never stopped – only the categories changed. Later in life, with his wife Judy, early Pennsylvania furniture fell into one of their “had to have” categories, then onto American folk art including painted children’s sleds and decorated stoneware. Collecting board games came to Bud through his business, Newman & Co., a major force in paper recycling and cardboard manufacturing. The company was started by his grandfather in 1918. Among the major buyers of Newman’s specialty cardboard were game and toymakers, including Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley and Selchow & Righter. Seeing what they were producing with his product, combined with Bud’s interest in things of America’s past, it was only a matter of time before he discovered the magic of late 19th and early 20th century board games. Their appeal is two-fold, as early masterpieces of graphics and color lithography, as well as having much to tell us of our American past.
I first encountered Bud Newman in 1992, when I had the honor of offering at auction the collection of the pioneer game collector Herb Siegel. That sale was a watershed event for vintage game collecting, as well as in the personal journey of Buddy in his quest for these playthings of the past. Bud’s collection includes about thirty pieces from the Siegel auction. Our upcoming April 23rd, 2021 sale is the first installment of his amazing collection and it includes some of the earliest manufactured games: from the linen backed lithographed paper games of the 1820’s right up to the early baseball and football games of the late 19th and early 20th c. The largest groupings are the brightly colored lithographed games by such makers as McLoughlin, Parker Brothers, Bliss and Singer. Highlights include McLoughlin’s 1883 Bulls and Bears, a holy grail piece for game collectors. It brings to life the era’s stock market shenanigans of Jay Gould and Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Many games in the collection have cross-over appeal. The McLoughlin masterpiece Yellow Kid Ten Pins, is as sought after by game collectors as by enthusiasts of comic character items. Outcault’s Yellow Kid is considered the first American comic strip, and this game offers ten “kids” in all! The collection of sport’s games also appeals to two different collector constituencies. The highlight in this category is the astoundingly rare Zimmer’s Baseball Game, the colorful lithographed paper playing field displays portraits of eighteen baseball players of that era, with Buck Ewing and Amos Rule as catcher and pitcher, and, among others in the dugout, is Cy Young. The color lithography is by the incomparable McLoughlin Brothers. It is a “grail” piece for game as well as sports devotees with only ten believed to have survived.
Bud’s collection is primarily games but also includes toys and puzzles made by some of the game makers. Along with almost 275 items from the game and toy collection, we will also be offering almost 200 pieces from Bud and Judy’s American folk art collection, including painted children’s sleds, New Hope impressionist paintings, decorated stoneware, paint decorated furniture, needlework samplers, and more.
The auction will take place on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 9AM at Pook & Pook’s gallery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The exhibition for this sale will start the Saturday prior by appointment. Please call (610) 269-4040 to schedule a time to preview. For questions regarding condition or requests for additional photographs, please email email@example.com. Online bidding will be available on Bidsquare.com, Invaluable.com, and LiveAuctioneers.com. For more information about this and other upcoming events at Pook & Pook, please visit www.pookandpook.com. The second installment of the Newman toy and game collection will be featured in our December 3rd, 2021 Antique Toy Auction.
By: Noel Barrett