May 28, 2009

Mecha Bojesen Mega Auction

bojesen_cop_br803-377.jpg

Though Kay Bojesen has been reduced to expensive teak monkeys today, back in the day, he was a veritable one-Dane, wooden Playmobil, replicating even the most random corners of the modern world in his signature, modernist toy style.

At least that's what I assume, since the giant traffic cop above [151 cm!] was just one piece figure from a traffic school exhibit [?] Bojesen made for the 1955 Design & Housing Fair. Traffic school. In a country with more bikes than people.

So though it's rare now, this giant Bojesen could be just the herald for a massive Bojesen toy city which will be unearthed someday, a veritable Xi'an Army of mid-century Scandinavian playthings. But it probably ain't gonna happen before June 25th, which means the EUR6,700 auction estimate for this policeman is what it is.

If that's too rich for your New Depression-era toy budget, the Danish auctioneers Bruun-Rasumussen have a huge pile of vintage Bojesen toys for sale that day, so even if you can only get a EUR1300 teak dachshund, you're set:

Lot 382: a large Tivoli Guardsman, a more classic Bojesen toy soldier, is a whopping 155 cm tall with his flag. And estimated to sell for EUR 2,700:

bojesen_guard_8r803-382.jpg

Lot 378: Lise & Ole dolls [est. EUR4000], seem like the most unusual lot. They're handpainted one-offs, apparently. The Lise & Ole characters were regulars in Bojesen's work [here's an unpainted pair,, here are three more Lises, and B-R sold a Lise & Ole with pram in 2006.]. Were they his kids? Because that's how he got started, making wooden toys for his son because the only toys for sale in the 1920's were plastic, commercialized, licensed TV character crap with annoying buzzers and blinking lights.

UPDATE: An email from Gustav, who maintains an excellent Bojesen resource online, corrects me; Lise and Ole were Bojesen's niece and nephew. His one son was named Otto.

Lot 379: Puffins [est. EUR2700], so your kid can pretend to be an Icelandic subsistence farmer forced to catch and eat puffins in the winter.

bojesen_puffins_br803-379.jpg

Lot 380: Large, Early Rocking Horse [est. EUR1350], made from solid beech in the Deco-ish style of the late 1930's or early 1940's. Click through and zoom in while you can; those Danes sure know how to not ruin the patina on a fine piece of woodworking [cough, Wharton Esherick bed seller, cough].

bojesen_horse_br803-380.jpg

Auction 803 in Bredgade, bidding ends June 25, 2009 [bruun-rasmussen.dk]

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