If you’re like millions of other television viewers who’ve become addicted to the PBS series “Antiques Roadshow”, you might recognize this mustachioed, pony-tailed, over-grown kid who offers his unusual brand of excitement, knowledge and expertise to the world of vintage toys.
That’s Noel Barrett and this is his website.
Noel was born on September 6, 1940 in Westerly, Rhode Island. He graduated from Columbia University in 1964 with a BS in American History.
What started as an interest in antique toys and American cultural artifacts became a business. In 1986, after 20 years as a retail dealer, he broadened his business by becoming an auction promoter and has, in the last 7 or 8 years, devoted himself entirely to the auction business. He NOW HOLDS ONE AUCTION a year — specializing in unusual and extraordinary collections.
Among the collections that he has sold are the five sales it took to disperse the Toy Museum of Atlanta, the three sales it took to sell the landmark automotive toy collection of Bill and Lillian Gottschalk, the antique advertising collection of Peter Sidlow, the antique games collection of the pioneer collector: Herb Siegel, and the American tin toy collection of the late Bill Holland. Other important previous sales include the dispersal sales of three museum: the Washington Dolls House and Toy Museum, The Mary Merritt Doll and Toy Museum, and the Old Salem Toy Museum. Another landmark sale was the Toy and Train Collection of Ward Kimball.
Mr. Barrett is actively involved with historic preservation in Bucks County Pennsylvania including the historic County Theater of Doylestown, Pennsylvania — a nonprofit film house in his county seat. In addition he is an active collector of optical and pre-cinema toys along with eclectic toys and objects reflecting aspects of the material culture of America. He is a previous president of the Antique Toy Collectors of America and has written numerous articles for various collector publications including Antique Toy World and Collectors Showcase.