Magnificent Mascots: Classic Pieces From the Mitosinka Collection

These intricate sculptures served a real purpose in classic motoring, radiator mascots today are collectible all on their own

Forest Casey

Sought after for their artistic qualities almost immediately, these antique radiator mascots from the Mitosinka Collection represent all manner of marques and models. Even from the beginning of OEM mascot manufacturing in the early 1910s, the relative rarity of each style (and relative looseness of period brand identities) meant that each mascot represented a truly personal choice.

RM Sotheby’s automobilia expert Kurt Forry guides us through some of the most fascinating mascots from the Mitosinka Collection:

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Egyptienne Mascot, ca. 1920s-1930s

Egyptienne Mascot, ca. 1920s-1930s

 

Estimate: $1,800 - $2,200. Offered Without Reserve.

 

Forry begins with an exploration of Egypt-inspired mascots, including this beguiling figurine: “Egyptian revival of decorative arts was a style in Western art, popular in the early nineteenth century, in which Egyptian motifs were applied to a wide variety of decorative arts objects and, eventually, automobile mascots would be included. Take, for example, this Egyptienne Mascot, ca. 1920s-1930s. Note the extremely fine detailed cloisonné work on the loincloth hanging from her waist. This mascot also exists in a non-cloisonné loincloth version. Certainly, there was a nominal price for the upgrade almost 100 years ago.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Stutz DV32 Mascot

Stutz DV32 Mascot

 

Estimate: $900 - $1,200. Offered Without Reserve.

 

Forry continues with a mascot from a legend of early American motoring—Stutz: “Fine Stutz automobiles were fitted with an artist rendition of the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra between 1926 and 1935. Egyptian historical imagery shows Ra with the head of a falcon adorned with a serpent headpiece. The Stutz Ra shows a winged serpent headdress, and a handsome young face replaces the mythical falcon. Buyer beware, though, only the authentic Stutz mascot carries the markings “S.M.C. Co. of America, Indianapolis, Ind. Pat. Feb. 2, 1926” on the nape of the neck.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Winged Nude Mascot, ca.1920s

Winged Nude Mascot, ca.1920s

 

Estimate: $700 - $900. Offered Without Reserve.

 

“The winged nude is also revival-inspired. Note the headpiece and the mythical winged arms, clearly resembling Isis. In mascot catalogs of yesteryear, dozens of mascots of different designs were all named ‘Egyptienne,’ sourced from different manufacturers, artists, and distributors,” Forry says.

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, McFarland TV6 Mascot, ca. 1925

McFarland TV6 Mascot, ca. 1925

 

Estimate: $1,100 - $1,300. Offered Without Reserve.

 

When it comes to OEM mascots, the value can depend on the relative obscurity of the brand: “In regards to the manufacturer-made pieces (like, for instance, the McFarland), these period mascots for top-tier brands were made in limited batches. And the more obscure and elevated the brand, the more money a potential future restoration would cost. So, in some ways, buying a rare mascot is essentially investing in the future value of a storied brand.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Diana Mascot, ca. 1925-1928

Diana Mascot, ca. 1925-1928

 

Estimate: $700 - $900. Offered Without Reserve.

 

“The Diana Motors Company was a short-lived subsidiary of St. Louis, Missouri’s Moon Motor Company, which operated between June 1925 and January 1928. Dianas were ‘assembled’ cars, meaning that they were put together with parts and components sourced outside of the company. Here is a wonderful example of the extremely rare Diana 8 mascot. Featuring the Goddess of the Hunt, elegantly drawing her bow in a skyward fashion, this example still shows signs of her original guilt paint and is in fine condition.” Forry says.

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Packard Mascot, ca. 1930s

Packard Mascot, ca. 1930s

 

Estimate: $1,800 - $2,200. Offered Without Reserve.

 

One of the finest American manufacturers, Packard, was not known for any one style of mascot. “Packard ran from 1899 to 1955 and had nearly 20 different varieties of mascots and hood ornaments. We have a near-mint 1934 Packard Goddess of Speed, perfectly zinc die-cast and chromed by Stant Manufacturing. These are somewhat common in the collector community, but this piece is not believed to have ever been fitted to a car.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow Tireur d'Arc

Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow Tireur d'Arc

 

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000. Offered Without Reserve.

 

Pierce-Arrow, another of America’s finest pre-war brands, had a strong brand identity that was interpreted differently on different models. Forry says, “This extremely rare, 1933 Archer was an all-in-one, integrated mascot and cap that measures 6 inches in diameter, almost like a teacup saucer. Technically, this was the fit for all Pierce-Arrows from 1933, including the Club Sedan, Salon, Sedans, up to the 7-Passenger Limousine.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Pierce-Arrow Tireur d'Arc Mascot by WN Schnell, 1931

Pierce-Arrow Tireur d'Arc Mascot by WN Schnell, 1931

 

Estimate: $600 - $800. Offered Without Reserve.

 

“This 1931-1932 Tireur d’Arc Mascot was used on the V-12 models and shows markings from WN Schnell. Our example is missing its bow and arrow.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Pierce-Arrow Mascot, ca. 1930s

Pierce-Arrow Mascot, ca. 1930s

 

Estimate: $600 - $900. Offered Without Reserve.

 

“Produced from 1934 to 1937, this kneeling archer on an arrowhead is in exceptional condition,” Forry continues.

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Pierce-Arrow Mascot, ca. 1926-27

Pierce-Arrow Mascot, ca. 1926-27

 

Estimate: $400 - $600. Offered Without Reserve.

 

“Another Pierce-Arrow mascot of note is this ‘Pierce Wheel,’ which emphasizes the arrow and eschews the archer.”

 

 

RM Sotheby's The Mitosinka Collection 2020, Pierce-Arrow Standard Non Mascot, ca. 1934-38

Pierce-Arrow Standard Non Mascot, ca. 1934-38

 

Estimate: $700 - $900. Offered Without Reserve.

 

“Our final Pierce-Arrow mascot was an option for the Pierce owner who wanted a completely subtle look. Rarely did anyone choose the non-mascot option, but the company had to produce a radiator cap to mount over the curved radiator, and this streamlined arrowhead was their solution.”


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