The Stephen Zito Collection Of Model Trains Goes Up For Bid At Turner Auctions + Appraisals On September 12

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Featured are Over 150 Lots of O Gauge Trains from Diverse Manufacturers

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, AUGUST 26, 2020 – Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present The Stephen Zito Collection of Model Trains on Saturday, September 12, 2020, featuring O Gauge trains and accessories from a wide selection of American and international manufacturers. Amassed over 30 years by an avid collector, this online auction offers over 150 lots. American manufacturers include Lionel, MTH, K-Line, Williams, American Flyer, Rail King, Weaver, Pride Lines, Atlas, Thomas Industries, Allstate, Industrial, Dorfan, Sunset Third Rail, Thomas Industries and Marx. Among international makers are Bing, Märklin, ETS, LGB and Hornby. The sale includes a wide range of models, locomotives, passenger coaches, freight cars, tenders, gondolas, cabooses, and Christmas trains. Among the accessories are bridges, control and floodlight towers, goods wagons, a forklift loader, water tower and tank, cattle loader, stations, stockyard, building kits, switches, scale vehicles and more. Greenberg Guides and other reference books complete the sale. 

O Gauge MTH 20-3039-1 Hillcrest Lumber Company Climax
O Gauge MTH 20-3039-1 Hillcrest Lumber Company Climax

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at 10:30 am PDT; sale items are available for preview and bidding now. The auction will be featured live on multiple platforms: LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare, iCollector, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps (“Turner Auctions”). All are easily accessed through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at the company’s website: www.turnerauctionsonline.com/upcoming-auctions/. 

O Gauge Weaver Lehigh Valley Streamline passenger cars
O Gauge Weaver Lehigh Valley Streamline passenger cars

Born in New York and raised in Arlington County, Virginia, Stephen Zito graduated from Columbia University, majoring in Comparative Literature. “Thereby unemployable,” Stephen says, he went to work 58 hours a week in a copper foundry in Union, New Jersey. Diligently attending New York University nights, weekends and summers, he then earned a master’s degree in Graduate Cinema Studies. 

O Gauge Lionel Southern 2-8-2 Mikado and Tender with
O Gauge Lionel Southern 2-8-2 Mikado and Tender with

With these credentials, Stephen began a long and successful career in the TV and film industry. He first worked for the American Film Institute as editor of the AFI Catalog of American Film, then as a programmer at the AFI Theater, and as an editor at American Film Magazine. Moving from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, he joined the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as the founding editor of Emmy Magazine

O Gauge Sunset Third Rail Brass Santa Fe 2-8-0
O Gauge Sunset Third Rail Brass Santa Fe 2-8-0

Subsequently, his writing career expanded in new creative directions: he started writing movies of the week, wrote The Escape Artist for Francis Ford Coppola, resumed writing movies and miniseries, and worked on a number of TV series as a writer-producer. Before retiring to the San Francisco Bay Area, he worked on JAG, the American legal drama television series with a U.S. Navy theme, for eight years, most of them as one of the co- executive producers. Stephen is currently writing two novels: with no deadline, he says they never seem to get finished, allowing him to spend too much time on eBay.

O Gauge K-Line KW3470-1295CC NYC Suburban Tank
O Gauge K-Line KW3470-1295CC NYC Suburban Tank

Stephen’s post-war Lionel childhood led to a lifelong interest in model trains. In fact, he still has the Erie Alco and the Union Pacific Alco his father gave him as a child. There, under the Christmas tree the first year, was a circle of track: a 4’ x 8’ piece of plywood was placed on sawhorses – and a new world unfolded, enhanced with additional model trains on birthdays and Christmases. As is true for many adult collectors, these pleasurable times for Stephen, often spent with his father and older brother, are the key memories of his youth. 

Hornby Stephensons Rocket Set
Hornby Stephensons Rocket Set

As a teenager, he lost interest in model trains when he “discovered girls and cars, in that order” and the trains stayed unopened in boxes for many years. Nevertheless, the boxes went along every time Stephen moved, and in retirement he “made the mistake” of opening them, then started buying trains of all descriptions. A layout ensued (still in progress) and he discovered, or rediscovered, a whole new world of trains.

O Gauge K-Line K2521 D&RGW F7 A-B-A and K4421 (6)
O Gauge K-Line K2521 D&RGW F7 A-B-A and K4421 (6)

Assembled over 30 years, Stephen’s eclectic collection includes a wide array of model trains, sourced from auctions, train meets, and selectively on eBay. While he bought what he liked, he says condition and rarity were always a priority. After a time, he became a collector of collections, purchasing the contents of a storage locker and part or all of three smaller collections from Bay Area collectors. A member of various model train associations such as the Train Collectors of America, he has enjoyed the friendship of other collectors over the years. 

O Gauge Lionel New York Central Aluminum Streamliner
O Gauge Lionel New York Central Aluminum Streamliner

For the last 17 years, Stephen and his wife Joanna have lived in the Bay Area. They have two sons, two grandsons, and four rescue cats (“a motley crew, sons and cats both”). All enjoy the pleasures of the kitchen and the garden. He is known to drink wine on special occasions – and he asks, “Aren’t most days special?” Stephen says part of his extensive collection is going to auction now “with regret, but time and space are at a premium as life is downsized.” 

O Gauge Lionel 6-11838 Warhorse AT&SF Hudson Freight
O Gauge Lionel 6-11838 Warhorse AT&SF Hudson Freight

Here are some highlights of the upcoming sale (see details in the online catalog): 

Lot 62: O Gauge K-Line KW3470-1295CC NYC Suburban Tank. In original packaging with shipping sleeve missing its flaps on one end. Estimate $200 – $400. (Photo, top left) 

Lot 147: Hornby Stephenson’s Rocket Set. Live steam. Estimate $200 – $300. (Photo, top right) 

O gauge ETS Czech tinplate train set in wood box with
O gauge ETS Czech tinplate train set in wood box with

Lot 88: O Gauge K-Line K2521 D&RGW F7 A-B-A and K4421 (6). K-Line Rio Grande Heavyweight Observation Granite Canon, 

Heavyweight Pullman Harrison Lake, Heavyweight Coach, Heavyweight Castle Peak Diner, Heavyweight Baggage, Heavyweight Gunsight Lake Coach — all in original boxes and shipping carton. Estimate $200 – $400. (Photo, middle left) 

O Gauge Lionel Pennsylvania Rail Road 6-51702 Smoking
O Gauge Lionel Pennsylvania Rail Road 6-51702 Smoking

Lot 91: O Gauge Lionel New York Central Aluminum Streamliner. Estimate $200 – $300. (Photo, middle right) 

Lot 92: O Gauge Lionel 6-11838 Warhorse AT&SF Hudson Freight. Outer box is present with wear, inner box and rolling stock boxes have no wear. Estimate $200 – $300. (Photo, lower left) 

LGB 21011 Christmas Handcar
LGB 21011 Christmas Handcar

Lot 129: O gauge ETS Czech tinplate train set in wood box. 172B/540R Christmas Train in original wood set box. Locomotive and tender are red/black/silver, green baggage car, blue II/III passenger car, and green passenger car. All have Lionel- compatible couplers. Full circle of track, K-Line transformer. Looks to have minimum use. Estimate $100 – $200. (Photo, lower right) 

Lot 100: O Gauge Lionel Pennsylvania Railroad 6-51702 Smoking. Brass body, die cast cupola, die cast coil spring trucks, puffing smoke unit, illuminated interior, original packaging with shelf wear. Caboose looks like it had not been out of the box. Estimate $100 – $200. (Photo, top left) 

Lot 126: LGB 21011 Christmas Handcar. Estimate $80 – $120. (Photo, top right) 

Lot 122: Märklin Gauge 1 5500 Set with Diesel Loco and 2 cars. Estimate $100 – $200. (Photo, lower left) 

Marklin Gauge 1 5500 Set with Diesel Loco and 2 cars
Marklin Gauge 1 5500 Set with Diesel Loco and 2 cars

Lot 101: O Gauge Lionel 6-18953 New York Central PA-1. In original packaging. Box has shelf wear. Estimate $100 – $200. (Photo, lower right) 

– PREVIOUS PHOTOS – 

Lot 61: O Gauge MTH 20-3039-1 Hillcrest Lumber Company Climax Locomotive and 20-91028 Hillcrest Lumber Company Caboose. Both in the original packaging well shelf worn. Estimate $400 – $500. (Photo, page 1, top left) 

O Gauge Lionel 6-18953 New York Central PA-1
O Gauge Lionel 6-18953 New York Central PA-1

Lot 148: O Gauge Weaver Lehigh Valley Streamline passenger cars. Weaver 1516 Lehigh Valley Pullman- Bradley Deluxe Coach;1519 Lehigh Valley Pullman Bradley Deluxe Coach; 2102 Streamline Lehigh Valley John Wilkes 4-6-2 Pacific Locomotive All in original packaging with shelf wear. Estimate $200 – $300. (Photo, page 1, lower right) 

Lot 47: Lionel 6-18018 Southern Mikado and tender with very worn box and Styrofoam. Estimate $200 – $400. (Photo, page 2, top left) 

Lot 3: O Gauge Sunset Third Rail Brass Santa Fe 2-8-0. Number 1951, in original box. Painted. Estimate $300- 500. (Photo, lower right, page 2) 

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ABOUT TURNER AUCTIONS + APPRAISALS 

Based in South San Francisco, Turner Auctions + Appraisals was founded by Stephen Turner to expand and complement the capabilities of Stephen G. Turner Associates, an auction and appraisal consulting firm founded in 2004. Turner Auctions + Appraisals presents online auctions in diverse categories of personal property (www.turnerauctionsonline.com). Among them are Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Asian Arts, Toys, Jewelry, Militaria, Ethnic Arts and others. The company offers a range of auction and appraisal services for buyers, sellers and collectors. Online auctions are held several times a month. Working with leading live and online auction houses on the West Coast since 1991, Turner is a professional appraiser of personal property and seasoned auctioneer. His areas of expertise include fine art, decorative arts, antiques & residential contents. The company welcomes consignments and appraisals. 

For more information about the company, please contact: 

Stephen Turner, President, Turner Auctions + Appraisals, 461 Littlefield Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080 415-964-5250 / [email protected] / www.turnerauctionsonline.com 

For media inquiries or photos, please contact: Jill Turner, Rodin & Shelley Associates / [email protected] / 707-944-2433