Weekender2: Onetime Design Prof Selling His Toy Collection Friday, Saturday

Dolph Gotelli
Dolph Gotelli, professor of design emeritus, is selling some of his collection to the public on Friday and Saturday in Sacramento. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Sale is open to the public

Dolph Gotelli, the onetime head of UC Davis Design Museum and professor of design, often known as "Father Christmas," is selling toys he has collected over the years in Sacramento Friday and Saturday.

A professor from 1970 to 2006, he has been an avid collector of antiques such as toys, ethnographic folk art and masks, textiles, figurines, and holiday décor for more than 50 years. On Oct. 25 and 26, hundreds of pieces from his collection will be available at a special collector’s sale. 

The sale will be held at Kobasic’s Hall, 5324 Riverside Blvd. in Sacramento on Friday, Oct. 25, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free, and free parking is available.

​Gotelli has assembled one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of 19th- and 20th-century toys, ornaments, decorations, ephemera, and folk art, purchased both in the United States and on his world travels to Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, South America, Europe and Asia. His collections and mesmerizing storytelling vignettes have been displayed in retail settings such as Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, and in museums in New York, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. His groundbreaking exhibition, The Santa Show, at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 1977, was a catalyst that energized Santa collecting throughout the country.

On sale will be hundreds of pieces from Gotelli’s personal collection. Most are one-of-a-kind, handcrafted works of art, and some were previously on display in museum exhibitions. 

More information here

Father Christmas
Dolph Gotelli in 2013 after writing a book about Christmas. Gotelli has always believed that old-fashioned toys continue to be important today, forcing children to use their imaginations.  (Gregory Urquiaga, UC Davis)

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