VINELAND, N.J. – It’s no longer the most tantalizing rumor in the antique toy realm; Bertoia Auctions’ owner, Jeanne Bertoia, has confirmed that the family-owned business based in southern New Jersey will conduct a series of sales comprised exclusively of the Donald Kaufman automotive, comic character and European wind-up toy collection. The first of the ongoing auction sessions is slated for March 27-28, 2009.
“Because of the enormity of the collection, it’s difficult to say how many semiannual sales will be required to disperse the entire collection,” Bertoia said. “Don Kaufman and his wife, Sally, are the royalty of toy collecting, and this is the collection that trumps all others. It took a full week for a crew of 10 people to pack and load up three large trucks with just those toys earmarked for the first sale.”
Even with the stellar lineup of toy collections that has come to auction over the last two decades, Bertoia says only one name has lingered in the backs of collectors’ minds: Don Kaufman.
“There has always been an interest in whether or not Don would ever choose to part with his spectacular toys. He has collected for the past 55 years, and is not only an incredible scholar who researched every toy he ever bought, but also a ‘completist’ who has upgraded to a near-impossible level of perfection. He has every known color and accessory variation, down to the type of tire or window shape on a given model of toy automobile.”
Bertoia said any item purchased from the Kaufman collection – no matter what that toy might be – is going to represent the ultimate upgrade, period. “Buyers can be quite content that once they’ve put a Kaufman toy on their shelf, it will never be bumped to make way for a nicer example. A nicer example does not exist.”
A brilliant businessman who co-founded K-B Toys, Donald Kaufman chose the time to sell his toys with the same care he always exercised in buying them. Asked why he decided to part with the collection, he replied, “It’s time. I want to have as much fun selling the collection as I had in building it.”
A full report on the March sessions will be released to all media later this year.