VINELAND, N.J. – One of the all-time great bank collections, assembled by collector Clive Devenish,
is known to few in the hobby. That will change Oct. 3, when Bertoia’s presents at auction of Part I of the Clive Devenish collection of mechanical, still, tin and spelter banks. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via LiveAuctioneers.com.
“Clive’s banks are going to astound collectors, not only because of their rarity and fabulous condition but also their provenance,” said Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia. “Clive was able to buy banks from the heirs of several legendary early collectors, including Ferdinand Wieder, Leon Cameto and Hall Henry. He also has banks that were formerly in the Stan Sax, Edwin Mosler, Bill Norman and Stephen and Marilyn Steckbeck collections.”
Bertoia said some of the banks were initially added to collections in the 1930s and only changed hands twice over the next 85 years, explaining their exceptionally fresh condition.
Apportioned into 175 lots, Bertoia’s single-owner sale of the Devenish collection will open with mechanical banks, which comprise 85 to 90 percent of the session’s entries. A premier mechanical is the Kyser & Rex Roller Skating Bank, formerly of the Steckbeck collection, which Bertoia describes as “a gem.” It is expected to sell for $150,000-$175,000.
Several banks are accompanied by their coveted original boxes: a Chief Big Moon, a Mason bank, a Shepard red-version Speaking Dog and a yellow, flanged-base version of a Horse Race bank. “We took a few of the banks to the mechanical bank collectors convention, and there were quite a few double-takes,” Bertoia said. “The adjective we heard most often was ‘stunning.’ ”
Many of the still banks in the collection came to Devenish through Donal Markey, which speaks volumes about condition. There are both large and small painted Camels, as well as several Mammies and a Mulligan Cop, all in immaculate condition. The Battleship Oregon is brilliant white and gorgeous, in contrast to some other Battleship banks that have incurred metal breakage.
Bertoia’s is presenting the Devenish collection in two separate sales, with the second auction slated for spring 2016.
Part I of the auction will be held Oct. 3, 2015, at Bertoia’s gallery, 2141 DeMarco Dr., Vineland, N.J. Visit Bertoia’s online at www.bertoiaauctions.com for more auction details and to order a catalog of this outstanding collection. To contact Bertoia Auctions, call 856-692-1881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.