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Huge collection of toys, banks up for bid Nov. 14-15

The first of two, possibly three auctions featuring 500 antique toys and banks from the iconic collection of Max Berry, revered collector and ambassador of the collectibles community, will cross the auction block at Bertoia Auctions, Nov. 14-15.

VINELAND, N.J. — The first auction to feature more than 500 antique toys and banks from the collection of Max Berry will be held Nov. 14-15 at Bertoia Auctions.

It is expected to be the first of two or possibly three auctions devoted to the Berry

Preacher at the Pulpit

Preacher at the Pulpit bank may vie for top lot during the Nov. 14-15 auction. (Photo courtesy Bertoia Auctions)

collection, which also features cast-iron horse-drawn toys and early American tin and cast-iron bell toys.

“Few collections are on par with Max’s,” gallery owner Jeanne Bertoia said. “In terms of rarity and historical significance, it ranks among the very best collections of the past 30 to 40 years.”

The mechanical banks to be auctioned include several that collectors might only have the chance to bid on once or twice in a lifetime, including a circa-1875 J. & E. Stevens “Preacher at the Pulpit” mechanical bank, Bertoia said.

Although the lineup of toys for November’s debut sessions is still being finalized, Bertoia singled a rarity that definitely will be included: The only known example of an 1893 Ives cast-iron “Cutter Sleigh” with original figure.

Not only is this auction a representation of toy history, it speaks of the impact Berry has had in the collecting community. He has been a member of the Antique Toy Collectors of America and Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, and has served as the group’s pro bono legal adviser.

Seeing New York toy

Uncommon cast iron open seat bus features five popular characters including: Mama Katzenjammer, Happy Hooligan, Papa Katzenjammer, Gloomy Gus and the Sailor, circa 1905. It has a presale estimate of $4,000 to $6,000 heading into the Bertoia Auctions event. (Photo courtesy Bertoia Auctions

“Max is highly respected and very well liked by his fellow collectors – he’s a superstar of the hobby. Many consider him a mentor and turn to him for advice and guidance. He’s also a fantastic storyteller who remembers every detail behind every toy purchase he ever made,” Bertoia said.

A limited number of printed catalogs for this auction are available for $55 each. The online catalog can be viewed at

For more information about the auction, visit, email or call 856-692-1881.