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
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.
“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 www.bertoiaauctions.com.
For more information about the auction, visit www.bertoiaauctions.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 856-692-1881.