VINELAND, N.J. – A pressed-steel collection with deep provenance and an eclectic West Coast collection whose owner lives by the
motto “preserve and protect” have merged to form the heart of Bertoia’s big Sept. 23-24 antique toy auction.
“This sale represents the journey of two great collectors – the late Fred Castan of Nebraska and Ralph Tomlinson, who lives in southern California. Together, the collections cover vast territory within the realm of antique toys,” said Bertoia Auctions associate Rich Bertoia.
In terms of desirability and condition, the Castan collection is in a highly rarefied class, Rich said. “The Castan collection is one of the early ones. Fred Castan was a pioneer cast-iron toy collector and a long-time regular at the Chicago Toy Show. One reason why his collection is so superior in comparison to many others is because of his unquestionable foresight. Fred was actively buying pressed-steel toys when the category was just a glimmer in the eyes of a few collectors. And he always bought – never sold,” Rich said.