VINELAND, NJ – It took weeks to catalog the enormous array of beautiful toys, banks and doorstops chosen for Bertoia Auctions’ June 10-11 Toys with Character sale, and gallery associate Rich Bertoia says it was worth every minute of the effort.
“When collectors get this catalog, they’re going to want to take their time,” he said. “There’s literally a surprise on every page. We didn’t plan it that way; it just turned out like that.”
Both auction sessions will open with still banks, including what may be the largest and finest single owner collection of “safe” banks ever to pass through Bertoia’s doors. Many are pictured in Bob and Shirley Peirce’s Iron Safe Banks book.
“We were quite fortunate to get this collection. It’s extraordinary,” Rich said. “Guy and Kim Zani, who built the collection, only went for rarity. They didn’t collect anything that was common.”
Between the still banks and safes, there will be nearly 400 lots from which to choose, including many popular and extremely rare examples. Standouts among the “stills” include one of only two known Grover Cleveland banks, as well as a Lincoln, Indian Family and Peaceful Bill. All were made by J.M. Harper. Rare safes include what may be the only known Uncle Sam bank.
Friday will be devoted primarily to cast iron. In addition to a tremendous selection of still banks to be offered through the day, the lineup will also feature automotive toys and a small selection of antique advertising, paintings and primitives from the Tom McCandless collection. “This collection includes two very unusual stagecoach horns and two important silver-finished firemen’s presentation horns that have fabulous embossing on them,” said Rich.