WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. – The prestigious William and Elaine Werbell antique toy and bank collection will step into the auction spotlight on July 11 and 12 in Whitehouse Station, N.J., halfway between Manhattan and Philadelphia. RSL Auction Company will offer the collection of pristine wind-up toys, mechanical and still banks at a live gallery auction with all additional forms of bidding available, including absentee, phone or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.
“This is an old and very fine collection that was started in 1955,” said RSL partner Leon Weiss. “Very few people have ever seen the collection, which was displayed very discreetly in the Werbells’ New York City residence. Bill Werbell attended a lot of shows but seldom invited people to his home. We know of one collector who has known Bill for 30 years, and even he never saw the collection. It’s as fresh to the market as a collection could possibly be.”
Those who were privileged to view the Werbell collection in situ would have found the toys and banks arranged in handsome cabinets equipped with blinds that could be drawn to repel sunlight. “Because Bill and Elaine were so careful about the way they stored their collection, the pieces have remained vibrant and beautiful over the years,” Weiss said.
The Werbell collection comprises at least 50 percent of RSL’s July 11-12 sale, which features 550 lots in the Saturday session and 725 lots in the Sunday session. There will be 600 lots of still banks and 150 mechanical banks from which to choose over the two-day period, as well as hundreds of superior-quality German and American toys.