J&E Stevens Pulpit bank to lead Max Berry collection in November

The rare J&E Stevens Preacher at the Pulpit bank will lead the sale of the Max Berry collection of toys and banks at Bertoia Auctions on November 14-15.

The piece, which dates to the mid to late 1800s, is valued at $100,000-150,000.

Preacher Pulpit bank
The Preacher at the Pulpit mechanical bank dates to the mid to late 1800s

Jeanne Bertoia, owner of the auction house, commented: "Few collections are on par with Max's.

"In terms of rarity and historical significance, it ranks among the very best collections of the past 30 to 40 years."

The sale will feature around 500 lots from across history, some of which are unique - such as an 1893 Ives cast iron Cutter sled.

Bertoia went on to describe Berry as "highly respected and very well liked by his fellow collectors".

"He's a superstar of the hobby," Bertoia explained. "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.

"When he talks about his collecting adventures, he draws you in and you feel like you were actually there, right alongside him, as he was buying this toy or that bank."

In November last year, a mechanical "coasting bank" achieved $266,500 at Freeman's.

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