World's largest toy collection up for sale in NY - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

World's largest toy collection up for sale in NY

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This undated photo provided by Sotheby's shows a portion of the Jerni Collection of 35,000 vintage toys, to be sold by Sotheby's. This undated photo provided by Sotheby's shows a portion of the Jerni Collection of 35,000 vintage toys, to be sold by Sotheby's.
The collection was assembled piece by piece since the 1960's, and includes toys from as far back as 1850. The collection was assembled piece by piece since the 1960's, and includes toys from as far back as 1850.

NEW YORK (AP) — You wouldn't want to throw these toys in the playroom bin, even if you had one big enough.

A collection like no other is going on sale: 35,000 vintage toys and trains assembled by an American collector over a period of 50 years. It's so large that 5,000 pieces alone fill the entire floor of Sotheby's auction house in New York, where they are on display until the end of the month.

The collector, Jerry Greene, has kept the collection in five basement rooms of his suburban Philadelphia home, Sotheby's said. He says it's now time to part with it and wants to share it with the world, but wants to find a buyer who will acquire all of it.

Known as the Jerni Collection, it is considered the largest and most comprehensive toy collection in the world, valued in the tens of millions of dollars, said Sotheby's, which is brokering the sale for Greene. It will not be auctioned.

The toys date from 1850 to 1940 and include rare, handmade and historically significant European pieces. There are replicas of actual train stations, bridges and buildings destroyed during both world wars. There are also villages, carousels and Ferris wheels.

"I put it together piece by piece, and my quest for the highest-quality trains and toys took me to thousands of toy fairs and shows" in the United States, Greene said in a statement.

They represent some of the best known European and American makers of the golden age of toy manufacturing, including Marklin, Bing, Ernst Plant Carette, and Rock & Graner.

Sotheby's said Greene hopes a public institution or individual will acquire all the toys and donate the collection to a museum.

The name Jerni combines the first names of the owner and his wife, Nina, Sotheby's said.

 

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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