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J. & E. Stevens Co., Jonah and the Whale mechanical bank, which sold for $70,000 ($92,500 with buyer’s premium) at Bertoia.

Haley antique toy collection crossed the Atlantic to earn $2.5M at Bertoia

VINELAND, NJ — The John and Adrienne Haley collection of antique toys and banks soared far above its estimates to command $2.5 million at Bertoia Auctions May 18. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The 340-lot sale confirmed what the hobby had always suspected: the Yorkshire, UK-based Haleys adhered to the same standards when purchasing toys for themselves as the toys they resold to their most particular customers.

Two lots hammered for the sale-high $70,000 ($92,500 with buyer’s premium). J. & E. Stevens Co.’s beloved Jonah and the Whale cast-iron mechanical bank required only 10 bids to hit its hammer. All original and completely authentic, the coin box was unscrewed and opened to inspect the interior, which displayed traces of original brown paint drips that perfectly matched the bank’s exterior. It sold in range of its $70,000-$120,000 estimate.

The other leading lot was the Marklin fire house with three engines. Largely original with some replacement parts, it missed its low estimate of $80,000.

Another Marklin toy, the Battleship France, hammered for $65,000 ($81,250 with buyer’s premium), narrowly edging out its lower estimate of $60,000. Complete with its original shipping container, the tin toy was another 10-bid example in the sale.

Like the Marklin ship, the Mikado mechanical bank in all-original condition narrowly beat out its low estimate of $60,000 to hammer at $65,000 ($81,250 with buyer’s premium). The highly sought Kyser & Rex Co. toy experienced animated floor bidding prior to the hammer.