Greene party

08 September 2016
283-lot-bertoia-auctions-april-2016-antiques-bid-55236.jpg bertoia
Collection of Jerry and Nina Greene sells for $1.2 million at Bertoia Auctions.

Bertoia Auctions in North America is celebrating after its recent train and model railway accessories sale raised a huge $1.2 million. The collection belonged to Jerry and Nina Greene, a Philadelphia couple that had amassed a large number of items over several decades. Despite the fact the sale took place in America, collectors from around the world, including Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, headed to the saleroom for the occasion.

European visitors were especially interested in seeing the Greenes’ Marklin trains and accessories. Gallery associate Rich Bertoia observed: “We were offering some extremely rare tunnels and bridges that just don’t come up at auction. Even some of the really small pieces were very rare. We heard people saying repeatedly that they had never seen this piece or that piece. A small sign, for example, might not have had the highest value in the sale, but it was something they had only seen in books, so they were excited to actually see it.”

The top lot of the sale was Lot 262, a Marklin mountain tunnel with castle tower that sold to an American buyer for $84,000 against an estimate of $18,000-$22,000. Rarity and condition were the two factors that propelled it to a price that was 382% of its high estimate. Another Marklin tunnel, Lot 266, sold to a European bidder in the gallery for $27,000 against a $5,000 to $7,000 estimate. The European contingent struck again during the bidding for Lot 283, a rare Marklin O gauge train station. It rose to $42,000, more than twice its high estimate.

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An American phone bidder who was active on many of the accessory lots is the new owner of one of the most popular pieces in the sale – a beautiful Marklin 3-arm lamp. Entered as Lot 359 with a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-$8,000, it commanded a top bid of $19,200.
Other outstanding Marklin results included Lot 342, a girder bridge that sold to a US buyer over the phone for $51,000 (est. $15,000-$20,000); and Lot 140, a train station produced for export to the English market, which was bid to $14,400 (est. $2,500-$3,500).