03 February 2017
The James A. Rocheleau collection of still and mechanical banks will headline RSL Auction’s event on 18-19 March, at the American company’s New Jersey gallery.
The entire opening session will be devoted exclusively to the 350-lot Rocheleau collection, which is known and admired throughout the bank-collecting community for its stellar condition. Day two will feature 500 lots of carefully curated consignments of European and American toys and banks.
The late Jim Rocheleau owned and operated Rally Building, a Detroit-based company he founded in the 1970s. “Until the time of his passing last April, Jim was a very active bank collector and, for many years, a good personal friend of mine. It was obvious that he took pride in each new acquisition,” said RSL partner Ray Haradin. “Jim was first and foremost a condition buyer. Two of his mentors were Greg Zemenick and Donal Markey, who famously insisted on pristine condition and nothing less. Many of Jim’s banks came to him through Greg and Donal, so that in itself speaks to the level of condition in his collection. Especially in the still-bank realm, there can be no question that Jim owned some of the finest known examples.”
Mechanicals include an exceptional J. & E. Stevens Dentist bank, one of the nicest of all known Shepard Hardware Trick Dog banks, with original box; and a beautiful blue-dress version of Stevens’ Speaking Dog bank. “Jim’s mechanical banks aren’t necessarily the rarest banks, but they’re spectacular examples of banks that every collector wants for their collection,” Haradin observed. “It would be a fair statement to say that Jim already did the upgrading for the next owners of these banks.”