It is the result of Jerry Greene’s passion for vintage toys and trains. He has built up an invaluable collection of almost 35,000 pieces over 50 years and says it’s time now to part with it. He wants to share it with the world and is looking for buyer who would acquire the entire collection. Jerry’s unique collection is known as the Jerni Collection and is considered the largest and most comprehensive toy collection in the world.
Sotheby’s is handling the sale, though it will not be auctioned. The collection featuring toys dating back from 1850 to 1940, is valued in the tens of millions of dollars. The collection features some rare, handmade and historically significant European pieces. About 5,000 pieces from the collection are on display at Sotheby’s auction house in New York until the end of the month. Jerry Greene has been keeping the collection in five basement rooms of his suburban Philadelphia home.
The collection features replicas of actual train stations, bridges and buildings destroyed during both world wars. The American collector said that he put the collection together piece by piece and visited thousands of toy fairs and shows in the process. There are pieces by Marklin, Bing, Ernst Plant Carette, and Rock & Graner who are big names and the best known European and American makers of the golden age of toy manufacturing. Jerry is hoping to find an institutional or individual buyer who would donate the collection to a museum. And bu the way, Jerni is the combination of Jerry and his wife Nina.