Bertoia Auctions is an American toy auctioneer, based in Vineland, New Jersey, USA.
Bertoia Auctions was founded in 1986 by the late Bill Bertoia, described by the auction website as “one of the most prominent dealers and toy auction house directors in the world.”
Expertise and services
Founder Bill Bertoia died in 2003, and since then the auction house has been run by his family.
The proprietor of the company is Jeanne Bertoia, the wife of Bill. Jeanne has extensive collecting and dealing experience, having been involved in many fine antique toy auctions. She is a recognised expert on doorstops, having written a comprehensive book on the subject.
Rich Bertoia, brother of Bill, is the auction house’s coordinator and cataloguer. According to the website, he has been involved in the sale of some of the most important toy collections in the world, and has authored books on Antique Motorcycle Toys and Antique Advertising.
Bill’s son, Michael, is graphic design coordinator for the company, and works as a promoter at trade shows. The auction house also has an advisory committee consisting of leading experts on antique toys, chosen based on their reputation and expertise.
Bertoia Auctions conducts sales of rare and antique toys. Collectors and others may consign items for sale through Bertoia; consigned items are then advertised using extensive advertising campaigns and a 15,000-strong client mailing list.
According to the website, items are stored in a climate controlled and fully insured facility, and will be sold in Bertoia’s state of the art auction gallery.
In March 2009, a sale of antique and vintage toys from the collection of Donald Kaufman - founder of KB Toys Incorporated - set a house record for Bertoia, realising a total of $4.2m.
The leading lot was a rare 1909 Fidelitas clown car train, which sold for $103,500.
In September 2009, another sale of Kaufman’s toys saw a Marklin live steam fire truck (made in Germany circa 1912) purchased for $149,500 by an anonymous European collector.
The truck - thought to be one of five in existence - tripled its pre-sale estimate of $40,000-50,000.