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Bertoia's to auction the Richard T. Claus Collection of nautical toys and boats in May
Antique toy boats from the Richard T. Claus collection are lining up for a two-part 2012 auction series at Bertoia’s in Vineland, N.J. Bertoia Auctions image.
VINELAND, NJ.- Bertoia Auctions, the New Jersey company that made international headlines with its $12.1 million five-part auction of the Donald Kaufman antique toy collection, is gearing up for yet another high-profile event. The company’s owner, Jeanne Bertoia, has confirmed that Bertoia’s will auction the renowned Richard T. “Dick” Claus collection of nautical toys and boats later this year.

The collection will be divided into two parts, with part I to be auctioned on May 12. Part II will be offered in the fall.

“We’re thrilled to be handling Dick Claus’ collection. It’s widely acknowledged as the best toy boat collection in America and rivals the finest of known antique boat collections in Europe,” said Jeanne Bertoia.

The collection was documented in Claus’ 2005 reference book The Allure of Toy Ships: American & European Nautical Toys from the 19th and 20th Centuries.

“In his book, Dick showcased his encyclopedic knowledge of antique toy boats alongside his spectacular collection,” Bertoia said. “In order to present a complete and unbroken timeline of toy boat history for other collectors to enjoy, Dick even sought out those few examples he did not already own. All of the boats in his collection will be included in the auction series. None will be held back.”

Bertoia Auctions associate Richard Bertoia explained that the collection is being sold in two auction sessions, several months apart, because of the high value of many of the boats. “This enormous and highly important collection contains the crème de la crème of Marklin, Bing, Carette and other premier European manufacturers. Dividing the collection into two parts will benefit collectors, the consignor and the hobby.”

Complete information on the auction of the Claus collection will be available soon on Bertoia Auctions’ website,

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