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Subject: £30m toy train set up for grabs

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/13/11 at 5:57 am

The world's most valuable toy train set is expected to sell for around £30million when it goes under the hammer.

Sotheby's are auctioning the Jerni Collection, the largest and most comprehensive collection of quality European and American toys and trains ever assembled.

"Imagine a vast space filled with the rarest toys in the most perfect condition," said David Redden, Sotheby's Vice Chairman.

"The Jerni Collection is a passionate homage to the Golden Age of toy making, but on a scale that is breathtaking.

"Tens of thousands of miniature works of art-trains, stations, villages, carousels, Ferris wheels conjure up a privileged childhood world of beauty, magic and sheer happiness. To see this collection is to be moved beyond words."

Sotheby's is currently exhibiting a fifth of the collection, which is being sold as a single lot, on an entire floor of the auction house's London headquarters

The 35,000 toys were assembled piece-by-piece over a 50 year period by a single collector called Jerry Greene.

"The collection has been my abiding passion but it is now time for everyone to enjoy and appreciate these wonderful objects. I hope they bring as much joy to others as they have brought to me," he said.

The pieces date from roughly 1850-1940, and form an encyclopedic collection of toys and trains from every major European and American manufacturer.

It includes depictions of actual rail stations, bridges and buildings, many of which were destroyed in the First and Second World Wars.

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