After 50 years of collecting toy trains, Jerry Greene has amassed a collection of over 40,000 pieces, worth tens of millions of dollars, and has a ticket to ride….
One look at this collection would convince anyone that there is such a thing as a collecting gene, and that Jerry Green inherited it.
When Green decided to sell the collection, at Sotheby’s in New York, it took his entire family three weeks to unpack and arrange what was on display at the auctioneers.
David Redden, vice chairman of Sotheby's, believes it's the biggest train collection in the world.
Green admits he’s an “obsessive collector.” He says he has more than 1,700 locomotives and cars, 700 stations, and thousands of accessories.
"In cataloguing the collection, I came up with 27,000 different items," he said.
Green decided to sell the collection because he ran out of good pieces to buy.
So how much is it worth? Here's a hint . . .
Green described one station that sold at auction for a six-figure sum: "I know of two other copies of this station that exist; a German collector has one, and one recently sold for $140,000."
And that's just one station. Sotheby's intends to sell everything . . . to a single buyer.
"I have some inkling that it could fetch well into eight figures," Redden said. “Well above ten million."
What happens to a collector when they have nothing left to collect? For Jerry Green, he’s "been there, done that." He's ready to move on. "I definitely will collect something else," Green said.
" I'm a collector." "I would have to. That's the fun."