Many political items are also numismatic, so many numismatists also collect these. Heritage announced this week that it will be
auctioning a landmark collection of of political memorabilia this year and next. -Editor
Heritage Auctions announces the sale of the legendary Merrill C. Berman collection of political memorabilia, to be sold in four auctions to take
place in Dallas through 2015 and early 2016. Berman's lifelong fastidious approach created one of the finest political collections of important
historical buttons, ferros, tokens, and ribbons ever assembled.
"These will truly be landmark events," said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage. "Merrill has always been a very
private collector. He did most of his buying through auctions and a few trusted dealers, and it has been several decades since the last time any
hobbyist was given the opportunity to view the entire collection."
Part I of the collection will appear at auction Feb. 28, 2015. Selections of items from the collection have been displayed publicly on two
occasions: at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York, in 1984 and in 2008 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in
Springfield, Illinois. However, according to Tom, those displays barely scratched the surface of the collection.
Berman, one of the first 100 members of the American Political Items Collectors, began collecting as a youth but he began to build his collection
in earnest around 1970, when success as a stock investor and venture capitalist allowed him to pursue the best material available. "I remember
one of my first big sales to Merrill," Slater said. "It was back in the early 1970s and included a beautiful McClellan-Pendleton jugate
ferro priced at $2,000. At the time it was almost certainly a record price for any political item. From the beginning, Merrill Berman possessed the
qualities which one of my colleagues in the auction business likes to enumerate as defining a great collector: knowledge, taste, financial means, and
perhaps most importantly, courage.
"He always recognized truly special material, and didn't hesitate to step up when unique opportunities came along. Not surprisingly he
was an active buyer when Don Warner's important collection was auctioned by New England Rare Coin Auctions in 1981. Although Merrill has
continued to make the occasional addition to the collection over the years, the collection as it will be offered had essentially taken shape by the
The Berman Collection now fills some 150 large riker mounts, with very little "filler" material, Slater said. Over the years he absorbed
several significant collections, including those of old-time hobbyist Howard Adler and another legendary collector, Stanley King. He was also one of
the biggest buyers in the 1981 auction of the Don Warner Collection, up to that point the most important political collection ever offered at
The first catalog of the Berman Collection holdings will be released in early February and lots may also be viewed on HA.com. Additional
selections from the collection will be auctioned during weekly internet auctions. Regular Heritage bidders will receive copies of the catalogs by
mail. Others may order catalogs starting about a month before each auction by calling 800-872-6467 and asking for the Catalog Order Desk.
To read the complete article, see:
Heritage Auctions to offer The Berman Collection of political memorabilia, across four sales, in 2015 and 2016
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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