June 2nd 2018 10:00 AM E.S.T.















Tom Sage amid his collection.

In the early 1980’s, Tom and Lori Sage attended a country auction in western New Jersey. The Allentown papers had listed a carousel bank among the objects being sold. With his indefatigable work ethic and his willingness to travel and track down great objects, of course Tom went. Good fortune prevailed, and it turned out to be the elusive Merry-Go-Round mechanical bank and not the pedestrian variety of carousel still bank that one typically sees. The bank was in truly beautiful pristine condition. It had recently emerged from a local estate and was scheduled to cross the auction block that spring day. So, goes the story, and thus began the Tom and Lori Sage collection of mechanical toy banks. From the beginning, his instincts about banks were almost faultless. Remember, as an avid collector of American and European trains since the late 1960’s, he had already hugely sharpened his skills to examine objects in great detail. It was none other than the illustrious Donal Markey who helped Tom to complete his “mechanical banks” education. They shared innumerable hours together on the prowl for new acquisitions and they always enjoyed discussing which banks were among their favorites. Ever the curator, Markey helped to steer many of the brilliant pieces included in this auction directly into Tom and Lori’s collection. As a measure of how close Donal considered their friendship, he would occasionally take a prize bank from his own collection and sell it to Tom. In this manner, this magnificent collection was built. Leon, Ray and I first met Tom and Lori at the many trade fairs we jointly exhibited at in the 1980’s and 1990’s. As dealers, their inventory represented the best toys available in the world marketplace. Wherever they exhibited, collectors would run a mad dash directly to their booth in an effort to acquire a new treasure before someone else beat them to it. These fairs have helped to solidify enduring friendships and business relationships. Ray, Leon and I came to cherish the time we spent with Tom and Lori at these trade shows. We learned a great deal from them, not only about the objects, but also, about conducting a business with integrity. We have shared many good times together and they will never be forgotten. We feel particularly honored to have been chosen to sell this wonderful collection of banks.












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