The Maryland Historical Society yesterday completed acquisition of a valuable 19th century silver collection once held by Old Court Savings & Loan figures Jeffrey and Karol Levitt after a Baltimore businessman donated $174,200 to aid in the acquisition.
John J. Neubauer Jr., a lawyer and former owner of Real Estate Title Co. in Baltimore, donated the funds to the society so it could acquire the restricted right of the Levitts to purchase the collection.
That right, along with all other Levitt property interests, was seized by state regulators when Levitt's Old Court Savings & Loan Association collapsed in 1985 and was placed in receivership.
The $174,200 represents the amount the Levitts originally paid in 1985 for the restricted right to purchase the silver collection for ultimate donation to the Maryland Historical Society.
The collection, called the Kirk Silver Collection, is an assemblage of 324 Baltimore-made goblets, plates and other objects.
It is considered one of the largest and most valuable collections of 19th century silver in the United States.
It has been appraised at $169,445.
In a complex transaction, the society used Neubauer's $174,200 to pay Old Court's receiver, the Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund Corp., for the right to the collection.
The $174,200 ultimately will go to Old Court depositors whose accounts have been frozen since 1985.