1901 Mechanical Bank
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (-1:29:44)
Toys & Games
Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
GUEST: I inherited it from my great-great-uncle. It sat in his trunk for years. I just said, "I like that. Can I have it?" And I got it.
APPRAISER: Well, you picked a pretty nice thing. You know what it is-- it's a mechanical bank.
APPRAISER: If you looked on the bottom... right here, you see a patent date. Patent January 22, 1901. Now, mechanical banks were a classic toy of the late 19th century, and they were used to teach children thrift. Mostly, I think the adults bought them to demonstrate to the kids that they should save their pennies, and this one works very simply. You put a penny on the table, and then, as if by magic... it disappears. The banks were very popular in the late 19th century. 1901 is getting toward the end of the era. This was made by J. & E. Stevens. If you look at a list of all of the banks that J. & E. Stevens made-- and they were one of the premier makers-- this is the tail end of their innovation period. Which sort of explains why this is a fairly rare mechanical bank. You know, once World War I came along it was really all over and very few new designs were coming along. Condition is everything on a mechanical bank. This one does have some condition problems: as you can see, the paint wear on the face. But he has nice color paint here, and still some decent paint on the base. I think you did a good thing, though, when you looked through your uncle's box and pulled out this toy, because I think on today's market at auction, this would bring in the range of $5,000 to $6,000.
GUEST: You did surprise me.
APPRAISER: So it was a good pick.
GUEST: Yes. Nice.
APPRAISER: Nice toy.
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