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    "Jonah and the Whale" Mechanical Bank, ca. 1890

    Appraised Value:

    $6,000 - $8,000

    Appraised on: August 7, 2010

    Appraised in: Des Moines, Iowa

    Appraised by: Noel Barrett

    Category: Toys & Games

    Episode Info: Des Moines, Hour 2 (#1508)

    Originally Aired: February 21, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Bank
    Material: Cast Iron
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $6,000 - $8,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
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    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (1:56)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Noel Barrett
    Toys & Games
    Owner
    Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I purchased this from my aunt's estate about six months ago. I paid $4,500 for it. It came from the family, it's a family item, and it is rather unique, and I like unique items like this.

    APPRAISER: Well, it's a mechanical bank. They were primarily popular in the late 19th century in America. They were popular because they promoted thrift, which was a very great Victorian value of the day. This particular bank was popular because it promoted another aspect of what they wanted to teach, namely the Bible.

    GUEST: Correct.

    APPRAISER: They're made of cast iron. It's really a unique American art form, frankly. We were the only country in the world that made a lot of toys out of cast iron, and the mechanical banks are the best examples of the work, because they were incredibly intricate, incredibly complex mechanically. I just wanted to demonstrate how it works.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: You put the penny there. And the lever's over here.

    GUEST: The lever's over here. And it goes in.

    APPRAISER: And there goes the whale. It was made by Shepard Hardware. $4,500 is generally a little high for a "Jonah and the Whale" bank.

    GUEST: It was a lot of money, yes.

    APPRAISER: The average examples of these generally run $1,000 to $1,500, sometimes as much as $2,000. Are you concerned at all that you overpaid?

    GUEST: No, because, as I say, my aunt is family.

    APPRAISER: It's an emotional thing.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: This is above average condition. It does have remarkable paint retention all along here. It is really an exceptional example. I think at auction, a conservative estimate on this bank would be in the $6,000 to $8,000 range.

    GUEST: Well, thank you very much. That's nice news.

    APPRAISER: So, let's do it one more time.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: I love the way the jaw just is...

    GUEST: Floats up and down, yes.

    APPRAISER: Perfectly balanced there.



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