1882 Surprise Box Cap Shooter

Value (2004) | $3,000 Auction

Tell me about this little cast-iron surprise box.

Well, I don't know a lot about it, but we bought it about 11 years ago in Pennsylvania, and it's part of a monkey collection that we have.

So you bought it as a monkey collectible.


What did you pay for it?


That's a lot for one monkey.

Well, we love our monkeys. (giggling) And we thought it was an unusual item-- you know, surprise box and all of that. Because it's mechanical. We don't collect a lot of toys, but that one we thought was very unusual.

I was really excited when you brought it in. And there's a very rare lead mechanical bank of an elephant, and I've always thought, "Hmm, maybe an elephant collector would bring in this bank." It had never occurred to me that a monkey collector would bring in probably one of rarest cap shooters ever made, and just really knocked my socks off. (chuckles) But it wasn't $500 for one monkey, because actually, as you know, what you do is you put a cap in here and when you pull this, the surprise is... So you get two monkeys, and that's the surprise. And as I say, it is a cap shooting device, and it dates from 1882. Made by a company called Lockwood. And in that era, cap guns were a really big thing, and they made all these different kind of animated cap guns, and as I say, this is probably one of the rarest. It's cast iron, and it's in remarkable condition. And as far as value... recently at auction, the last one of these that I know of, just within the last year, sold for over $3,000.

Really? So... Wow.

I hope that was a surprise.

It is a surprise.


Appraisal Details

Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, PA
Update (2004)
$3,000 Auction
Appraised value (2004)
$3,000 Auction
Memphis, TN (July 31, 2004)
19th Century
Animal, Bank, Box
Cast Iron

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