Sunday, January 28, 2018

Toy Collections of Collectors

Sunday, January 28, 2018
+3 C  37.4 F

Toy Collections of Collectors

You often see collections being auctioned off by collectors. The collectors are very serious and are usually financially secure so that they can purchase the best toys possible. 
By "the best toys possible", I mean that these toys are rare, in excellent condition,they work, and may have come with their original wooden box.
Such  is the case of the mechanical banks presented today.

What is also interesting is the information  about these collections that is available
on the Internet.  If you type in the name of the person with the word "collection", you will find more information about the auction and the mechanical banks. These collections are sometimes worth more than $ 5,000,000.00, and the auctioneers will send out bulletins to various newspapers to promote the auction. This is to garner more publicity and attention to potential bidders. So if you ever want more information about an auction or valuable toy, try searching on the Net.

Rare Chocolate Base Color Made by the J. & E. Stevens Company Cromwell, Connecticut – Circa 1905 The "Calamity Bank" portrays collegiate football as it was played at the beginning of the 20th Century. In this particular example, we find two defense tacklers from Yale (blue details) taking down a running fullback from Harvard (crimson details). Wearing only nominal protective gear, many players sustained serious injuries. President Teddy Roosevelt viewed this situation as very dangerous. He planned to incorporate the abolition of collegiate football as part of his platform for re-election in 1904. It's a good thing that his political advisors talked him out of it. Material: Cast Iron  
Provenance: Stephen Steckbeck Collection

Kilgore The Turtle Mechanical Bank
Made by Kilgore Mfg. Co. Westerville, Ohio – Circa 1930 Kilgore affectionately named this little bank "Pokey the Turtle". However for Steve Steckbeck, it was the Holy Grail of all mechanical banks. There was a flaw in the design of "Pokey" and consequently, it has been conjectured that production of this bank was suspended permanently. This theory would explain the extreme scarcity of the Turtle Bank. Only nine specimens are known to exist. Material: Cast Iron  
Provenance: Gertrude Hegarty Collection, Stan Sax Collection, Dick Stevens Collection
(The above 3 collections refer to 3 different people who 
successively owned this mechanical bank at one time)

Manufactured by Mechanical Novelty Works New Britain, Connecticut – Circa 1880 Though the imagery used in the "Initiating Bank" has never been deciphered, it is, none-the-less a very visually appealing and active mechanical bank. Three unlikely companions: a goat, a frog and a black male youth, are seen as participants in some sort of ritualistic initiation. A coin placed in the boy's tray is deposited into the frog's mouth after the lever activation causes the goat to ram the boy in the behind with his horns. This rare bank is almost never found in such beautiful condition. Material: Cast Iron  
Provenance: Stanley Kesselman Collection

Made by the J. & E. Stevens Company Cromwell, Connecticut – Circa 1899 Charles Bailey's inspiration for "Chief Big Moon" may have come from the frog pond adjacent to the Stevens foundry building. Once again, we find his meticulous, almost obsessive, attention to detail. Note, in particular, the complexity of the hieroglyphics that appear on the teepee and the bas relief images that appear so perfectly, albeit shallowly, around the base. The phenomenal color and action of this bank, along with its unparalleled condition, makes this bank worthy of any serious collector's collection as an upgrade. Material: Cast Iron  
Provenance: Bill Bertoia Collection, Donal Markey Collection, Stanley Kesselman Collection.


Unknown Manufacturer, Probably produced in the 1890's. A clever capitalist adage appears in raised letters on the top of the Atlas Bank: "Money Moves the World". These words are closely tied to the action of the bank. To deposit a coin, the lever must be pushed leftward, exposing the coin aperture. When released, the globe spins several times on Atlas' shoulders. Thus, in the case of the Atlas Bank, money literally moves the world. Coincidentally, the silver & gold painted finish of the base evokes the opulent wealth and taste of the Gilded Age, the era in which robber barons such as Andrew Carnegie, J. Gould, and John D. Rockefeller ruled as capitalist icons. Material: Cast Iron, White Metal Figure and Paper-covered wooden globe  
Provenance: Leon Cameto Collection, Larry Feld Collection

Surprisingly, I have never seen 2 of the 5 banks above. 
They are:

1. Kilgore the Turtle Mechanical Bank
2.Atlas Mechanical Bank

For myself, they appeared less-complex than other more complicated banks. 
 I probably passed on them in past posts because of this.
Who knew that these 2 banks would hit high prices as the other 3 banks. 
I'll have to be more conscious of toys that may not look that interesting because you never know!

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great day or evening.

Stacey Bindman

No comments: