Published: September 12, 2000
STEWARTSVILLE, N.J. – A recent special auction Dennis Auction Service offered a single-owner collection of antique banks from the estate of Arlene Volkay. Offered was a variety of popular forms and figural banks, as well as several unusual and hard to find rdf_Descriptions, which were sold in 281 lots.
Makers represented included J&E Stevens, Kenton, A.C. Williams, Grey Iron Casting Co., J.M. Harper, Hubley, Banthrico, Vindex Toys, John Wright, Chamberlain & Hill, Arcade, Enterprise Mfg., Kyser and Rex, Shepard Hardware, and Disney.
The gallery noted that private collectors were out in great force to compete for choice cast iron mechanical and still banks as well as many tin, stoneware, pottery and china banks. While most bidders attended the auction in person, a large percentage of phone and absentee bids were also recorded.
The sale-topper was a Shepard Hardware 7½ -inch “Punch and Judy” cast iron bank with original paint and patent dates of 7/15/1884, US and 7/22/1884, England, which sold for $2,860. A “Possums Darktown Battery” cast iron bank by J&E Stevens, patent date of 1/17/1888, got an opening bid of $1,000 and hammered down at $2,750.
Another popular bank by J&E Stevens was a cast iron mechanical “Bad Accident” which realized $1,650. A cast iron J&E Stevens “Magician” bank with a patent date of ½2/1901 opened at $300 and sold for $1,100.
Other popular banks included a cast iron “Eagle and Eaglets” bank, which brought $550, and an appealing cast iron “Speaking Dog” example, which realized $1,210. Two “Always Did Spise a Mule” banks, each having a patent date of 4/22/1879, hammered down at $550 and $330.
Prices reflect a ten percent buyer’s premium.
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