Published: July 13, 2015
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Saturday, July 11, was a busy day for RSL Auctions when it sold the first session of the lifetime collection of Bill Werbell, with some select additions. “We had a good sale on Saturday, but Sunday was even better, with more people in the gallery and several records set,” Ray Haradin said the following Monday. He noted that the sale brought in $1,479,600, including the buyer’s premium figured at 20 percent. The 20 percent buyer’s premium is the lowest one can pay and it is determined by the method of payment.
The top lot on Sunday was a Mammy and Child bank (pictured) in the scarce green dress color, a product of Kyser & Rex Company, Pennsylvania, circa 1884. It sold for $69,000, including the buyer’s premium, and the catalog states: “Very few examples of this bank exist in such unabashedly perfect condition, complete with the original spoon and apron.” It had an estimate of $25/35,000.
Taking second place in the bidding was the large version of Old South Church bank, 13½ inches tall, American, circa 1870s. Carrying the same $25/35,000 estimate, it opened at $12,000 and sold, with buyer’s premium, for $44,400. Werbell remembers buying this bank at a Connecticut consignment shop in the early 1970s and in many ways this bank represents the most important architectural bank to ever be sold. It is of cast iron, pristine condition, with a slight hairline in the roof.
Also sold on Sunday, at the second session of spelter banks, was Dinner for Kitty, Germany, circa 1920, near mint condition, going for $14,000 hammer against a high estimate of $12,000.
A complete report of the auction will be published in a forthcoming issue.
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