Antique Cast Iron Mechanical Bank - William Tell 1896

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  • Item Category: Entertainment
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jun 30, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House

No reserve. I am relisting this bank due to an email from nonpaying bidder on two of my banks, this one and the Novelty Bank, also relisted. Since I can no longer leave bad feedback as a seller to warn you about this person, please note that this person ignored the invoices for the novelty bank and three emails and a nonpaying bidder claim from Ebay and then bid on this William Tell bank too. Today he informs me that he has to buy a new air conditioner and will not be paying for this bank or the other.

This is a cast iron working bank called "William Tell". . According to my reference book the bank was patented in 1896 on June 23 and that date is molded into the bottom as shown in the photo. T is a patent date on the coin cover that is February 2, 1875 and I was told that is standard by an expert. Height of the bank is 7 inches approx. and the length is 10 inches approx. My reference sets the value as 50% paint - $400; 80% paint - $900; 90% paint - $1,500 and 98% paint - $7,500. Genuine old paint. Looks like a large percentage is still t but t is allover paint loss. The spring works very strongly and fast. A coin is placed on William Tell's gun and when his shoe is pressed back on the base the gun fires the penny knocking the apple of his son's head and ringing a bell inside the tower. The apple has to be positioned by moving the child's arm.

The paint on the base has some loss shown and the loss is similar on both sides of the base. T is paint loss on William Tells face and his clothing and legs and also from the boy. According to my reference, named below in the next paragraph, this bank was designed by a Russell Frisbie of Cromwell, CT and it was manufactured by the J & E. Stevens Co., Cromwell, CT. The Patent Number is D-25,662. The bank still looks great on a shelf.

This bank is part of of a family collection made prior to 1975 and given to me in 1990 by my Father for safekeeping when he became ill. I have carried these with me wver I lived but it is time for me to downsize also. After watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow that showed how to tell an antique bank from a reproduction, I became confident that these were indeed originals. The criteria were, a maker's mark and date, no large gaps between working parts or molded sections and smooth surface due to the use of finer, more expensive sand during sand casting. Later reproductions used coarse sand and have a rough lumpier surface according to the Road Show expert. All the banks that fit two or more of these criteria will be offered for sale. The banks that will be coming up for sale include: Clown on Ball (rotates, working well and listed now), Tammany, Safe Bank, and two small still banks of buildings, and one small elephant. The reference book that I am using for identifying the mechanical banks is Official Price Guide to Mechanical Banks by Dan Morphy.

If you do not like a bank after your receive it, please return it for a full refund given in a friendly manner, plus shipping both ways plus insurance if purchased. Bidders in Canada must use PayPal and shipping with insurance via Express Mail just cost $25 for another smaller bank so that is the cost to ship to Canada. If it is more I will pay the balance. Please make contact with me within three days and make payment within two weeks or I will have to relist the item. I will pay part of shipping. These things are heavy! Happy bidding!