Morphy Auctions’ January, 2017 Mechanical and Still Bank Sale Generates Lots of Interest and Nearly $1.8 Million In Sales!

This event featured over 500 remarkable examples of breathtaking mechanical and still banks, including some spectacular and one-of-a-kind examples, from the Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation Collection.

Denver, Pennsylvania, January 18, 2017 – Morphy’s recent premier Mechanical and Still Bank sale offered collectors the finest opportunity in memory to drop a dime on some of the world’s finest and rarest antique banks.  After all the change was sorted, 42 lots hit $5-9.9K; 27 lots hit $10-24.9K; 12 lots hit $25-55 and one lot hit paydirt at almost $120K!  All prices reported include Morphy’s 23% buyer’s premium.

Examples featuring classic tales and beloved fictional characters captured the imagination of bidders.  Lot #341, a “Jonah and the Whale” cast iron mechanical bank by J. & E. Stevens was the big fish here, realizing $119,925.  Lot #247, a “Little Red Riding Hood” mechanical bank by W.S. Reed, huffed and puffed its $10,000-20,000 auction estimate away to make $33,210.  And two tin mechanical selections from Germany added a little foreign intrigue to this sale.  They included lot #255, a scarce “Snow White” bank with a key trap that sold for $14,760 and lot #246, a smiling Saalheimer & Strauss “Golliwog” bank that realized $13,200.

Banks featuring people were also of great human interest at this auction event.  Two Charles A. Bailey mechanical examples took top spots in this category. Lot #250, the company’s “Chinaman In Boat” bank more than doubled its low estimate to ride the tide to $52,275, while lot #84, their “Wishbone” bank, made a lucky $39,000.  Two J. & E. Stevens cast iron mechanical selections also deserve a spotlight.  Bidders fought tooth and nail over lot #86, the company’s “Dentist” bank, which finally sold for $27,000.  And lot #77, their “Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog” bank fetched twice its low estimate to realize an impressive $24,000.

Several animal themed banks in this sale drove collectors wild.  Lot #249, an unmarked, cast iron “Seek Him Frisk” mechanical bank featuring a playful dog and cat duo pawed its way to $48,000.  Lot #173, a Shepard Hardware cast iron “Trick Pony” bank galloped to $16,800, more than eight times its low estimate.  And lot #349, a “Spelter Rabbit Spring Jaw” mechanical bank with its original trick lock jumped to $11,685, almost three times its low estimate.

Finally, banks featuring buildings and structures were another rock solid category in sale.  It’s no tall tale to say that lot #91, an extremely rare Lehmann Savings Bank Tower with its original box, was a winner here, reaching $21,600.  And lot #338, a tin German “Empire Cinema” mechanical bank with four scenes made this director’s cut, realizing $25,215.

According to Dan Morphy, President of Morphy Auctions, “We are so grateful that the Browns selected Morphy’s to handle their remarkable bank collection.  It was a riveting event, with fantastic and energetic bidding throughout the entire sale.  Antique banks are one of Morphy’s areas of expertise and leadership.  It is clear from the results that our top-tier team went the extra mile in cataloging, marketing, and presenting these museum-quality items in a way that caught the attention of enthusiasts from all over the world.”

About Morphy Auctions:
Morphy Auctions, the finest auction destination for fresh to the market collectibles, is located in Denver, Pennsylvania. The company also has an office in Las Vegas, Nevada.  A full service auction house, the company presents over 30 premier auctions annually. Morphy’s team of specialists includes the nation’s finest and most recognized experts in popular collecting categories including advertising; firearms; fine automobiles, automobilia and petroliana; coin-operated machines; antiques, fine, and decorative art; dolls, bears, toys, and trains; cast iron; coins; marbles; and jewelry.  Morphy Auctions is owned by President and Founder Dan Morphy, himself a lifelong and passionate collector of antiques, banks, and numerous other categories.  Morphy’s has been in business since 2004 and has grown from two to over 65 employees in over a decade.

Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 North Reading Road, Denver, PA 17517.   We can be reached by phone at 717-335-3435, by fax at 717-336-7115, and by email at  Morphy Auctions is open seven days a week from 9am to 4pm.  For more information on Morphy’s, please visit


Sarah Stoltzfus

Director, Marketing

Morphy Auctions
877-968-8880 x710








Lot Title  Realized 
77 “Patronize The Blind Man & His Dog” Mechanical Bank  $24,000
84 Charles Bailey “Wishbone” Mechanical Lead Bank  $39,000
86 “Dentist” Cast Iron Mechanical Bank  $27,000
91 Lehmann Savings Bank Tower  $21,600
173 Shepard Hardware “Trick Pony” Mechanical Bank  $16,800
246 Saalheimer & Strauss Tin “Golliwog” Mechanical Bank  $13,200
247 “Little Red Riding Hood” Mechanical Bank  $33,210
249 “Seek Him Frisk” Cast Iron Mechanical Bank  $48,000
250 “Chinaman In Boat” Lead Mechanical Bank  $52,275
255 Tin “Snow White” Mechanical Bank  $14,760
338 Tin “Empire Cinema” Mechanical Bank  $25,215
341 “Jonah & The Whale” Mechanical Bank  $119,925
349 “Spelter Rabbit Spring Jaw” Mechanical Bank  $11,685