It’s all fun and games when it comes to this sale’s breathtaking selections of antique arcade machines. Lot #57, a c.1899 1¢ Roover Bros. Elephant Wonder Jumbo Fortune Teller, is a huge deal indeed. This unforgettable rarity, estimated at $150,000-250,000, is dressed in a Victorian era silk and lace dress and has wooden limbs and an articulating leather trunk. For a penny, she flips through her book of fortunes to deliver a message to a lucky patron. Another grand slam is lot #204, a 5¢ Amusement Machine Company All American Baseball Arcade Machine, estimated at $70,000-90,000. This beautifully restored, very rare and functioning machine features all original background and play field graphics, the original paint on play field players, and a hand painted operator glass sign. And lot #56, an Artillery Duel Mermaid Arcade Game frame, is estimated at $35,000-65,000. It’s no fish tale to that this is one of the most visually stunning coin operated machines ever manufactured by any company during the earlier part of the 20th century. Its cast framework depicts a mermaid flanked on either side by Victorian dolphins and is crowned with a statuesque finial. This is an outstanding opportunity to restore or rebuild a magnificent coin operated machine; models in complete, working condition have sold for over $200,000!
The odds are favorable that this sale’s offering of upright and tabletop antique gaming machines is the finest in memory.
Two floor models are simply out-standing. The first, lot #146, is a 5¢ and 25¢ Caille “Slant Front” Double Venus musical upright slot machine. Not only is the Venus exceptionally rare, but this is the only example known with music. Its oak cabinet features quarter sawn tiger grain, multiple carved appliques, and cast iron relief elements including the goddess Venus herself. The second, lot #706, is a c. 1900-1909 5¢, 25¢, 50¢ Caille Bros. Eclipse Triplet musical upright slot machine. Hands-down one of the most sought after machines for collectors, this exceedingly rare model features three separate machines housed in one beautiful oak cabinet. The Venus and the Eclipse are estimated at $400,000-600,000 each. Also worthy of a double take in this elite group is lot #145, a c. 1906 5¢-25¢ Mills Double Dewey Two Bits slot machine, estimated at $60,000-90,000. This upright machine consists of a 5¢ Dewey on one side and a 25¢ Two Bits on the other, both with their original six-way coin heads, all housed within a sleek oak cabinet with original claw foot legs with casters.
Size defies with these smaller countertop gambling machine highlights. Lot #704, a 5¢ Charles Fey Liberty Bell slot machine, is estimated at $150,000-250,000. This is a museum quality example of the first three wheel or dial payout machine, created by Charles Fey around 1898. The machine features a black sheet metal and brass cabinet with titular Liberty Bell emblems on either side of its body, its original mint reels, award card, and locks, its tax stamp, and Charles Fey tokens. And lot #2, a 5¢ Caille Bros. “The Tourist” slot machine, is certain to take off given its $40,000-60,000 estimate. This unique, early 20th century gambling device is similar to the various Liberty and Operator Bell three reel slot machines manufactured by different companies of the period. However, what makes this model so extraordinary is its large single reel with a fixed, not variable, payout.
Enthusiasts will no doubt want to drop a dime on the great range of vintage vending machines available through this sale. Examples offering food, chewing gum, and cigars, among other items, are on offer. Jaws may drop over lot #83, a private labeled countertop 25¢ Pepsin White chewing gum vending machine estimated at $4,000-7,000, and lot #86, a highly collectible 1¢ Buffalo chewing gum vendor, estimated at $3,000-6,000. Both are from circa 1907. And lot #799, a 1¢ Continental Novelty Bull’s Head perfume dispenser is estimated at $3,000-7,000. This unusual c. 1902 vendor is designed to emit a mist of perfume from its tongue when its horns are lowered.
This auction also moves and grooves with a fantastic selection of antique and vintage sound machines. Lot #103, a c. 1912 5¢ Mills Violano-Virtuoso music player, is one of only 4,000 to 5,000 models ever produced by the company. Estimated at $20,000-40,000, this stunning example features one interior light, a four-panel front glass divider, and a sleek mahogany cabinet gleaming with gold details. Its interior plaque proudly proclaims, ‘Designated by the U.S. Government as one of the “Eight Greatest Inventions” of the decade.’ Lot #980, an Edison Class M phonograph, is estimated at $15,000-30,000. This historically important example was produced during the late 1870’s and is acknowledged as the first successful phonograph. And lot #236, a c. 1942 multi-coin Wurlitzer Peacock Model 850 phonograph jukebox estimated at $15,000-18,000, is as appealing to look at as it is to listen to.
Fantastic antique advertising of all types is another key category in this comprehensive sale. Lot #122, a Wm. Demuth cigar store Indian maiden statue, stands and delivers with its $25,000-35,000 estimate. This beautiful c. 1865 zinc example depicts a Native American Indian squaw cradling a bundle of cigars in her left arm and holding tobacco leaves in her right hand. She is finely dressed in traditional clothing with a unique plume of feathers atop her headdress. This statue can be found on page 47 of Frederick Fried’s book Artists in Wood. Collectors are certain to go wild over lot #306, a large, important Buffalo Bill painted linen banner, estimated at $15,000-25,000. And it’s impossible not to get a charge out of lot #430, a large Reddy Kilowatt neon sign, estimated at $6,000-9,000. Standing almost ten feet tall, this seldom seen sign is one of the largest of its kind and is from Idaho. This example was produced as a building storefront sign, and was displayed on Power Company facilities or offices.
According to Dan Morphy, President of Morphy Auctions, “This two day sale is worth attending from any distance. Our Las Vegas auction gallery could easily be confused for a museum, given it is wall-to-wall full of these extraordinary machines. I have no doubt that enthusiasts will find some of the most desirable and collectible machines ever offered at this upcoming event. Our coin-op sales always offer up tremendous surprises and I can’t wait to see what happens with this one. We welcome you to visit our gallery in Las Vegas to view these magnificent items firsthand, or of course check them out online anytime at www.morphyauctions.com.”
About Morphy Auctions:
Morphy Auctions, the finest auction destination for fresh to the market collectibles, is headquartered in Denver, PA. The company also has a satellite office in Las Vegas, NV. A full-service auction house, Morphy’s presents over 35 premier auctions annually. The company’s three-part mission includes ensuring consignor satisfaction with every auction, offering world-class customer service that goes above and beyond the call of duty, and providing relentless buyer support to create confidence for all clients seeking a trustworthy purchasing experience.
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; jewelry and wrist watches. 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 877-968-8880 and by email at email@example.com. Our auction gallery is open seven days a week: Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 1pm. Our Las Vegas facility is located at 4520 Arville Street, Las Vegas, NV 89103 and is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. For more information on Morphy’s, please visit www.MorphyAuctions.com.
Director, Marketing at Morphy Auctions
Sarah.Stoltzfus@morphyauctions.com or 877-968-8880 x710
|Lot||Item||Low Estimate||High Estimate|
|2||5¢ Caille Bros. “The Tourist” Slot Machine||$40,000||$60,000|
|56||Artillery Duel Mermaid Arcade Game Frame||$35,000||$65,000|
|57||1¢ Roover Bros. Elephant Wonder Jumbo Fortune Teller||$150,000||$250,000|
|83||25¢ Pepsin White Chewing Gum Vending Machine||$4,000||$7,000|
|86||1¢ Buffalo Chewing Gum Vendor||$3,000||$6,000|
|103||5¢ Mills Violano-Virtuoso Music Player||$20,000||$40,000|
|122||Wm. Demuth Cigar Store Indian Maiden Statue||$25,000||$35,000|
|145||5¢-25¢ Mills Double Dewey Two Bits Slot Machine||$60,000||$90,000|
|146||5¢ & 25¢ Caille “Slant Front” Double Venus Musical Slot Machine||$400,000||$600,000|
|204||5¢ Amusement Machine Co. All American Baseball Arcade Machine||$70,000||$90,000|
|236||Wurlitzer Peacock Model 850 Phonograph Jukebox||$15,000||$18,000|
|279||Whiskey Back Bar Bottle||$3,500||$6,500|
|306||Buffalo Bill Wild West Painted Linen Banner||$15,000||$25,000|
|430||Reddy Kilowatt Neon Sign||$6,000||$9,000|
|704||5¢ Charles Fey Liberty Bell Slot Machine||$150,000||$250,000|
|706||5¢, 25¢, 50¢ Caille Bros. Eclipse Triplet Musical Upright Slot Machine||$400,000||$600,000|
|756||1¢ Caille Bros. George Washington Floor Scale||$15,000||$20,000|
|799||1¢ Continental Novelty Bull’s Head Perfume Dispenser||$3,000||$7,000|
|980||Edison Class M Phonograph||$15,000||$30,000|