Although I am primarily a folk art dealer, occasionally I swerve toward banks and tin mechanical toys. There is a nostalgia and fascination with these pieces that draw me in. The added bonus is visiting Bertoia Auctions. This was my third visit to Bertoia and as always, I was impressed with the way Jeanne and her staff treated my husband and I as if we were family. In addition, auctioneer Tim Luke conducted the event courteously and warmly. Every effort was made by Jeanne, Tim and the staff to encourage participation, from seasoned professionals to timid first time bidders. It was a comfortable atmosphere and all appeared to enjoy the afternoon.
The featured collection of banks on October 3 belonged to antiques dealer, Clive Devenish. My curiosity was piqued. I was eager to see what an antiques dealer collected. Someone said, "You could bid on any of Clive's banks with your eyes closed." Superlatives abounded for these tiny marvels. Below is a sample of Part 1 of the 40-year personal bank collection of Clive Devenish.
Clive Devenish discussing his superb collection of mechanical and still banks.
Lot #20 Milking Cow Mechanical Bank sold at $32,500. Insert a coin in the slot and the cow will kick her leg causing the boy to fall backwards.
Lot # 27 Roller Skating Mechanical Bank sold at $130,000. When a coin is inserted in the slot, the 2 skaters will glide toward the back of the bank.
Lot # 12 Multiplying Bank is lined with mirrors so that a deposit appears amplified. Sold at $7,500.
Lot # 35 John Bull's Money Box sold at $19,000. The dog leaps into his arms depositing the coin in the barrel.
Lot # 101 Panorama Bank estimated at $35,000.-$45,000. When a coin is placed in the slot a revolving picture appears at the window.