TIMONIUM, MD – Clad in age-defying cast iron, antique mechanical banks made another bulletproof run across the auction block June 4th at RSL’s 499-lot sale featuring the John Jirkofsky collection. Partner Ray Haradin – the “R” in RSL, along with Steven and Leon Weiss – said the sale held at Opfer Auctions’ gallery attracted around 160 online bidders and another 76 bidders in the gallery and on the phones. Along the way to its $1,073,100 total, the sale set a number of records for prices paid on individual banks.
“Everyone waited with anticipation for the final lot, which was the top lot of the sale – a pristine, multicolored J. & E. Stevens mechanical bank commemorating the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair,” said Haradin. “Only about five of the color variation we
offered are known to exist; 99% of those produced were painted gold with silver highlights.” Estimated at $14,000-$18,000, the bank depicting Christopher Columbus sitting on a rock, with the Santa Maria at one side and an Indian chasing a buffalo on the other side, “discovered” its true market value at a record $45,325 (all prices inclusive of 22.5% buyer’s premium).