Transvaal Mechanical Money Bank – A New Find
By Don Heim
THE TRANSVAAL MONEY BOX, made in1895 by John Harper Ltd., Willenhall Staffordshire, England, who made all kinds of decorative iron goods beginning in the 1800s thru at least 1953 when they produced The Crown and Throne still banks to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. There is no evidence to support any connection between this firm and J.M. Harper of Chicago, Illinois, who made a number of still banks around the same period.
The Transvaal Money Box, 6 3/16″H x 4 1/4″W is a still bank made of cast iron with a Jappaned finish, although a few (maybe 1 out of 50 or 100) come painted in rare multicolors. A rare multicolor example is the featured bank on the cover of The Penny Bank Book Collecting Still Banks by Andy & Susan Moore considered the preeminent and indispensable guide of all still bank collectors-gives an indication of the importance of this bank to collectors.