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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 40, October 7, 2007, Article 26

STECKBECK MECHANICAL BANK COLLECTION TO BE AUCTIONED

"The guest of honor at last week’s Mechanical Bank
Collectors of America convention wasn’t a person; it
was a collection of 489 incredibly rare antique mechanical
banks – the Stephen and Marilyn Steckbeck collection.
Clubmembers had the opportunity to view the collection
in the Steckbeck home one last time before all of the
banks were packed up and swiftly transported to the
Geppi-owned Morphy Auctions gallery in Denver (Adamstown),
Pa. There they will remain on display for public preview
until Oct. 27, the auction date circled on every bank
collector’s calendar.

"Acknowledged by experts as one of the all-time greats,
the Steckbeck collection was built over a 53-year period,
and was seeded with rarities from earlier collections of
now-historic stature, e.g., those of corporate CEO Edwin
H. Mosler Jr., automobile titan Walter P. Chrysler and
pioneer collector F.H. Griffith. There are buying opportunities
to please every pocketbook, but because there are so many
unique or extremely rare examples included in the collection,
some observers are speculating the sale could end up grossing
between $5 million and $8 million. In that becomes the case,
the Steckbeck sale will make its mark in history as not only
the highest-grossing bank auction ever, but also the highest-
grossing toy auction of all time.

"While most of the Steckbeck banks are of cast iron, many
others are of lithographed tin, white metal, aluminum,
wood and other materials. Some are exceedingly rare, like
the Presto Coin Disappears (one of three known), the Darky
and Watermelon (one of four known), Darky Fisherman (one
of two known), an extraordinary near-mint Jerome Secor
Freedman’s Bank, and one of the few all-original examples
of the Kyser & Rex Merry-Go-Round. The Steckbecks’ North
Pole bank, ex Hegarty collection, is one of the finest
known; and their Kenton Hardware Mama Katzenjammer, which
came straight from the manufacturer’s showroom, is in
superior, near-mint-plus condition. Among the collection’s
acknowledged “unique” examples are a nickel-plated Chrysler
Pig, originally owned by Walter P. Chrysler; a Safe Deposit
Tin Elephant, and a stock-market-theme Bull and Bear."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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