31]DENVER,Pa,US--The 489-lot Stephen and Marilyn Steckbeck collection
of antique mechanical banks and related ephemera set a new world
record for a toy
auction, grossing $7.7 million, becoming the highest-grossing
toy auction of all time.
A near-mint-plus example of J. & E. Stevens cast-iron
Jonah and the Whale/Jonah Emerges bank led the sale’s top 10 with
a selling price of $414,000 (all prices quoted are inclusive of
a 15 percent buyer’s premium).
late-1880s moneybox depicting Biblical character Jonah being expelled
from the mouth of a whale flew past its $150,000-$200,000 estimate
to become the second-most-expensive mechanical bank ever sold at
An 1886 Kyser & Rex Mikado illusionist bank and
an 1880s Charles A. Bailey bank depicting an African-American
boy landing a fish at the end of his pole tied for second
place, with each achieving $287,500. (enlarge
tie landed two items in the third-place slot: an 1888 Stevens bank
in which an African-American man kicks a football over a watermelon,
and an 1880s Kyser & Rex Roller Skating bank. Each of the banks
The internationally renowned Steckbeck
collection was built over a 53-year period, and its high-profile
sale attracted a who’s who of bank collectors and dealers from throughout
the United States, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.
CBS will air a special feature on the Steckbeck
auction and the world of mechanical bank collecting on a
future edition of its venerable Sunday Morning program.