|BOSTON AMERICAN, Thursday, May 20, 1937
COIN BANKS' PARENT SHOWN AT
2OOO-Year-Old Chinese Alms Box
Has Mechanical Bear to Reward Depositor
The mechanical coin bank that rewards
depositors with some amusing action was not Invented by an Ingenious
Yankee, but was known to the Chinese about 2,000 years ago. A primitive
example of this contrivance, made by some Chinese craftsman of the
Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), has been presented anonymously to the
Metropolitan Museum of Art and will go on exhibition this morning.
It Is a rectangular pottery alms-box with
simulated lock and studding Indicating that It was patterned after a
more durable treasure chest. The four corners are supported by fat,
squatting human figures.
"Inserted In the top is a movable piece
weighted on the inside of the box," according to Alan Priest,
curator of Far Eastern art at the Metropolitan. "On It sits a bear
! with one paw raised over its head. This piece is so arranged that when
coins of sufficient heaviness are dropped into the slot at the edge of
the box they strike the weight and the bear bows his thanks."
This Is Included In an anonymous gift of
Chinese works of art, outstanding among which is a pottery figure dating
from the Yuan dynasty (1280-1368). Of the same period is a white
porcelain head of Kuan Yin.
As a bequest from Kate Read Blacque of Paris,
in memory ot her Husband, Valentine Alexander Blacque, the Metropolitan
has receIved a collection of sixty-three eighteenth century boxes and
etuis of gold, enamel and other materlals, largely of French origin.
As a gift from Christian A. Zabrlskle the
museum has received a piece of armor — a backplate descrIbed as
belonging to a tournament suit in the Spanish style, dating from about
By gift and purchase the museum also has
acquired four American coverlets of the seventeenth, eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries. The earliest example, made In Mlddletown, Conn.,
Is an unusual specimen of quilted and embroidered needlework in fine
white linen backed with a coarser linen.
GIRL ABOUT TOWN
BY Marjorie McBride
Home Bank Collection
At Amherst Tavern
penny banks are your weakness, you'll want to stop in this summer at the
famous old Dickinson-Baggs Tavern at Amherst, which is being opened as a
museum, with one of the finest collections of home banks in the world.
Mrs. May Dickinson Kimball of Amherst, a
descendant of the Dickinson who founded the celebrated inn generations
ago, made the collection, as well as other valuable Americana.
Naturally, old time house banks make up most of
the exhibit. The kind with trick elephants and pigs, gobbling up the
children's pennies.... comedy Negroes playing banjoes and tossing coins
back into metal receptacles.... Hindu beggars, with trays that swallowed
Junior's donations, refusing to release it until opened with a key kept
behind the family clock.
Collections of penny banks are a craze just
now; although the vogue is not as general as it was a year or two ago.
Wealthy Americas have made it a fad to pick them up, and pay good prices
A scholar as well as a collector, Mrs. Kimball
says that small coin savings banks were used in America, almost from the
beginning, and banks resembling them were in use in Rome in 200, A.D.