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BOSTON AMERICAN, Thursday, May 20, 1937


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 1550.
     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.

BY Marjorie McBride
Home Bank Collection
At Amherst Tavern

     If 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 for them.
     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.


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