Called Out Bank
A limited group of the mechanical banks made toward the end of the popularity of mechanical banks comprises quite a rare and desirable selection. The Called Out Bank, No. 40 in our numerical classification, is a typical although unusual example of this group. The banks in this group of late manufacture are rare in a number of cases due to the fact they were not made over a period of years such as is the case with many of the banks.
The Called Out Bank is a unique item in a number of ways. For one thing it has never been definitely established that it ever reached the stage of being sold commercially. Then, too, it has usually been accepted as a Spanish-American War item while it actually is more likely a World War I memento. It is interesting to note that during the early years of mechanical bank collecting there was a tendency to place some of the mechanical banks in a period of time considerably earlier than their actual manufacture. This, of course, was to give an impression of greater age which actually had nothing to do with the situation. Some of the banks that were first made in the 1906-1915 period are among the most desirable and rarest. Included in these late banks is one of the most desirable and rarest of all the cast iron mechanical banks, the Clown, Harlequin and Columbine.
The Called Out Bank is a J. and E. Stevens Company product and was designed by Charles A. Bailey. Even though catalog insert sheets exist that picture and describe the bank for sale by J. and E. Stevens it is the writers opinion that the bank was never actually put on the market for sale to the public. As a matter of fact, to the best of the writers knowledge, no specimen of the bank has ever been found with any type of finish or paint. For some time there existed some doubt about any specimens of this bank other than the several pattern examples in bronze. These, of course, are authentic master patterns of the bank and are complete and in operating condition. They are in privately owned collections. Any cast iron examples of this bank just werent particularly available for inspection. However, recently the Chrysler collection came on the market after seventeen years in storage and also the Corby collection was made available. There was one authentic cast iron example in the Chrysler collection and two authentic examples in cast iron in the Corby collection. There is no question but that these three examples are original factory-made banks. There is no paint or finish on them and these specimens were undoubtedly never on the market.
The bank pictured was obtained by the writer from the late Dr. Arthur E. Corbys collection. It is in excellent condition but, of course, to repeat, there is no type of finish or paint on the bank. The operation of the bank is similar to another Bailey-designed item, the North Pole Bank. In operating the Called Out Bank the figure of the soldier coming out of the top of the tent is depressed by pushing down on the figure itself. This automatically locks in place inside the bank. Then a coin is pushed in a slot located in the left side of the bank as shown in the picture. The figure of the soldier automatically pops out of the tent as shown. This, of course, represents a soldier "called out" for action.
Needless to say, the Called Out Bank is a hard item to add to a collection. There apparently is a very limited number in existence and none have turned up for some years other than those made available from private collections.