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A Rare Find — The Kiltie Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1956

56-02.JPG (17343 bytes)A completely new find of a heretofore unknown mechanical bank is uncommon in the field of mechanical bank collecting, and amazing when one considers the length of time mechanical banks have been a collector’s item. To the best of the writer’s knowledge, there have been no discoveries of importance in the mechanical bank field in the past several years until this.

The Kiltie Bank (No. 44 in our series) is an authentic mechanical bank. It is the bust type and adds an interesting specimen to this particular group. Made of cast iron, and a very well made piece, it is also finely modeled.

It was made in England and is similar to Dinah and several of the other English bust type banks. On the back, between the shoulders, is inscribed "Kiltie Bank." Below this appears a registration number which the writer had authenticated by the Patent Office in England.

The bank was obtained by the writer from Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Merritt who discovered it recently in Scotland while on an antiquing trip abroad. It was in the original container on which was a picture of the bank itself. This, of course, adds greatly to the prestige of the bank as the container with picture is further proof of authenticity.

Mrs. Merritt, through diligent searching, learned of the existence of some items from an old toy shop. The shop had been closed for some years prior to the beginning of World War II, and some of the stock was stored in the home of a relative of the former toy shop owner. Here Mrs. Merritt was fortunate enough to locate it.

The bank shown is in mint condition and colorfully painted. The hat is black with two red stripes. The face is flesh color, with tinted cheeks, black moustache, blue eyes, and a bright red mouth. The jacket is all over red with buttons, buckles, and the like outlined in white. The wool scarf over the left shoulder is a green and red striped plaid. The name inscribed on the back is painted gold.

To operate the bank, a coin is placed in the extended right hand, and then a lever in the rear left shoulder is pressed. The right arm raises, and the coin slides from the hand into a slot in the left shoulder. At the same time, the eyes raise, and then lower when the lever is released. The arm returns to the position shown.

An English penny is necessary for the proper operation of the bank. Our pennies, nickels, or dimes do not work. They simply fall from the hand and do not enter the coin slot. Also it’s interesting to note that the coin does not enter the mouth, as is the case in all other mechanical banks that are this same type bust with the extended hand.

This Kiltie is not only an attractive bank but is also an appropriate subject in being the bust of a Scotchman since the Scotch are known for their saving habits and jokes and stories surround their holding onto their money. This Scotchman, going a step further, holds onto another person’s money.


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