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THE NEW YORK TIMES — Saturday, April 9, 1955

COLLECTORS STAGE RUN ON TOY BANKS

Thousand Items in Chrysler Collection 
Placed on Sale — One Bought for $2000

 
A thousand banks were put up for over-the-counter sale last week through a clearing house in the Riverside section of the Bronx.
  
David Hollander, the owner of them, hopes he will soon have not one bank to his name. Mr. Hollander, an antiques dealer at 5806 Moshola Avenue, got his banks in a recent deal with Walter P. Chrysler Jr. In them, only a penny at a time — preferably an Indian penny — may be deposited.
  
Mr. Hollander's purchase has been stirring news to collectors of banks. The Chrysler collection was famous, and disciples of bankiana who couldn't attend the first day's sale, which started last Saturday, sent checks. But many of these bounced right to their sources. There just weren't enough banks — of the specified kinds —to fill the orders.
  
The big item in the penny bank field is the mechanical bank. Mr. Hollander described this as "a typical American device to teach children thrift by presenting the money box in the form of a toy." Today these banks are collectors' items.
  
Show to Continue Monday
Despite the raid by bank fanciers there are still many examples on hand. These will be shown by Mr. Hollander on Monday when the Country Antiques Fair opens for a week at the Seventy-first Regiment Armory, Park Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street.
  
The collection was formed, in large part, by the late Walter P. Chrysler. His son added to the bank collection.
  
Of cast iron, and with story-telling or topical themes, mechanical banks were manufactured in quantity around the turn of the century. The most expensive one at the time, operated by a wind-up device, was "Dog Snapping," which sold originally, circa 1900, for $2.50. The price today is $400.
  
Mechanical banks sold usually in the range of 50 cents to $1.25. A $1.25 bank, "Harlequin, Columbine and Clown," was snapped up last Saturday for $2,000, Mr. Hollander reported. He also discovered several "sleepers" — a "Mikado" bank assessed as cheap at $1,500, and "Ding Dong Bell," which sold for $350 and for which $900 was offered — too late.
  
Bank collectors are having the largest choice they've had in many a year, for the Chrysler collection is the largest ever offered. Toys, even of cast iron, didn't last very well, so even patched-up bank survivors sometimes command fancy prices. Mr. Hollander's catalogue, on sale for $1, lists "Bank Teller," behind a grill, with side of cage cracked, wired on, for $1,200.


 

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