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The Four Pelicans
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1970

70-08a.JPG (19652 bytes)

It’s certainly time that we clarify the situation with respect to the Pelican Bank and the four types of this bank that we now know exist.

Some years ago when a Pelican Bank was mentioned, automatically one thought of the Pelican with the figure of the man thumbing his nose. Over a period of years other Pelicans turned up with a different type figure in the bill. And for a while it didn’t seem to matter much which Pelican was which or what type Pelican a person owned or had in his collection.

Things have changed and today it does matter which Pelican a collector has, and as a matter of fact really to round out a collection he should have or try to have all four different types since they are considered different banks, not variations.

70-08b.JPG (23224 bytes)Figure 1 shows three of the Pelican Banks, left to right they are Type 1, Man Thumbing Nose – Type 2, Mammy – and Type 3, Arab. Figure 2 shows Type 4, Rabbit, with a repeat of the Type 3, Arab. These four Pelican Banks are from the writer’s collection and all are in practically mint condition, completely original, with no repairs. Figure 3 shows a close-up of the Rabbit for better detail. This is considered to be the rarest and most desirable. The Type 4, Rabbit in Figure 3 is in the collection of Edwin H. Mosler, Jr. and the Rabbit is painted a brown color, rather than white as is the writer’s example as shown in Figure 2.

70-08c.JPG (29922 bytes)Referring back to Figure 1 and the Pelican Type 1, Man Thumbing Nose, the figure has flesh color face and hand, white teeth and eyes, red mouth, black eyebrows and pupils, red cap, and yellow shoulders. Type 2, Mammy has brown face, red lips, with white teeth, white eyes with black pupils, white duster cap, yellow collar, and red shoulders. Type 3, Arab has off-white face, red mouth, black pupils and eyebrows, red band on forehead, and red shoulders. The Type 4, Rabbit in Figure 2 is white with red ears, eyes and mouth, black lines on nose and eyes, and a black bow-like ribbon around his head by his ears.

For further information concerning the Pelican Bank, who made it, and so on, please refer to HOBBIES, December, 1964. At the time of this article the writer felt that the then known Pelican types were of equal desirability. However, in the years that have elapsed it seems quite definite that the Rabbit is the rarest. Next in line the Arab and Mammy.

In closing, it is running through the writer’s mind if he is really finished with the Pelicans. Will a fifth type turn up? Did Trenton Lock & Hardware Company make another type with a different figure in the pouch? It’s possible as we don’t have much information on Trenton Lock & Hardware, particularly with respect to the Pelican and how many types they made.


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