20, 1991 — Antiques and The Arts Weekly — Page 45
Bertoia/Brady Mechanical Bank Sale
The record books were opened and closed so many times during the
course of Bill Bertoia and Bob Brady's offering of the Bill Norman
Mechanical Bank Collection that the pages were worn thin. At least 35
record prices paid at auction were established for a multitude of upper
echelon banks, record prices for banks in the under $10,000 range have
yet to be tabulated.
Five banks broke through the $50,000 barrier to match or beat the
record price paid at auction for a mechanical bank, which was
established earlier this year at Mike Clum's when a Circus Bank sold for
$55,000. Three banks sold at the $50,000 mark, which equates to $55,000
after premium, including the Mikado which was bought by a private
Midwestern investor, the Jonah Pedestal bank bought by English collector
John Haley, and Girl Skipping Rope which sold to collector Jan Piepul.
Two banks which exceeded the previous record price included Little
Red Riding Hood which sold at $52,000, plus premium, and the eventual
record setting bank, the Fowler bank which brought $55,000 plus premium.
Both of these banks were purchased by promoter Bill Bertoia for his
Other top lots included the Roller Skating bank which sold to Dr
Tony Haradin for $45,000, Picture Gallery bank sold to Bob Brady at
$42,000, and a Breadwinner's bank sold to collector Steve Rottman for
$35,000. Among the other items purchased by Rottman was a lithographed
Watchdog Safe Bank trade card which sold for a record price of $5,200.
A full review of the Bill Norman Mechanical Bank Collection auction
will appear in a future issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
DAVID S. SMITH