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The Wishbone Bank Pattern
Part II, an update

by Sy Schreckinger ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine December, 2001

     This month's discussion focuses upon two rare mechanical bank patterns presented in previously published issues of Antique Toy World. These are the "Wishbone" Bank Pattern (refer to August 1999), and the "Old Aunt Dina and the Fairy" Bank Pattern (September 1999).
     Since the aforementioned dates of publication, information has surfaced which now enables further follow-up. My thanks to fellow mechanical bank collector, Mr. Max Berry of Washington, D.C., for his input as well as the photographs seen in Figures 1 and 2. In each of these articles, implication was that the patterns featured were the only examples known. However, Mr. Berry has recently informed me of his acquisition, some several years ago, of an original example "Wishbone" Bank Pattern (Figure 1) and an original "Old Aunt Dina and the Fairy" Bank Pattern (Figure 2). Both these patterns remain within his renowned collection.
     These bank patterns were obtained by Mr. Berry via the disbursement of the distinguished Covert and Gertrude Hegarty mechanical bank collection in 1988. The Hegartys were early collectors of mechanical banks and toys, basing their selection upon quality, rarity, and originality. Their collection boasted some of the finest known examples produced by nineteenth and early twentieth century toy makers.

Old Aunt Dina and the Fairy Bank Pattern
Part II, an update

by Sy Schreckinger ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine December, 2001

     Unlike its "finished product", a mechanical bank pattern is not a bank, but rather a highly detailed, hand-finished disassembled model. It is utilized by manufacturers or foundries to generate mass-produced copies for sale to the general public. The assembled bank patterns seen in Figures 1 and 2 were purportedly created by master bank designer, Charles A. Bailey of Cobalt, Connecticut. Mr. Bailey is recognized by mechanical bank historians and collectors as the foremost bank designer and pattern maker of his time. His penchant for meticulous detail and impeccable design in the category of cast metal toys and mechanical banks has never been equaled.
     As an aside, Bailey's fondness for floral motif was reflected in the designs he created and produced at his casting facility in Cobalt. None, however, expressed these sentiments as vividly as the "Old Aunt Dina and the Fairy". Years later, his affection for nature was, once again, displayed by such notable mechanicals as "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest", "Darkey Football", "Kicking Cow", "Bad Accident Bank", "Hen and Chick", "World's Fair Bank", Lion Hunter Bank", "Perfection Registering Bank", etc. These examples were produced during his employ as chief pattern maker and mechanical bank designer for the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut.

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