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Rabbit Standing, small
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1994

      "Cute, simplistic, but sadly unappreciated," are the comments uttered by mechanical bank collectors when referring to "Rabbit Standing, small," Figure I.
     Considering the enormous appeal of bunnies and rabbits to children, it is surprising that manu­facturers of the period had not recreated their likeness more frequently in the production of their wares. Oddly, the few mechanicals (i.e., three different ones known) which utilized the rabbit as subject of banks were created by lesser-known, or "minor," bank manufacturers: i.e., the Kilgore Manufacturing Company's "Rabbit in Cabbage" (refer to Antique Toy World, May 1990), "Rabbit Standing, small," Figure I, and "Rabbit Standing, large," produced by the Lockwood Manufacturing Company of South Norwalk, Conn.
     The bank pictured in Figure I was invented by Henry S. Lockwood of South Norwalk, Conn. On August 22, 1882, he was granted Patent number 13,261 for his design (Figure II). The word, "PATENTED" appears underneath the circular base of the bank. The patent drawing's square base (Figure II) is more reflective of the second Lockwood mechanical bank, "Rabbit Standing, large" (to be discussed in a subsequent article), while the operation and action of both banks are identical. A coin is inserted in what the inventor describes as the "apple or fruit" which the rabbit holds between its forepaws. The tail is depressed, causing the ears to pivot forward and the coin to drop into the bank. Since there is no coin retainer underneath the base, deposit removal is achieved by unscrewing the base of the bank.
     Interestingly, no sequential method of operation is mentioned in the design patent, nor is any operating lever identified. Therefore, one may assume from reading the patent that either the rabbit's ears may be pivoted forward in order to deposit the coin, or its tail is pressed downward. In either case, whichever action is applied, the opposing appendage reacts as stated, and the coin is deposited.
     I am not aware of any casting variation of "Rabbit Standing, small," and only two color variants which pertain solely to the round base. It may be painted either a light brown japan or red.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are monochromatic, but quite elegant in appearance: the rabbit is painted a copper-bronze color. Its ears and "apple" are gold, and the base is finished in a light brown japan varnish.
"Rabbit Standing, small" is extremely difficult to find in superb, all-original condition. Most often, when one is located, the ears are either missing, repaired or recast. A fine, all-original and working example is quite a rarity and its addition to a collection can prove to be a challenge.
     I am not aware of reproductions of "Rabbit Standing, small." Nevertheless, Figure II is a base diagram of the bank. If attempts were/are made to recast the mechanical, its base would appear approximately one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch smaller O.D. than indicated.

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