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Rabbit Standing, large
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1994

      Undervalued and unappreciated aptly describe the plight of a number of mechanical banks. Des­pite their enviable status of rarity, these "orphans" are fated to remain, perhaps eternally, upon dealers' shelves. Factor which have contributed to their unpopularity are small size, lackluster appearance, monochromatic coloration, subtle action and unfamiliar subject matter.
     A few of the members of the grouping of "unfortunates" include "Afghanistan" bank; "Billy Goat" bank; "Elephant With Tusks on Wheels"; "Light of Asia"; "Turtle"; "Little Moe"; "Monkey, Coin in Stomach"; "Smyth X-Ray" bank; "Watch Bank, Dime Disappears"; the entire group of Spring-Jawed mechanicals; and the subject of this article, "Rabbit Standing, large."
     The bank shown in Figure I was invented by Henry S. Lockwood of South Norwalk, Conn. On August 22, 1882, he obtained Patent Number 13,261 for his design (Figure 111). The words "PAT. APL D. FOR" appear underneath the square base of the bank. "Rabbit Standing, large" (Figure I) was produced by the Lockwood manufacturing Company of South Norwalk, Conn. Adherence to the patent drawing, pictured in Figure II, is apparent when compared to Figure I.
     Operation of "Rabbit Standing, large" is simple and the action which ensues is charming. A coin is inserted in what Henry Lockwood describes in the patent papers as the "apple or fruit," located between the rabbit's forepaws. The tail is then depressed, causing the ears to pivot forward and, simultaneously, the coin to drop into the bank. Deposits are removed by unscrewing the round head bolt underneath the base and detaching the square base plate.
     Interestingly, no sequential method of operation for coin deposit is described in the patent; nor is any operating lever identified. Nevertheless, the drawing of the rabbit in Figure II does indicate, via dotted lines, a movable tail and ears. Ergo, one may assume by noting the patent drawing that, either the ears may be pivoted forward in order to deposit the coin, or the rabbit's tail may be depressed downward. In either case, whichever action is initiated, the opposing appendage reacts as indi­cated in the patent drawing (Figure II).
     A mechanical bank which is far less scarce and not considered a rarity is the "Rabbit Standing, small" (refer to Antique Toy World, September 1994). Also designed and manufactured by Henry S. Lockwood, it operates in precisely the same manor as "Rabbit Standing, large." Both banks are protected by the same patent (refer to Figure II).
     I am not aware of any casting variations of "Rabbit Standing, large" and only two color variants which pertain solely to the figure of the rabbit. It may be painted a brown japan, or gold. In both cases, the apple or fruit is silver and the base is painted bright green. The example shown in Figure I is the gold version.
     "Rabbit Standing, large" is considered quite rare with just a handful of superb, all-original examples residing in a few collections. Most often, when one is located, the ears are either missing, repaired or recast. In addition, and for undetermined reasons, the finish is often extremely worn.
     I am not aware of reproductions of "Rabbit Standing, large." Nonetheless, Figure III is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast was attempted, its base would appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller (O.D.) than indicated.
     The superb example of "Rabbit Standing, large" (Figure I) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
     CORRECTION: (from December, 1994) Refer to Antique Toy World, October 1994, "RABBIT STANDING, large" Figure III. The following base diagram was inadvertently omitted from publication.

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