Boy on Trapeze
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 2000
What is able thrill and excite the seasoned, blasé mechanical bank
collector? Undoubtedly, it is the discovery of either a totally new
example, or a unique variation of a familiar theme.
The uncommon occurrence of discovery has frequently been brought to
my attention by enthusiastic, delighted collectors. Recently, such was the
case, when I was informed of the existence of a variation of the
charismatic and popular "Boy on Trapeze" mechanical bank (Figure 1).
Differences pertain to both casting and color. The following will,
therefore, serve as an addendum to my article "Boy on Trapeze" Bank,
published in the June, 1989 issue of Antique Toy World.
In the article, I stated that there are no casting variations of the
mechanical and only two color variations. In Figure 2 we see one of these,
the more common of the two, which had been discussed in the aforementioned
article. The newly-discovered example (Figure 1), indicates not only
reversal of colors of the attire worn by the "Boy," but colors that are of
a far deeper hue. Furthermore, all previously known examples of "Boy on
Trapeze" had been painted without facial features. The example seen in
Figure 1 is pictured with blue eyes, a red mouth and rosy cheeks. In
addition, the color differences between the two include the base. The bank
pictured in Figure 1 is painted an overall, glossy black japan, rather
than the accustomed transparent, brown japan (Figure 2).
Interestingly, the contrasts between the two mechanical banks extend
beyond their chromatic dissimilarities. The one pictured in Figure 2, as
in all "Boy on Trapeze" banks, is held together by a single, large screw
which passes through both the left and right sides of its ornate base.
However, the base of the rarer version (Figure 1) is fastened by a long,
peened, heavy rivet, one end of which has only the appearance of being a
flat-head, slotted screw. There are other minor casting dissimilarities
relating to the base, which are not apparent in the photographs.
Worthy of mention, and of great interest to many collectors, is the
recent surfacing of a third variation of "Boy on Trapeze" trade card
(Figure 3). This was acquired by the same fortunate collector who obtained
the unique color variant featured in this article. Figures 4 and 5
represent the two different, previously-known, "Boy on Trapeze" trade
Acknowledgment: The "Boy on Trapeze" Bank (Figure 1) and the "Boy on
Trapeze" trade card (Figure 3) are from the collection of Al and Nora