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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 cards.
     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 Hancock.

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