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Antique J. & E. Stevens Co. ca. 1869 Cast Iron “Hall’s Excelsior Bank” Mechanical Bank for Sale

$460.00

Antique J. & E. Stevens Co. ca. 1869 Cast Iron “Hall’s Excelsior Bank” Mechanical Bank for Sale

This is one of the more desirable and popular cast iron mechanical banks manufactured by J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Connecticut. Designed by John Hall Watertown, Mass., the Hall’s Excelsior bank is one of the earliest dated of the great mechanical banks of the time. It was patented on December 21, 1869.

This particular bank was so popular it was made in at least 12 different variations of hand-painted color schemes. This piece retains a high percentage of its original paint and original hand-carved monkey cashier with swiveling head. The color scheme on ours is quite attractive, in its maroon, red, gold, and gray/white. On the back of the roof, it shows the patent date of ” December 21, 1869″ embossed on the edge. Our hand-painted wooden monkey cashier with desk is in excellent condition. The wooden monkey cashier is missing his arms, however, nearly all examples of this early antique bank have missing or damaged arms.

As with all of Hall’s banks this one has a weighted mechanism that works by the weight of the coin. When the doorbell bead is pulled, the monkey cashier swivels his head as he comes out of the top of the bank roof. The monkey cashier has a blue wooden desk in front of him. You place a coin on his desk and the weight of the coin causes the monkey to disappear from view as he “deposits” your coin in the bank. The mechanism has been tested and works. Coins can be removed by undoing the screw located on the top of the bank that goes through to the bottom of the bank.

Our example of this mechanical bank is in excellent all original condition with no restorations, repairs, breaks or touch ups. The bank shows the usual patina, chips, scuffs, scratches, and wear that are to be expected from age and use. It is approximately 5 ¼” high x 3 3/8″ wide (base) x 3 ¾” deep. This would be a great addition to any mechanical bank collection. We invite you to view the photos to further determine quality and condition.

 

 

A brief history of J. & E. Stevens of Cromwell, Connecticut:

J. & E. Stevens of Cromwell, Connecticut operated between 1842 and in to the 1950’s. The founders were John and Elisha Stevens. When J. & E. Stevens began they first started making cast iron hardware, hammers and simple iron toys. Their metal fabrication line also included stubs, plates, door buttons, as well as, wardrobe, coat and hat hooks. They are believed to be one of the first manufacturers of cast iron toys in the United States. They manufactured toys such as, cannons, locomotives, whistling tops, toy irons, kettles, skillets, and stoves.

Throughout their time they made a variety of toys and are most famous for their more than 300 types of mechanical banks and cap pistols. The company specialized in cast iron mechanical banks from 1870 until the turn of the century. In 1859 they produced their first cap pistol and by 1928 they devoted themselves entirely to the production of cap pistols. An interesting side note is that, J. & E. Stevens supplied The Gong Bell Manufacturing Company of Hampton, Connecticut and Watrous Bell Toys with the castings for their bell toys. Elisha Stevens later joined George Brown to establish the Stevens & Brown. Brown and Elisha Stevens started a new toy enterprise in Cromwell in 1869 producing a variety of tin toys. During World War II the company closed due to the shortage of iron and the company was sold to Buckley Brothers of New York in 1950.

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 4 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 10 × 10 in