A Caille Venus quarter slot machine with music, one of only four known and the best example of the four, is expected to be the top lot at an auction planned for Oct. 10-12 by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Mich. The premier single upright slot machine, made in 1907, plays music when a lever is cranked. It is expected to hammer down at around a quarter of a million dollars.
“This is the granddaddy of all single upright quarter slot machines, and the fact that it’s in the best condition of only four examples known makes it extremely desirable to serious collectors,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “We anticipate it will be the star lot of the sale, but it is by no means the only item of rarity or quality we’ll be selling. This promises to be our best auction ever.”
Categories include “the best coin-ops we’ve ever had” (vending, arcade, gambling, trade stimulators, etc.); country store; general store; petroliana; toys; fire memorabilia; glassware; advertising; store fixtures; cigar store, veterinary; pharmacy; bronzes; showcases; tobacciana; soda fountain; tins, Coca-Cola, saloon; barber shop; salesman’s samples; Western Americana; stoneware; folk art; toys, wagons, sleds and more – more than 2,000 lots in all.
The featured collector for this weekend event is Sandy Rosnick. His collection is comprised of mostly country store tins of many categories. There will be selected items from more than 100 other consignors, all of whom are prominent collectors of various different categories of antiques and collectibles. “My last auction was exclusively for one consignor (The George Cross Collection),” Eckles said, “and I’ve been holding some great stuff back for one full year and it’s all here for this auction.”
Following are just a few of the additional anticipated top lots, with estimated sale prices shown:
For the first time ever, all three Mills Violano coin-operated violins will be offered in one sale. The three examples, made around 1900, play a sweet violin tune when a nickel is inserted. The three are the bow-front model (estimate $150,000); the double (estimate $100,000); and the single (estimate $40,000).
An original oil painting by Edmond Osthaus of two Irish setters and a pointer, 24 inches by 36 inches. Osthaus depicted hunting dogs around the turn of the century. He was commissioned to do many paintings for major firearms and gun powder manufacturers (such as Winchester and Remington) for their many posters and calendars. (estimate $60,000).
A 1/4-scale 1934 Cadillac sedan, made as a model automobile for the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, built to spec and the only Cadillac 1/4-scale model car ever made for a World’s Fair (estimate $50,000).
A very rare Watling Cupid coin-operated five-cent trade stimulator, with gum vendor. A marvelous piece of coin-op cast iron, in excellent original condition (estimate $40,000).
A scale model live steam train in working condition built by the master machinist Allen Keyworth between 1933 and 1940; every piece of the train lovingly crafted by hand (estimate $25,000).
A Wurlitzer juke box Model #81, the rarest of the counter models, on an original Model #810 Mae West stand; Wurlitzer’s most popular unit for the small location field, ready to play (estimate $20,000).
A rare Seneca cameras and supplies die cut two-sided tin sign with a companion sign, in excellent condition (estimate $15,000).
A Sydney advertising clock, made in Lisbon Falls, Maine; with advertisements that change every five minutes, maple cabinet and in excellent working condition, complete with keys (estimate $15,000).
The Great Majestic Junior, the granddaddy of all children’s cook stoves, made in St. Louis, Mo.; unrestored, all original and in excellent operating condition (estimate $15,000).
A clam shell Mutoscope cast-iron arcade peep show. Original Harold Lloyd reel in excellent working condition; drop in a penny and watch the cards flip in sequence to reveal risque (for the times, anyway!) women (estimate $10,000).
An Enterprise floor model #18 coffee grinder, the most desirable of all floor model coffee grinders, in great condition, made in Philadelphia in 1888, with all original paint, stenciling and pan (estimate $10,000).
A rare 1912 Bristol Fishing Rod calendar, with original bands and a full pad, made by the Horton Mfg. Company, Bristol, Conn.; framed under glass and in excellent overall condition (estimate $10,000).
An extremely rare Buffalo Brewing Company tray, depicting a nude Indian maiden riding on a buffalo, 12 inches in diameter (estimate $10,000).
The mother of all children’s sleds, made as a Christmas present in 1893 for boy who never got to use it because he died just before the holidays. So it was retired to the attic, in Lancaster, Pa., where it stayed – until now. Beautifully hand-painted with a lake scene of the Finger Lakes in New York; wood, with iron runners and goose head pulls, in all original excellent condition (estimate $10,000).
An Indian Fair poster, for an event in Cherokee, N.C., dated Oct. 9-12; printed by the Donaldson Litho Co., Newport, Ky., rendered by the artist Ed Rawlins (estimate $10,000).
A John C. Wannamakers Department Store display horse-drawn express wagon pull toy, from the Bill McDonald collection; the entire horse is made from genuine horse hair; excellent (estimate $7,500).
A PMC Fire Patrol wood child’s wagon, with wood spoke wheels, original paint and stenciling, in excellent original condition (estimate $7,500).
An American Candy embossed tin, made by Gustav and Wilhelm Heller, Vienna, with stunning graphics (estimate $5,000).
A Jason Hamilton & Company (Greensboro, Pa.) 10-gallon water cooler, an example of eagle pottery stoneware, in excellent condition (estimate $5,000).
A tin toy of Popeye in a rowboat, battery-operated and remote-controlled, made by the Linemar Mfg. Co. (copyright King Features), complete with original two-piece box, excellent (estimate $2,000).
A preview will be held on Friday morning, Oct. 10, from 7-10 a.m., and free hot breakfast will be served. Auction hours on Friday will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Previews will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12, from 8-9 a.m. Auction hours both days will be 9 a.m.-7 p.m. To order a 200-page full-color catalog, call 316-721-5236.