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Scarce Chief Big Moon cast-iron bank commands $2,340

One of the leading lots in Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates' 978-lot Variety Auction, held Aug. 27, was a seldom-seen Chief Big Moon cast-iron bank.

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. — One of the top lots of Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates' August 27, 2016 Variety Auction was a rare Chief Big Moon cast-iron bank.

In original paint and hailing from the Leesburg, Virginia collection of Audrey “Dolly” and the late

Chief Big Moon bank

Chief Big Moon cast-iron mechanical bank, finished at $2,340 during the Aug. 27 auction at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates. (All photos courtesy of Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates)

William “Billy” Journell, the cast-iron bank garnered a great deal of attention from potential buyers and brought $2,340. From the same collection and close behind the Chief Big Moon mechanical bank was a paint-decorated tin parade jack-o-lantern with outstanding original surface. Made by the Ohio Art Company around the turn of the 20th century, the highly coveted folk art collectible realized $2,223.

The 978-lot auction, offered with no reserves and attracted nearly 3,000 registered bidders, included a large selection of cast-iron banks, doorstops, toys, collectibles, and American art pottery, an important segment of the sale, among which were a number of uncommon examples of Roseville. Noteworthy in this group was the sale’s other top lot, an outstanding Della Robbia vase lamp. The finely crafted object from the pottery’s early period, featuring carved and textured geometric and floral designs, generated significant pre-sale interest and achieved $2,340.

Other areas of the sale produced positive results as well, demonstrating some signs of vigor in what is often an unpredictable market. Sports cards and collectibles was just such a category that exhibited some degree of strength. Leading the way was an 1887 Kalamazoo Bats N690 Bobby Matthews #34 baseball card. Matthews, a successful right-handed pitcher in the early professional leagues, tallied 297 wins over his 16-year career and currently stands as the 25th winningest pitcher in Major League Baseball history. After receiving significant pre-sale attention, the rare card brought $1,989.

Also of note were several surprises in the auction which served to highlight the degree to which an object’s condition can affect its overall market value.

Strong collector demand for fresh, untouched examples of uncommon forms continues to drive the prices paid for top-quality objects higher and higher. Two lots from the auction stand out in this regard. The first, a Cherry Christo glass syrup bottle in excellent undamaged condition, caught the attention of several collectors, and, after heavy bidding, finished at $1,404. The second, a safe-form penny still bank, marked with 1881 patent date and retaining excellent original paint, soared past its estimate range to realize $994. In both cases, the object’s overall integrity helped to push its sale price beyond the typical parameters.

For complete auction results, a schedule of the firm’s upcoming sales, or more information visit, email, or call 504-434-3939.

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