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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Morphy Coin Op & Advertising, October 15 -16

There was another impressive sale from Morphy Auctions, Las Vegas last weekend, not quite so strong on American arcadia this time, which is hardly surprising given the quantity and quality of May's offerings. However, there were a few more British and European coin-ops, many believed to have come, either directly or indirectly, from a well known British slot machine dealer. These included no less than three Automatic Sports Co. floor-standing, two-player games.


Rarities included the Scottish-made 1D Stanhope Automatic Machine Co. Cast Iron Electric Shocker. Apart from the little Bollands fortune tellers, which generally did well, prices on these British games were lower than might have been expected had they been sold in the UK.




Lot 53, was described as an English Caille Double Counter Wheel Slot Machine with a front presentation plaque reading "Presented to Walter Chandler for 15 years of outstanding achievements, 1916". If it was presented to the American, Walter Bradford Chandler, of the Bradford Scale Company (author of a Catalogue of Golden Opportunities, with Illustrations and Instructions how to Operate Coin-Operating Machines, 1913), why is it, at least partially English? The cabinet might be Circa 1908 (as catalogued) or a little later, but the upper castings are much later, probably by Clement & Whales Circa 1950s and certainly no later than the '30s. And what are lion-paw feet doing on a counter-top game? I've reclaimed two British counter-top games from the States with these feet stuck on them, presumably to make them appear a little more grand. Until someone comes up with a plausible story, I'm inclined to put this one in the liquorice allsorts box.


Lot 130, an English Mills Wizard Fortune Teller Arcade Machine was attributed to the Mills Novelty Co. through Minerva Automatic Co. Certainly these little wooden counter-top fortune tellers are stylistically more typical of British games than any other Mills product, but such an early collaboration between Mills Novelty Co. and a little-known British manufacturer intrigues me. Presumably the evidence is on the game's paperwork. Although Minerva Automatic Machine Co. are listed as makers of automatic machines, they specialized in bioscopes and were in business from 1909-13, rather later than the Circa 1904 catalogued date of the game.

Again there were errant attributions, presumably supplied by vendors, such as lot 256, the English Rooster and Hen Trade Stimulator (actually a chocolate vending machine by Richard Reichert of Dresden, Germany). Lot 1082, described as Oak cabinet wall game with a Golden Nugget background similar to the Electric Shock game by Jentzsch and Meerz was an Oliver Whales allwin with recently created 'fantasy' graphics.

A full list of realized prices is provided by Morphy Auctions. A much briefer list of British and European machines is in the Arena.