Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Log In
lots of lots
Lot 0064


Who knew that in 1956 the famed pinball manufacturer D. Gottlieb & Co. made a model featuring ladies in diving helmets on the playfield? Called Sea-Belles, there were only 1300 units made, which was a very low number for a pinball model. This 2-player machine was recently found in the wonderful original condition you see in the photos! The machine was then professionally serviced or shopped to get everything working again.

Pinball machines from the mid-1950s are referred to as wood rail models. This classic features those rails with their original finish and a factory installed cigarette holder on the left side. The painted sides of the cabinet are factory original as well as all the graphics on the playfield and back glass.

What makes this vintage pinball special and relevant to this sale is the underwater theme and two Belles in diving helmets! The upper backglass and playfield design were done by the noted pinball machine artist Roy Parker. The Gottlieb noted game designer Wayne Neyens is credited with this machine's theme and play style. Mr. Parkers Sea-Belles artwork features two Belles enjoying the water and surrounded by images of the ocean, lighthouses, seahorses, starfish and three bells in the center. The playfield is an underwater scene with two Belles diving underwater with their spears and diving helmets attached to scuba tanks! There are also wonderfully detailed images of fish, mermaids, seahorses, boats, lighthouses, and other aquatic imagery. Roy Parker did a fantastic job of filling this pinball with colorful and fun illustrations!

As mentioned above, this machine is in fantastic original condition and works! The machine does currently function on free play, so no money is required which is preferable for home play. The coin mechanism is present. The playfield, back glass and all the art on the cabinet are original. The playfield plastics have been replaced to ensure machine functions correctly. All the bells ring when special awards and points are obtained. The two-player functions correctly as well as the points keeping. Lights behind the backglass and on the playfield illuminate as they did originally. There is a key to the front coin mechanism door. The upper wood back cabinet door is new with a lock.

We do want to stress that this machine is from 1956 and has been professionally serviced, but as with any vintage mechanical device it will undoubtedly have the occasional issue. If this machine is shipped to you, it would be a good idea to have a technician fine-tune it after delivery to ensure proper play. These old machines can be finicky, and we do not warranty its play once it leaves our facility. The machine has been recorded playing correctly.

Most nautical and diving helmet collectors (us included) never knew or considered that a vintage pinball machine like this was ever made! How much fun would this 1956 Sea-Belles be sitting among your collection or having guests over to enjoy the machine and showing them the underwater theme and ladies wearing diving helmets!

This is a full size 1956 pinball machine – so if you would like it shipped it will require that it be put on a pallet and sent via a trucking line. The machines are typically shipping with the top half detached and laying on the main part of the machine with padding between. The legs can be removed as well. Professional packing or even crating is available. The machine can also be picked up in Wichita, KS after the auction as well at no charge. Packing and shipping quotes can be calculated by sending us your zip code and if the delivery location is a business or residence.

Starting Bid


Buyer's Premium

  • 15%

1956 Gottlieb Sea-Belles Pinball Machine Diving Helmets

Estimate $1,000 - $3,000
$1,2002 bids
Get pre-approved to bid live on Sat, Dec 07, 2019 5:00 PM UTC.Register For Auction
Wichita, KS, USA
Auction Curated By:
Don Creekmore
Auction Curator