Getlan coin-ops ring up $1M at Victorian Casino Antiques
LAS VEGAS – Not since the Sotheby Auction of the Smith Collection in September 1994 has there been a sale of such magnitude and importance in the world of coin-op. The Mel and Anne Getlan collection of over 300 lots went under the hammer the weekend of May 4 at Victorian Casino Antiques.
The Getlans are longtime New York collectors who have moved and decided to downsize their collection. Mel has other collecting interests outside of coin-op including St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904, stamps and figural napkin rings. He recently donated his collection of over 6,000 St. Louis World’s Fair items to a museum in Jefferson City, Mo.
The auction was well attended with over 400 floor bidders and 1,400 Internet bidders. It provided an opportunity for many of the veteran collectors and dealers of coin-op to gather, swapping stories and catching up on acquaintances and families. Before the Getlan collection was put up Peter Sidlow, better known to his friends as “Pedro” and owner of Victorian Casino Antiques, called for a 10-minute break so the “old timers” could gather up front for a group photo.
After the photo session, paddles flew. The star of the collection was a Caille Globe cast-iron trade stimulator of which few are known. It sold for $85,000 (prices quoted do not include buyer’s premium) and will reside in Colorado. The old cigar vending machines were the surprise of the sale.
Collector Ken Rubin bought six out of the seven pre-1916 machines for his upcoming book Silent Cigar Salesman, due out in early 2013. Rubin says the first coin-operated cigar vendor debuted in 1893. All seven machines sold for a total of $155,000 broken down as follows: Pope Cigar Vendor, 1909, $27,500; B.F. Schwab & Co., 1889, $12,500; Bank Note Cigar Vendor, 1900, $25,000; Bishop & Kline “Little Clerk,” 1895, $25,000; Doremus Automatic Vending Co., 1901, $30,000; Jackson “Honest Clerk,” 1905, $17,500 and Standard Vending Machine Co., 1915, $17,500.
Other items of interest from the Getlan Collection: Caille “Little Roulette,” $30,000; coin-operated “Bicycle Pump,” $14,000; Caille “Jockey,” $17,500; Mills “Hy-Lo,” $12,500; Mills perfume vendor, $9,000; Blinkey Eye gum machine, $25,000; The Little Duke cast-iron card machine, $27,500; Caille “New Century Detroit,” $17,500; the Auto Doctor (cover of the catalog), $12,500; and the matching cabinet, $6,000.
The steal of the collection was a 1-cent Trophy Tower Sales Corp. razor blade dispenser pictured in Bill Ennis’ book Silent Salesman and perhaps the only one known, which went begging at $1,300.
In all the Getlan collection brought over $1 million.
The entire auction spanned three days and included 1,500 lots. Some of the other highlights: Caille Centaur/Eclipse 25-cent double upright slot machine with music, $75,000; Wm. Demuth zinc cigar store Indian, 1870, $30,000; Regina upright music changer, $8,500; an oval tin lithographed advertising tray “The Cream of Kentucky” featuring an almost bare-breasted woman, $5,500; and three Kit Carson poker chips, $600.
The next Victorian Casino Antiques Auction will be held on Oct. 12-14 in Las Vegas.
For addition information, visit www.vcaauction.com.
Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE