Potter & Potter May 29 auction offers wealth of coin-op delights

Williams Mfg. Co. Music Mite 5 Cent jukebox, estimated at $6,000-$9,000

Williams Mfg. Co. Music Mite 5 Cent jukebox, estimated at $6,000-$9,000

CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce a 650 lot-plus Coin-op & Advertising sale to be held on May 29 starting at 10 am Central time / 11 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Antique tabletop gambling machines from some of the world’s most collectible makers are well represented at this event. Leading the group is a Charles Fey & Co. On The Level machine, estimated at $20,000-$30,000. This working, all original, circa-1930s example features an aluminum case with a stylized design of a bear walking across a row of dice on either side, and might be the only $1/50 cent example in existence.

Charles Fey & Co. On The Level machine, estimated at $20,000-$30,000

Charles Fey & Co. On The Level machine, estimated at $20,000-$30,000

Fine arcade and entertainment machines also take several of the top slots in this sale, among them a 1950s era Capitol Projector Corp. 10 Cent Auto Test machine, estimated at $10,000-$12,000. This model was one of the first machines to give users the experience of simulated driving. The example on offer has been expertly restored, with original driving simulator footage copied onto new film and looped.

Capitol Projector Corp. 10 Cent Auto Test machine, estimated at $10,000-$12,000

Capitol Projector Corp. 10 Cent Auto Test machine, estimated at $10,000-$12,000

The selection of fine antique viewers includes C.J.A. Novelty Co. 1 Cent clamshell mutoscope viewer from the turn of the previous century, estimated at $6,000-$9,000. This working cast iron machine plays W.C. Fields’ classic 1915 film, The Pool Shark.

C.J.A. Novelty Co. 1 Cent clamshell mutoscope viewer, estimated at $6,000-$9,000

C.J.A. Novelty Co. 1 Cent clamshell mutoscope viewer, estimated at $6,000-$9,000

Collectors are certain to drop a dime on the sale’s superlative collection of antique to vintage vending machines, which includes an All American 1 Cent Jerry Payne gumball machine estimated at $3,000-$4,000. Payne was a high school football legend from Odessa, Texas. The figure that represents him kicks a gumball out of the machine when it is activated. This circa-1950 working example is the only one extant.

All American 1 Cent Jerry Payne Gumball Machine estimated at $3,000-$4,000

All American 1 Cent Jerry Payne Gumball Machine estimated at $3,000-$4,000

An intriguing group of trade stimulators from the turn of the 19th century comprise another important highlight. Of note is a working circa-1904 Mills Novelty Superior 5 Cent Poker Reel trade stimulator, estimated at $8,000-$12,000. This impressive machine features its original castings, wooden cabinet, mechanism, and reel strips. In addition to the slot mechanism, this machine dispenses a fortune ticket to the customer, which is operated by a second lever on the side.

Mills Novelty Superior 5 Cent Poker Reel Trade Stimulator, estimated at $8,000-$12,000

Mills Novelty Superior 5 Cent Poker Reel Trade Stimulator, estimated at $8,000-$12,000

Also featured in the sale are curated selections of antique advertising, gambling memorabilia, and other curious temptations that bridge auction categories, such as a Joseph Claude Sinel Model S Step On It scale, estimated at $10,000-$12,000. This 1920s rarity is constructed from cast iron, steel, and mirrored glass, and its Art Deco design echoes that of the Empire State Building. The scale is unusual for not having any numbers on the dial, supposedly so that the user’s weight is kept confidential. Instead, the sensitive number was printed on a card dispensed from the scale, along with a fortune.

 Joseph Claude Sinel Model S Step On It scale, estimated at $10,000-$12,000


Joseph Claude Sinel Model S Step On It scale, estimated at $10,000-$12,000

Other choices include a handsome midcentury Williams Mfg. Co. Music Mite 5 Cent jukebox, estimated at $6,000-$9,000. This working example has been restored with original parts, with the amplifier rebuilt and recapped. These jukeboxes were manufactured by the Williams Mfg. Co. in partnership with RCA, which, only a year before, had begun to manufacture the first 45 RPM records. Only 1,400 machines are known to have been produced.

Renou Acrobat Clown Automaton on two chairs, estimated at $4,000-$6,000

Renou Acrobat Clown Automaton on two chairs, estimated at $4,000-$6,000

Rounding out the roster is a musical Renou Acrobat Clown Automaton on two chairs, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. It was produced around 1910, and the figure features a painted head, glass eyes, mohair wig, wire arms, and its original silk costume with sequin-studded trim. When activated, the clown slowly raises his body up, balancing on his hands, until the figure is entirely upside down, balanced precariously between the chairs. At each stage of his ascent, the figure pauses, in anticipation of the next step in the balancing act.

 

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