LAS VEGAS – Featuring some of the most highly sought-after antique coin-operated machines in existence, the 1,500-lot-strong Coin-op, Advertising and Arcade Auction being held at Morphy Auctions Las Vegas on May 1, 2 and 3 could be the highest-grossing sale ever held at the auction house. Absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers is expected to help boost prices to record-setting levels.
“This sale has the best arcade items, both antique and contemporary, that have come to market in the last 20 years,” said Peter Sidlow, president of Morphy Auctions Las Vegas. “Coupled with the gambling machines, advertising signs, oil and gas collectibles; and other unique items, this could be a landmark event.” An extremely rare Spirit gas globe with beehive graphics, condition 9.5 out of 10, is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
A strong contender for top-lot honors is a 1907 five-cent Caille Peerless roulette floor console. Beautifully maintained in original, fully functional condition, this model is described by Sidlow as the “finest roulette machine [he’s] ever seen,” and is expected to sell for $200,000-$250,000.
Other outstanding coin-operated gambling machines in the May auction include a pair of very rare upright nickel slot machines, a 1901 Caille Lion estimated to reach $40,000-$60,000; and a 1902 Caille Black Cat musical cabinet, which is expected to sell for $30,000-$40,000. Both are in excellent working condition. A circa-1899 Mills Duplex 5-cent upright slot machine is considered one of the best extant examples. It is estimated at $80,000-$100,000.
Also within the superb selection of gambling machines are a 1938 Pace Royal Twin upright slot featuring dual sets of reels for both quarters and nickels, potentially worth $18,000-$25,000; a very rare 1938 Superior Golf Balls three-reeler with vibrant Art Deco styling that pays out in golf balls (see below), estimate $35,000-$50,000; and a similarly designed 1935 Superior horse racing console, which is expected to make $35,000-$45,000.
Both an ESCO Spear The Dragon 1-cent strength tester and a Caille 5-cent Mickey Finn Tug of War arcade game, formerly part of the Stardust Hotel collection in Las Vegas, could reach $15,000-$25,000 apiece.
Among the other coin-operated gems in the May 1-3 auction are a rare, 1912 five-cent Mills Novelty Co. double Violano Virtuoso with self-playing piano and dual violins, estimate $60,000-$80,000; and a 1905 Edison Multiphone, billed as the “world’s first selective automatic jukebox. Accompanied by 24 original cylinders, it could reach or exceed $50,000. A 1937 World Series baseball arcade game expected to garner $35,000-$50,000.
The auction also includes a very nice collection or road signs from the Bruce Clark collection. A Peerless Stages bus depot sign is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.
The May. 1-3 auction will be held at Morphy’s Las Vegas gallery, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. Start time for all three sessions is 9 a.m. Pacific / 12 noon Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in auction, call 702-382-2466.