1886 Charles Bailey breadwinners bank could auction for $45,000

An 1886 Charles Bailey-designed breadwinners mechanical bank will star in RSL Auctions' December 7 sale in Newark with an estimate of $35,000-45,000.

The bank, manufactured by J & E Stevens, is considered by collectors to be one of the finest ever produced. It represents an allegory on the dangers of rampant capitalism and the rise of unionism.

Breadwinners bank Charles Bailey
The breadwinners bank is similar to this example that sold for $80,000 at RSL in 2010

The model pre-dates the Sherman Anti-Trust act, which gave the US government the power to break monopolies - and features a less than flattering depiction of an industrialist.

A near mint example sold at RSL Auctions for $80,000 in 2010.

A Calamity mechanical bank circa 1905, which features an American football theme, is expected to make $28,000-35,000.

Also designed by Charles Bailey and manufactured by J & E Stevens, the lot is in "pristine plus" condition and is described as one of the best examples known.

Architectural banks will also feature, including a version of the red Ives, Blakeslee and Williams palace bank that is valued at $18,000-22,000.

A J & E Stevens multiplying bank in near mint condition is estimated to realise $10,000-15,000. It features two mirrors on the interior that appear to multiply the coin.

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