ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Games, Toys, and Hobbies»
  • Collecting & Collections

Collecting Still Banks

Updated on July 6, 2016
Infomanian profile image

If you have more things than you need...spend too much time with them...still want more of them... you are probably a collector.

Some Pigs Are Perfect Banks
Some Pigs Are Perfect Banks | Source

A Collection Of Banks

Collecting still banks can take you in lots of directions. You can collect by type of material: ceramic, tin, wood, steel, etc. You can collect by theme: advertising banks, book banks, banks designed like household items, are as building replicas. Since still banks were made in so many formats, the possibilities are endless.

Because they are relatively small, a bank collection can be decoratively displayed as a group or as accent pieces.

Go Get Your Piggy Bank

Almost everyone has said this to a child or heard it as a child. Most still banks were made to be attractive to children and encourage thrift.

They became popular promotional items for all types of businesses. The obvious business connection is the banking institution. Bank "banks" from the first half of the 20th century are very collectible.

Orange Tinted Clay Called Pygg
Orange Tinted Clay Called Pygg | Source

Why Do They Call Them Piggy Banks?

We think of a child's bank for coins as a piggy bank.

But the spelling should by pygg.

In the middle ages metal was scarce.

Dishes and containers were made from an orange colored clay called pygg.

An extra coin was tossed into a clay pot, or a pygg pot.

Traditional Pig Banks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Black Eared Pig From GermanyBrass PigSomething About A Sow and A Silk Purse...Glass PigPottery Pig From MexicoSaving For Poker NightPig With Red FaceCaramic Pig
Black Eared Pig From Germany
Black Eared Pig From Germany | Source
Brass Pig
Brass Pig | Source
Something About A Sow and A Silk Purse...
Something About A Sow and A Silk Purse... | Source
Glass Pig
Glass Pig | Source
Pottery Pig From Mexico
Pottery Pig From Mexico | Source
Saving For Poker Night
Saving For Poker Night | Source
Pig With Red Face
Pig With Red Face | Source
Caramic Pig
Caramic Pig | Source
Source

Banks Designed As Household Items

Click thumbnail to view full-size
MailboxCampbells SoupSpace HeaterRefrigeratorHand Made Wooden Dresser With Trick Drawer SlotTic Toc (With Original Candy Treat)Stove"majestic" Radio, Moore #827, est value $75-100Wood RadioLoaf Of Bread
Mailbox
Mailbox | Source
Campbells Soup
Campbells Soup | Source
Space Heater
Space Heater | Source
Refrigerator
Refrigerator | Source
Hand Made Wooden Dresser With Trick Drawer Slot
Hand Made Wooden Dresser With Trick Drawer Slot | Source
Tic Toc (With Original Candy Treat)
Tic Toc (With Original Candy Treat) | Source
Stove
Stove | Source
"majestic" Radio, Moore #827, est value $75-100
"majestic" Radio, Moore #827, est value $75-100 | Source
Wood Radio
Wood Radio | Source
Loaf Of Bread
Loaf Of Bread | Source

The Difficulty With Valuing Many Collectibles

Relative rarity is the most important criteria in establishing the value of an antique or vintage item. In the case of some collectibles, like coins or stamps or comics, this rarity is generally a matter of public record and thus available.

The market price for higher priced items is often set by auction results. In the case of lower priced items, auction results can vary widely.

Retail sales are a more reliable value guage for less expensive items.

For many other collectibles, relative rarity is harder to determine and establish. Universally accepted guides are not available, or don't have full market coverage or aren't kept current.

Market price guides need to have:

  • General acceptability authority by dealers and collectors.
  • Broad subject coverage of all common items, and more esoteric variations.
  • Periodic updates, or new editions available commercially.

Market supported price guides are readily available for "commodity" collectibles like coins (e.g. Krause) or stamps (e.g. Scotts) or comic books (e.g. Overstreets).

Banks Designed Like Books

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Elmira BankMechanics BuildingWorld Book
Elmira Bank
Elmira Bank | Source
Source
Source
Mechanics Building
Mechanics Building | Source
Source
World Book
World Book | Source

Valuing Banks

Mechanical banks have a more public record available than still banks.

For still banks the collector is flying solo and needs to be more thoughtful and creative. What might be unique in one country might be common in another. Dealer and store owner information is not that useful or reliable.

The Eye Of The Beholder

The appearance, or eye appeal is the dominant factor in the value and salability of a still bank.

It's like ice skating competition; your score gets reduced for errors and omissions. Have you noticed that a dealer or other buyer politely remarks about faults first. It's natural and it's good business.

Is your first impression good? Is the price range workable? Would you like to own it? Great, now look for disqualifiers, flaws, and value reducers.

Iron and Steel Banks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bear Stealing Honey (Beehive Bank, est value $250-300)Cupola (Space Heater)Golden Garage, One Car (est value $200-250)State Bank, Moore Number 1633, ESt Value $250-350)Small Mosque
Bear Stealing Honey (Beehive Bank, est value $250-300)
Bear Stealing Honey (Beehive Bank, est value $250-300) | Source
Cupola (Space Heater)
Cupola (Space Heater) | Source
Golden Garage, One Car (est value $200-250)
Golden Garage, One Car (est value $200-250) | Source
State Bank, Moore Number 1633, ESt Value $250-350)
State Bank, Moore Number 1633, ESt Value $250-350) | Source
Small Mosque
Small Mosque | Source
Source

Collecting Antique Toy Banks

What To Look For

Remember that perfection is unattainable in vintage items. There will be take aways. Are they acceptable? Look hard for disqualifiers.

Ceramic banks - generally shiny and fresh looking. Is the surface intact and fresh looking? Is the paint crackled anywhere? Possible disqualifiers: chips, cracks or other structural flaws.

Pottery banks - generally handmade and thus more rustic looking, but can be fragile. Is the surface intact and fresh looking? Is the paint fading or flaking anywhere? Possible disqualifiers: chips, cracks or other structural flaws.

Tin banks - generally inexpensive stamped metal pieces. Is the surface intact and fresh looking? Is the paint fading or flaking anywhere? Possible disqualifiers: dents, paint chips, mended areas or missing parts.

Book banks - generally sheet metal frames, often with faux leather covers.Is the surface intact and fresh looking? Look at the corners and edges of the cover for the usual signs of wear. Possible disqualifiers: bent frames, delaminating covers.

Metal banks - generally cast iron, two piece, screwed together. Surface treated and often painted. Is the surface intact and fresh looking? Is the paint fading or chipped? Possible disqualifiers: re-painted, mended areas or missing parts.

The Key To Your Heart

Some banks were designed with a cheap key mechanism.They were thus susceptible to scratches, and worst of all, lost keys.

If you insist on a key, you won't be buying many banks with key locks!

My advice? Consider a key a bonus!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.