Most famous mechanical bank reproductions were made by the Book of Knowledge between 1957 and 1986. They were clearly labeled and never intended to fool collectors. Like the reproductions from the 1930s, they are now collectible. To identify banks made after the 1930s, appraisers look at the finish. Pre-1930s cast-iron banks have smoother surfaces, and the painting on earlier banks tends to be more detailed. Rust on reproduction banks is reddish and will flake off. Repro mechanical banks were made using an original bank as a pattern, and were therefore usually smaller than the originals. But some of the wooden patterns are still available, and banks made from them will be the same size as the original. Original cast iron banks were also painted in muted colors. Bright colors were not used.

Artillery mechanical bank, cast iron, reproduction, Book of Knowledge

Artillery mechanical bank, cast iron, reproduction, Book of Knowledge, 7 1/2 by 6 by 3 3/4 in., $59. Photo: Copake Auction Inc.


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