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Trick Pony

Object Name: Mechanical bank
Date: ca. 1885
Related People:
Medium: Iron, paint
Dimensions: Overall: 9 1/2 x 5 x 3 in. ( 24.1 x 12.7 x 7.6 cm )
Place made: North America, United States, Buffalo
Description: Cast iron mechanical bank in the form of prancing horse in front of trough, mounted on rectangular pedestal; horse painted brown with blue, red, and yellow saddle and bridle, balanced on short post painted blue and yellow; trough with curved top painted blue and yellow; front and back panels of pedestal with cast inscription; when coin is placed in mouth of pony and lever is pulled, a lid in the trough opens to allow for deposit of coin.
Credit Line: Gift of Henry M. Lucas
Object Number: 1940.466
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Marks: cast: on sides of base: "TRICK PONY" cast: on front of base: "BANK" cast: beneath base: "PAT' JUNE 2 AND/JULY 7TH 1885"

Gallery Label:

This mechanical bank was based on Patent No. 321,650 issued to Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr. on July 7, 1885. While this bank may be a different version of the one pictured in Penny Lane, it may also be an early reproduction. (See Publications)


"Tin toys and banks and cast iron vehicles," New-York Historical Society, April 21, 2000-March 31, 2002.