Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Morphy’s announces auction of gambling, coin-op, mechanical music machines for March 17

Morphy Auctions’ March 17, 2012 auction of antique slot, coin-op, gambling and mechanical music machines will offer collectors their choice of more than 415 outstanding lots, including select pieces from the personal collection of the late Frank Zygmunt Sr. Additionally, the auction includes early Coca-Cola items and other types of antique advertising.

H.C. Evans horse race gambling wheel, complete with odd units, est. $4,500-$5,500. Morphy Auctions

Zygmunt, a Chicago-area collector who founded the antique slot machine and jukebox business known as Zygmunt & Associates 25 years ago, was a prominent figure in coin-op circles.

“Mr. Zygmunt was extremely knowledgeable and well-liked by his peers. He played an important role in keeping the coin-op and gambling hobby strong, and we are honored to be presenting some of his most prized private-collection pieces at auction,” said Morphy Auctions CEO, Dan Morphy.

The top entry from the Zygmunt collection is a Caille nickel-finish double upright slot machine that combines 5-cent Eclipse and 25-cent Centaur models. A magnificent production in a tiger oak case, the machine is in fine working order. It is known to have been one Zygmunt’s favorites and is entered in the sale with an $80,000-$120,000 estimate.

A visual dazzler from the Zygmunt collection is the H.C. Evans horse race wheel with colorful panels depicting jockeys on galloping mounts. When the wheel is spun, a number appears in a window that indicates the winning horse. Complete and all original, it could reach $4,500-$5,500 at auction.

Another gambling highlight is an extremely rare Mills 50-cent Chicago jackpot upright slot machine. Designed for the 1900 World’s Fair (Paris), the machine is distinguished by its multicolored pierced-tin wheel and coppered adornments, including cabriole legs with bas-relief griffins and owls; and hounds’ heads.

“This particular machine is very special because it takes 50-cent coins,” said Morphy. “It was a rich man’s amusement. At the turn of the century, 50 cents was a lot of money – maybe equivalent to $40 or more today.” In beautiful, all-original condition, the machine works well and is estimated at $45,000-$65,000.

The Mills 5-cent Cricket in the sale is believed to be the first all-original example of its type to appear at auction. Morphy said the machine, which has an interchangeable bar that designates a $1 jackpot prize, is especially rare because of its original, untouched condition.

“The Cricket resembles an early pachinko machine, and has gorgeous casting,” Morphy said. “I predict many collectors will be chasing it. We expect the machine to make $50,000 to $60,000.”

Coin-operated penny arcade lots include a circa-1904 Caille Bros. Mickey Finn Strength Tester, complete with original marquee and faceplate, est. $20,000-$30,000; and a circa-1930 Grandmother’s Prediction fortune-telling machine, est. $25,000-$25,000. Additionally, the sale features a three-reeler tabletop gambling machine and a Watling 25-cent Rol-A-Top machine with rich red convex front replicating cherries. In excellent working order, the Rol-A-Top comes with its original factory stand. Estimate: $14,000-$16,000.

Always a favorite, a figural, deep crimson-colored Smilin’ Sam from Alabam’ peanut dispenser is in outstanding original condition with a period stand. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000.

Several exceptional mechanical music boxes will be sold, including a Regina 27-inch automatic changer with carved dragon motif and superior sound quality, $18,000-$22,000. A 25¾-inch upright music box, of unknown manufacture but identified as Style 202, is in original working condition and comes with 12 disks.

The antique advertising section contains a number of rare and desirable Coca-Cola items, led by a self-framed 1904 Coca-Cola cameo sign in near-mint condition that features an elegantly gowned beauty of the day, est. $8,000-$12,000. A 1908 Coke calendar, near mint with a full pad, is entered in the sale with a $5,000-$8,000 estimate; while a near-mint 1918 Coke festoon with “umbrella girl” motif follows with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

The auction breakdown is 100+ slots, 100+ vending and other coin-operated machines; 40+ music boxes and approximately 100 pieces of antique advertising. Most of the consignments came from long-held, high-end collections.

All forms of bidding will be available for Morphy’s Saturday, March 17, 2012 auction, including live at the gallery, phone, absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or The auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail [email protected]. View the fully illustrated catalog online at

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