At $75,000, a 1905 Caille Brothers double-upright slot machine with music hit the high note at Witherell’s Western Design Auction that ran from April 27 to May 11, 2016.
Containing a 25-cent Centaur and 5-cent Eclipse mechanism, people can play one-to-six coins on either or both machines.
When the player pushes the handle and the color slot chosen matches the color on the wheel, music plays and winnings are paid.
“The price for the slot machine was very good,” said Brian Witherell, chief operating officer and a featured appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow.”
The average price per lot was $3,200 with the sale grossing more than $450,000 on 141 lots, buyer’s premium included.
“Those are solid numbers,” said Witherell. “Any auction house in the country would be satisfied with those numbers.”
Two Horatio Nelson Poole paintings exceeded expectations, while the Buffalo Brewing Calendar “Indian Maiden on Buffalo”, the zinc cigar store Indian, a gold quartz walking stick and the Edward Bohlin saddle also topped the bill.
Estimated at $1/3,000 and $4/600 respectively, two Horatio Nelson Poole (1884-1949) paintings sold for $23,875 and $11,562.50.
The high bid of the two, “Hawaiian Landscape with Palms and Field” the framed oil on board, signed and dated 1921, measured 30 by 36 inches.
Unframed oil on board, signed and dated, 1916, “Punchbowl” measured 11 by 14.25 inches.
“While we were aware that pre-war Hawaiian art is desirable, this is a perfect example of the market being responsible for itself,” said Witherell. “As long as items are exposed, they will reach their own level.”
The 1901 Buffalo Brewing Company calendar, “Indian Maiden on Buffalo,” also sung out at $21,875.
From Stecher Lith Co., Rochester, N.Y., the advertising lithograph had the original hanging bars and cloth and measured 35 by 27.75 inches overall.
“This item sold to a cross-over collector, someone who had been collecting antique firearms and is new to this genre,” said Witherell. “It’s always interesting to see where collectors expand when they broaden their interests.”
The painted zinc cigar store Indian, “Captain Jack”, by William Demuth (1835-1911), realized $20,000.
William Demuth & Co. was the principal creator of zinc Indians, having switched to zinc for its durability.
The statue for this piece was exhibited at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago; a view of the exhibition is in “Artists in Wood” by Frederick Friend.
This 1875 cigar store Indian’s story is part of “Positively Pearl St., A Chronicle of the Center of Boulder, Colorado” by Sylvia Pettem while “Captain Jack” is detailed in “Zinc Sculpture in America 1850-1950” by Carol A. Grissom.
This zinc statue also was seen on “Antiques Roadshow,” Salt Lake City, No. 0413, and Vintage Salt Lake City No. 1830.
An 1817 presentation, gold-quartz walking stick 35.75 inches high achieved $16,562,50.
It bore the inscription, “Presented to Brother Josiah Hall/By Sonora Lodge No.10 I.O.O.F. January 1871/As a Recognition of Services in behalf of this Lodge.”
As Josiah Hall was the Mayor of Sonora, the Union Democrat reported on the presentation in the January 17, 1871 paper. Hall served for three terms.
An Edward Bohlin (1895-1980) parade saddle did well at $14,375.
The Dick Dixon model—the most popular parade model Bohlin made--featured silver, rope- trimmed horn and gullet with longhorn steer, horn-cap decoration.
The ornately tooled, floral motif leather seat, fender and tapederos had silver diamond accents and a silver “H” monogram.
The silver plate at the back of the cantle read, “T.W.H./Thos. W. Hintz/Tracy/Calif.”
Included in the sale were the silver-trimmed breast collar, bridle, reins and corona.
At the suggestion of silent movie star Tom Mix, Bohlin moved to Hollywood.
A master craftsman, Bohlin’s soon was supplying most of the Hollywood movie sets.
In addition to saddles still seen in the Rose Parade, the chariot harnesses for “Ben Hur” and “The Ten Commandments” are his work.