What’s Selling on eBay: February 2019

What’s Selling on eBay: February 2019

by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$4,427 (48 bids, 16 bidders): Authentic Antique 18th C Early American Gentleman’s Tricorne Felt Hat.
The 18th century Tricorne hat in this auction is constructed from a heavy grey felt. It measures 5”tall by 14 1/2” by 14 1/2” long on the sides by 11 1/2” across the back. The size of this Early American Tricorne is small, and the opening is approximately 6 1/2” in diameter. This early hat is in clean condition with the original silk ties. There is shallow moth damage, but no holes that go through the felt.
(Photos courtesy of eBay seller wwolst12.)
DBA: The Tricorne hat is essentially a three point hat. It was popular in the 18th century but after 1800 was not worn as much. In America, we think of this as the hat of the American Revolution, but it is not unique to the U.S. It was popular first on the European continent. It was practical in that it was small and could be easily tucked under an arm when entering an area where gentlemen would remove their hats. It was typically worn with one point facing forward for civilians but for military, the point was over the left eye to not interfere with their muskets (Hence, nicknamed, the cocked hat). Authentic 18th century hats are hard to find. So hard to find that I would not find one that has sold recently, other than this one.

$5,301 (73 bids, 8 bidders): Antique Birmingham, Alabama Coca Cola Hutchinson/Hutch Soda Bottle, Ala Al Coke.
There were 12 photos provided. Each picture could be worth a thousand words and will be mentioned again below. This bottle displays the character of its use as evidenced by pin-point sized pricks and pecks, some difficult to see light scuff lines rubbed on the upper area around the shoulder, and a couple of heavier scuffs on the lower rear side. There is some exterior etching on the lower right rear of the back side.
There is a chip inside the lip of the blob. (Looks like it might have been caused by a tool used in closing or removal of the stopper.) Otherwise, no cracks, bruises, or flashes.
Cleaning: The inside of the bottle has been spun with copper shot, water, and aluminum oxide and all stain and minerals are removed. The outside has been washed in muriatic acid and no stains remain. The outside surface has not been cut or polished away and the embossing is strong.
Every dark speck is a bubble or little prick in the glass. The ones on the back show through to the front and vice versa.
(Photo courtesy eBay seller rwfults, Robert Wayne Fults, fults.org.)
DBA: The Birmingham Coca Cola plant was opened in 1902 and used the Hutchinson bottle. The very first Coca Cola was bottled in 1894, so this was early in the production. Charles G. Hutchinson invented and patented the Hutchinson Patent Stopper in 1879 as a replacement for cork bottle stoppers which were commonly being used as stoppers on soda water or pop bottles. His invention employed a wire spring attached to a rubber seal. Production of these stoppers was discontinued after 1912. While the crown and seal technique was patented in 1892, it took some time before it was used. The Hutchinson bottle was costly, hard to fill, and unsanitary. Bottlers needed a better option and found one with the crown, cork and seal bottle. This background information may tell you that this would be a rare find.
While one can find Hutchinson bottles for under $100 at auction, the Coca Cola Hutchinson bottles typically sell for more than $5,000. This price is in line with other auction prices for similar bottles.
 
$710 (21 bids, 11 bidders): Antique Vintage Large 18” x 6” Locomotive Ship Factory Brass Steam Whistle.
This is an Antique LARGE 18” x 6” locomotive, ship, or factory brass steam whistle. It is overall 26” long including the connector pipe. The Brass base and whistle are 18” long and 6” in diameter. There are stamped markings on the cast brass lower section. It has a repair on the lever activator section, but it is solid and works as it should. Tested with air, and it chimes loud and clear. A little rough, but still a nice larger steam whistle.
(Photos courtesy of eBay seller gypsiegirlz.)
DBA: This is the price for which a steam whistle typically would sell. It is exactly on par. We all know that it was invented to signal people to get off the tracks when a train would be approaching.
$3,820 (18 bids, 7 bidders): Cast Iron “LION HUNTER” Mechanical Bank Original Antique Americana Toy.
The bank was designed and patented by Charles Bailey on August 22, 1911. The “Lion Hunter” truly depicts the intrepid wild game hunter about to shoot the lion. It is a large size bank and quite attractive and impressive. There has always existed some conjecture as to whether or not the figure of the hunter represented Teddy Roosevelt. There is no mention of T. Roosevelt on the design picture furnished by Bailey to the Patent Office. In spite of this, there is an obvious resemblance to Roosevelt and Bailey probably had him in mind when the bank was designed. The bank was put into production and manufactured by J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, CT.
There are no cracks, breaks or other damage and the bank has excellent paint with vibrant colors. I have never seen a Lion Hunter bank on eBay, especially in the excellent condition of this one. J. & E. Stevens Co. added a mica or silica like finish that was originally applied to give a realistic appearance to the rock-like formations. There are still visible mica and copper highlights, which is remarkable considering the age of the bank. Everything about the Lion Hunter bank explains why it is considered one of the most imposing and coveted of all the mechanical banks. It possesses all the qualities which make it highly desirable: rarity, good action and color, imposing size and design, and the distinction of having been designed by the most prominent mechanical bank designer of the 19th century, Charles Bailey.
To operate, the coin slide atop the rifle’s barrel is pulled back, cocking the gun. The hunter’s head moves forward as if taking aim. A penny is then placed in front of the slide. The lever in front of the hunter is pressed. Simultaneously, the gun fires (can use a cap) and the head moves back as if from the recoil. The lion rears up, and the penny is propelled forward and deflects off the rocks into the bank.
This bank is in proper working order and has the typical Stevens’ coin trap. The bank is approximately 11” long, 2 3/4” wide and 7 1/2” high. Banks in similar condition have sold for $7,000 to $14,000.
(Photos courtesy of eBay seller thingsnsuch100.)
DBA: The buyer got a deal. The highest that I have seen for this model of the bank sell for is $36,000 in 2012 at auction. There are many that have sold for more than $15,000.