Darktown Battery

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Project Description

Darktown Battery

Giclée print on mounted canvas
Edition of 300 S/N
Image: 8″ x 10″

In the field of antique toys, cast iron mechanical banks are among the most sought after, and in many cases, the most expensive to buy. Many of these banks saw hard usage and as a result many are quite rare. Rarer still are examples with pristine paint and little or no rust; these will really be expensive.  Many of the classic banks have been reproduced, but there is that “certain something” about an original that attracts most of us.

This bank was made by J & E Stevens Manufacturing Company, in Cromwell, Connecticut sometime in the late 1800’s and is in excellent condition, with the paint as bold and bright as the day it was made. In this bank, a coin is placed in the pitcher’s hand, a lever is pressed, the pitcher “pitches” the coin and it drops into the catcher’s mitt and into the bank.

Interestingly, I heard a comment or two, when showing the original in a gallery show, that I was insensitive to have painted such “politically incorrect” subject matter. I think that’s silly. As an artist, I love the color, the textures and the whimsical nature of this piece, not to mention the stories it could tell of pennies saved and dreams imagined. Like so many things that I paint, it’s a piece of history, and I sure loved painting it.

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