Morphy’s May 4-6 auction highlights outstanding examples of antique coin-operated machines and early advertising signs


Featured: early arcades, music, gambling, vending machines and other slot machines, plus alcohol, soft drinks, chewing gum, tobacco, soda fountain and other desirable advertisements and signage

DENVER, Pa., April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Long before the era of instant entertainment from downloaded music and streaming videos, Americans could amuse themselves with pocket change in an arcade, where mechanical coin-operated machines could predict your fortune, play a song or let you try your luck at a game. Today, most antique coin-operated machines are displayed in private collections, often flanked by signs advertising the same period. Many of the rarest and finest examples have passed through the doors of Morphy Auctions, who will be hosting their next live sale of these popular specialties on May 4-6. All forms of remote bidding, including online via MorphyLive, are also welcome.

The connoisseur’s selection includes more than 2,100 coveted 19th and early 20th century coins and advertising signs that would rarely be available elsewhere in such beautiful condition.

Morphy’s will kick off the band with a JP Seeburg Style “G” Art Style Orchestrion, a technological marvel designed like an upright piano with four internally illuminated art glass panels. It houses violin and flute pipes; a mandolin accessory, eardrums, bass and snare; a cymbal and a triangle. With exceptional volume, it plays a “G” style music roll with a selection of 65 notes. Estimate: $40,000$60,000

A rare pre-1902 version by Schiemer-Yates 5 cent The Musical Cupid vertical slot machine is notable for having been manufactured before the formation of Caille-Scheimer and his successor, Quail Brothers. Its original music mechanism relies on an attached echo chamber that delivers great sound and tone. Estimate: $30,000$50,000

One of Regina’s earliest musical achievements was the very rare Style 3 Seth Thomas model room clock, which peaked in popularity between 1895 and 1905. Standing over 9 feet tall, it was designed to play automatically music by knocking on time, or pressing a side button. The example offered by Morphy’s is unique in that it is the only known Regina Style 3 with a coin slot. Bowers Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments refers to the existence of only one known model with a coin slot, indicating that it had sat in a hotel lobby for years. Estimate: $10,000$20,000

A very rare Watling musical circa 1902 “Puck” 5 cent the vertical slot originally belonged to the boxing legend at Jack Dempsey friend and training partner, Eddie Bohns. For 65 years, Bohns chaired from Denver the legendary Pig ‘N Whistle, a restaurant and sports bar that has attracted dozens of professional athletes and celebrities. In immaculate condition, the Watling Puck is estimated at $30,000$50,000.

Early vending machine collectors will have 120 stellar options to choose from. Topping the category is an incredible 1899 Huyler’s 1 penny vending machine designed to dispense both Huyler’s Chocolate and St Nicholas Pepsin Gum. Its rich cobalt blue and white porcelain panels feature images of St. Nicholas holding advertising signs for the brand of chewing gum. A similar example appears in the reference book Quiet seller tooby Bill and Peggy Enes. Estimate: $40,000$60,000

More than 400 Coca-Cola advertising lots await bidders, including a self-framed, lithographed Coca-Cola sign from around 1914 featuring the pretty pink model known as “Betty Girl.” The 41 by 31 inch panel, in beautiful 9.25 condition, invites bidding in the $6,000$10,000 Scope.

For more information on an item for sale, call 877-968-8880 or email [email protected]. View the auction catalog and register to bid live at

Media Contact:
Dan Morphy 877-968-8880
[email protected]

SOURCE Morphy Auctions


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