Highlights from the
November 1996 James D. Julia
and Coin Op Auction
On November 16-18 James D. Julia held an advertisng and coin-op auction. Here are the auction highlights.
The top-seller of the
sale was a rare version of a classic advertising piece, the Hires Metlach syrup dispenser with the
trademarked smiling boy raising a frothy glass of root beer. The rare Villeroy & Boch dispenser
in the hard-to-find brown version was in fine condition, in spite of a couple of hairline cracks. It
sold for a final price of $41,400, easily tripling the $10,00 - $15,000 pre auction estimate.
Close behind on the list of top-sellers was one of three Mills Za-Za Shock machines known to
exist. The incredible 22" contraption featured a can-can girl with a top hat whose spirited kicks
promoted relief from "Headaches, Rheumatism, Nervousness, Neuralgia, and all Nervous
Disorders." The rare machine was patented in 1900 and manufactured by F.W. Mills Co. It sold
for $37,375, against the pre-auction estimate of $5,000 - $7,000.
Other top-sellers in advertising memorabilia included a rare Lillain Nordica Coca-Cola sign that
went out at $21,275 and an Allen & Ginter cigarette paper sign depicting world champions of
various sports. The sign tripled the estimated when it sold for $17,250.
Among displays worth mentioning, two superb tin due-cut Buster Brown show displays attracted
attention and sold for $4,6000 and $2,300. The early, cast iron Doremus Cigar Vendor featured
an extra cigar cutter and match holder and went out at $3,450. A Lowney's Cocoa string holder
patented in 1908 also brought $3,450. Fine displays also included the Ward's cake display that
sold for $3,162.50 and the Adam's Pepsin Tutti-Fruitti gum machine at $2,875.
Rare syrup dispensers are always sought after. A rare Cherry Chic dispenser with all-over
embossed decoration of cherries and leaves sold for $6,900. Another heavily embossed
dispenser for Cardinal Cherry included the original pump and sold for $6,555. A red ceramic
Cherry Julep dispenser also sold at $4,025.
Musical machines spanning a century were also sold with a beautifully-restored Violano-Virtuoso Violin player in a very rare oak cabinet bringing $35,650. An early and very scarce
Regina coin operated "Dragon Front" music box, c. 1900, sold for $17,250. A Seeburg KT
Orchestrian, c 1920, west out at $15,525, while a nicely restored Stafford player piano featuring
decorative art glass, carved legs, and lights brought $5175. Two Wurlitzer jukeboxes (Model
1015 and Model 1050) sold for approximately $5,000 each.
Finally, collectors of gambling antiques had plenty to roll the dice on in this sale with a nice
selection of slot machines that included an oak cased Twin Centaur containing two color wheel
slot machines in one which sold for a final price of $34,500. A professionally restored Mills
Liberty Bell machine sold for $11,500. The "Fox" upright slot machine manufactured by
Automatic Machine & Tool Co. Featured an oak cabinet and nice castings and sold for
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