The term “spelter” refers to a zinc/lead metal compound used to pour and make castings. Because of the thinness of the castings there is great detail to the subject matter of these banks. Spelter banks are highly sought after today, both because of their rarity and their whimsical charm. In addition to not many having been made, the fact that they were so fragile with thin castings, is the leading reason for their scarcity. Repairs are commonplace with most specimens, and because of their desirability, most minor restorations are acceptable.
This particular spelter bank is very rare and is called “Dog and Cat by Dustbin”. It is referenced as #203 in “Painted German Spelter Banks” by Pierce. It is rated as an “F” bank, meaning less than five examples are know to exist. The bank is in excellent condition with no repairs and is hand painted and in all original paint; the dog is a charcoal color, the cat is white, and the dustbin is black. It has the original “trick lock” hanging from the hasp. Note the fine detailed fur on the schnauzer. The bank is most definitely German, circa 1920. Figures of cat and dog are spelter, while the dustbin is tin.
Dimensions: 3 5/8″ high x 2 3/4″ wide
Provenance: From my personal collection of banks; acquired privately in 1999.