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 quite rare and although it is not specifically listed in Pierce’s book “Painted German Spelter Banks” a variant of it appears on page 192 #656 with an “F” rating, indicating that only a handful are extant. It also appears in Andy Moore’s “The Penny Bank Book” as a rare bank with a rating of “3” which is his most rare category. It is referenced as #316. Since the manufacture date is so specific (1908) my guess is And located the bank in a jobber catalogue. This example is in very good condition and all original paint. The back hinge allowing for the top of the barrel to flip up to remove the coins is original and has been re-soldered to the barrel (see image). There is a 3/8″ hairline crack just below the middle of the barrel below and to the right of the hinge (see image). The hand painted girl is completely original with a white dress, green bow, brown hair,flesh tones and rosy cheeks. The barrel is in hand painted and original with brown paint and black stripes to the body. Nice detailed casting reveals the vertical boards to the barrel and life like characteristics to the little girl. The bank has the original “trick lock” hanging from the hasp. “Germany” is embossed at the base of the bank (see image).
Dimensions: 2″ high x 2 1/4″ wide