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 called “Seated Cat With A Bow” and is referenced as #175-b in “Painted German Spelter Banks” by Pierce; rated as a “B” bank in terms of rarity. The bank is in excellent condition with no repairs, and is hand painted and in all original paint, with a black cat and a red bow. The cat has green eyes. The bank maintains the original “trick lock” hanging from the hasp, which when unlocked allows the head to be raised back on the rear neck hinge; to open up the bank and remove the coins. The bank is of German manufacture circa 1920.
Dimensions: 4 1/2″ high x 2 3/8″ wide x 3 1/4″ deep