Wimbledon mechanical bank – £8000 at David Duggleby.

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It features a British infantryman in red tunic and blue trousers lying on a green-painted base who, with the help of a lever and a spring mechanism, shoots a coin into a pill box flying a red, black and white flag.

The name is a reference to Wimbledon Common – the first meeting place for the National Rifle Association formed in 1860 and the venue for the nation’s most prestigious annual rifle shooting contest, the Queen’s Trophy.

Only a dozen or so of these banks are known and the best preserved have sold for small fortunes in the US where the collecting hobby is most developed. One described as ‘near mint’ took $17,000 at Morphy in Denver, Pennsylvania, in February this year.

The example pictured here was offered by David Duggleby (20% buyer’s premium) in Scarborough on May 14. It was in good rather than tiptop condition with most of the original paintwork intact but some losses to the flag and the pill box. Offered with expectations of £8000-12,000, it got away at the low estimate.