Original Circa 1888 J. & E. Stevens Co. Darktown Battery Bank.
Lot 1. Original Circa 1888 J. & E. Stevens Co. Darktown Battery Bank. This cast iron bank is completely original except for a single replacement screw on the underside. Otherwise, nothing has been replaced. At least 60 percent of the original paint remains. Representing both baseball and black memorabilia, it is a very desirable collectible. This bank has two shortcomings. The mechanism that pitches the penny to the catcher is not operational, and the stopper on the underside, which keeps the coins inside, is missing. It is likely that the mechanism could be refurbished to make the bank operational. Artist James Bowen designed this bank, which the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, CT, manufactured and distributed. There may not be any connection, but production of the bank coincides with the formation of the first black professional baseball league, the National Colored Base Ball League in 1887. The Antiques Roadshow values these banks in top condition at $25,000. This example is very collectible, and very affordable. Winning Bid $977.