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Antiques Considered - August 12, 2009

A piggy bank collector in the Northern Neck recently purchased this one on a business trip at a thrift shop for $1.99.  At the cash register healt received a 15% senior discount.  It is brown pottery, with traces of red underneath.  It is in excellent condition, and shows very little sign of wear.  He considers it to be a great find, and says it was the only good thing he found in the huge store.  He thinks it has one coin inside.
This piggy bank appears to be Pennsylvania redware, and, if so, dates from the mid-nineteenth century.  The modeling and coloration are quite nice, and the condition is astounding.  I say that because piggy banks were not made for lasting beauty, but to encourage children to save change, with the ultimate thought that the bank would be smashed to retrieve the money.
 Sadly, most such banks met that fate, thus decreasing the supply, and, for collectors, thereby increasing the value.  This one appears not to have been used, which accounts for its pristine condition.
Banks have been popular for decades, and good ceramic ones fetch great prices.  This one seems almost too good to be true, with no chips, cracks or other indications of use.  I do not think it is a reproduction, but even if it is, the price was a true bargain.  As a reproduction it is worth $25., but as an original, ten times that amount.
This discovery proves that one never knows what lies around the corner in a rummage shop.  If one is willing to go through the morass of "stuff" hidden treasures might appear, all of which enhances the excitement of the hunt.  From the photograph this item seems to be authentic, and if it is, it was more than worth the effort.
Happy Antiquing...

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