In our recent visit to the 65th anniversary of the Winter Antiques Show (now just called ‘The Winter Show’) at the splendid Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue, we were not really planning on buying anything, just looking. In one booth we were attracted to a beautiful standing lamp with a brilliant colored Tiffany glass shade, which it turned out was selling “for only $650,000.” Dazed, we moved on to a white, brightly-lit double-sized booth filled with tin and iron toys and were particularly attracted to an eight-inch high tin-litho Mickey Mouse bank manufactured in Germany in 1931 by Tip and Company. This same bank is pictured in our book Disneyana—Classic Collectibles 1928-1958, which was published in 1994 by Hyperion, Disney’s then brand new publishing house. When you push down one of Mickey’s ears his red tongue emerges for a child to place a penny. Pushing the ears again, Mickey then swallows the coin and closes his mouth, but not before exhibiting a toothy grin and showing off his teeth. On the back of the bank was printed this slogan: “Smile Please—If you only pull my ear, You will see a tongue appear—Place a coin upon my tongue, Save your money while you’re young.” Never having owned this bank when we were kids or followed its’ slogan, it was no surprise that we were unable to come up with the purchase price quoted by the dealer of $40,000. We moved on, vowing to increase our savings plans for next year’s visit.
—Robert Heide and John Gilman