Harrah’s New Slots Are Likely to Draw a Large Number of Celebrities

Mill’s 5-cent Duplex floor wheel machine, circa 1899; originally owned by Harrah; the asking price was $108,000. a photograph of Morphy Auctions

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Most people associate Las Vegas with the name Harrah’s, namely William F. Harrah (1911-1978), the visionary founder of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos. When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of Harrah’s. In light of this, it should come as no surprise that antique and vintage gambling machines from Harrah’s personal collection fetched six-figure prices at the Victorian Casino Antiques auction held on September 19-21, 2014 – the first event held by VCA following Morphy Auctions’ acquisition of VCA in August. The high-profile show grossed $2,381,700 (all prices include a 20% buyer’s premium), and the Harrah collection was responsible for a considerable percentage of the top-ranking works.

“There is no disputing the fact that Harrah’s gambling machines were responsible for bringing in the guests.” They decided to go shopping once they arrived and ended up buying more goods. The VCA’s president, Peter Sidlow, stated that the collection was a very effective drawcard. Despite the fact that over 350 people attended the event, phone bidders and Internet bidders proved to be some of the most competitive competitors.

“Many things were sold to foreign bidders,” Sidlow stated. We are currently en route to a number of countries, including Belgium, Germany, and England.

The Harrah’s Caille 25-cent roulette floor machine, manufactured in 1904 and encased in a beautiful wood box with superb repousse nickel-plated ornamentation, received first place out of 1,700 distinct pieces. It was purchased by an American collector for $212,500, which was much higher than the projected price range of $150,000-$175,000.

An extremely elegant and well-maintained Mills 5-cent Duplex floor wheel machine that was previously part of the Harrah’s collection sold for $108,000, which was within estimate. The machine was manufactured in 1899. An additional uncommon upright slot machine, a Mills 50-cent “20th Century” slot machine, achieved the higher end of its estimate range with a winning offer of $42,000.

A 1912 Mills 5-cent upright Violano Virtuoso was presented at the auction, offering a musical accompaniment to the auction while also showcasing the unique attributes that led to it being named one of the “Eight Greatest Inventions of the Decade” in its day. It obtained a higher-than-expected final price of $51,600, which was higher than the presale prediction.

Mills designed a number of countertop variants, including an ornate version of their Busy Bee from circa 1901. The remarkable condition of the one-of-a-kind specimen for sale at VCA’s event meant that it still kept its original bee-decorated wheel. By reaching $44,400, it more than doubled the top prediction. Another sought-after economic booster, a five-reel poker machine made by Royal Novelty Co. in 1902 and promising prizes in the shape of cigars, sold for a hefty $33,000 at the end of its bidding session.

A completely operating and all-original Mills & Hoke table-model bell slot machine, dubbed “Trap the Snake” and made circa 1929, was on display. The machine was decorated with eye-catching serpent artwork and skill stops. It easily outperformed its high forecast, earning $45,000, which Sidlow believes is the biggest sum ever paid for a three-reel slot machine.

The Clawson Slot Machine Co. of Newark, New Jersey, produced an entertainment machine called the 5-cent Automatic Dice Fortune Teller. The machine was in excellent original shape and came complete with its vertical stand. It sold for $60,000, more than double the high estimate.

Collectors of advertising memorabilia and country shop objects had an inexhaustible supply of one-of-a-kind items to choose from. An exceptionally beautiful specimen of an antique Angldile Springless Automatic Scale, with a sign proclaiming “Honest Weight,” commanded double its high estimate and then some, netting the bidder $5,100. A $7,800 bid was placed on a painted figural statue measuring 7 feet 8 inches tall and representing the iconic Big Boy restaurant mascot “running” with a massive burger in his hands. The statue was created somewhat later in the twentieth century.

Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, has stated his complete satisfaction with the results of Morphy and VCA’s maiden collaboration. He was also delighted with the way the Las Vegas and Pennsylvania flagship teams collaborated as part of a single undivided effort.

“When my colleagues and I landed in Las Vegas, we were greeted with open arms.” “I think it’s safe to say that we succeeded,” Morphy said. “We went there with one goal in mind – to join forces with the VCA team and give the best auction possible,” he said, adding, “and we achieved it.”

“We don’t want Victorian Casino to change anything about the way they do their sales now that they’re running under the Morphy brand,” Morphy continued, “since their methods have been quite effective in the past, and they’re actually pretty similar to our own.” “We don’t want Victorian casinos to change anything about how they handle sales now that they’re under the Morphy name.” “When it came to the production of the initial joint sale, there were not many substantial modifications in approach.” Their business model is fully compatible with the way Morphy’s has traditionally conducted its operations. They uphold the same high standards for product quality and customer service as we do here at Morphy’s headquarters in Pennsylvania.