Coin-op amusements news | Old amusement machines under the hammer

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Selling over 100 lots of antique arcade machines and fairground equipment in Goole, Yorkshire, UK, has fetched high prices.

The sale on Friday saw part of the famous collection assembled by the late John Gresham go under the hammer.

Gresham was a unique character, an escapist and fire eater who performed for years in circuses, music halls and fairs in the United Kingdom. He died in 1994 but not before having, upon retirement, built up his collection.

It got so big that he bought the old Ritz Cinema in Pocklington, Yorkshire to house it and it was opened at the Penny Arcadia, Amusement Machine Museum. The museum closed after Gresham’s death and much of his collection was sold, but his family kept some of it.

Among the pieces sold was an 1880s coin operated Polyphon musical automaton with nine records sold for £ 1,900 and a US-made “scintillator” machine by Esco for £ 350. Other pieces included an Edwardian oak stereoscope with “female figures” sold for £ 700 and a late 19th century US-made clam-shell mutoscope (pictured) by the American Mutoscope Company which is sold for £ 2,700.

Slot machines, fantasy games, early video games, vending machines and fairground art were also sold.

The sale was led by auctioneers Spicer de Goole.

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