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Antique Early Gambling Folk Art Gaming Device, Holtz

$3,500

About the Item

An exceptionally scarce antique American Folk Art gambling triple stacked wooden arrow spindle spinning wheel gaming device from the late 19th / early 20th century. Believed to be a prototype or for a similar lesser known model of the important, very rare and unusual T. F. HOLTZ made "Three Arrow Trade Stimulator" circa 1896, (displayed in the American Antique Museum, reference L2016.2501.010) Theodore Holtz of San Francisco and early slot machine pioneer Charles Fey's partner in 1894, forming their first partnership as Holtz and Fey Electric Works. For this particular game, upon depositing your nickel and pressing the lever, three arrows will spin on the front dial and if all three stop on the same marker you win. Trade stimulators were countertop or freestanding amusement gaming machines widely used to encourage shoppers to indulge in a game of chance. They became popular in American saloon bar-rooms during the 1880s, their use spreading to cigar, confectionery and general store retail, later to carnivals, casino, traveling country fair, amusement parks, boardwalk game boards, circus shows, fundraiser or charity give away prize wheels, etc. Although modelled after other gambling devices, these machines were legal since in theory they offered prizes in the form of cigars, stamps or chewing gum rather than money. Produced in a wide range of designs, they were developed during the same era as slot machines and were operated by inserting a coin and pulling a lever, the player standing to win prizes of cigars, cigarettes, candy and other goods if a winning combination came up. Often set beside a cash register or near check-out counters, these machines encouraged (or "stimulated") customers to take their chance and spend some of their spare change before leaving. After inserting a coin, a handle was depressed or cranked to set into motion a roulette wheel, playing cards or dice. When the machine stopped, the patron read his "winnings" on the dial(s); these were dispensed by the clerk rather than spilling out of the machine itself. This high quality, well made, game of chance spinner features three hand carved and painted richly detailed solid Maple arrows, with long curved metal claw pointer, graduated in size, stacked over a central standard spindle, each with its own bearing, smoothly and freely moving independent of the other two, on a painted black heavy cast iron dome base, with later mounted metal bracket for securely attaching or wall hanging. It's very sturdy, stable, and structurally sound, rustic patina, organically distressed, mildly chippy paint finish, acquired from over a century of wear and age. Ideal proportions to display by wall hanging, the wonderful example is warm, rustically distressed attractive, interesting and full of character, charm and historic depth, highly desirable and sought after by early gambling collectors, amusement game collectors and classic Americana folk art collections. Dimensions: 23" Wide/Diameter, 6.5" Deep/Tall Base: 6" Diameter.
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 6.5 in (16.51 cm)Diameter: 23 in (58.42 cm)
  • Style:
    Folk Art (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques:
  • Period:
  • Date of Manufacture:
    19th Century
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading. It's very sturdy, stable, and structurally sound, rustic patina, organically distressed, mildly chippy paint finish, acquired from over a century of wear and age.
  • Seller Location:
    Forney, TX
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU5977227205522

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    Ships From: Forney, TX
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About the Seller
4.4
Located in Forney, TX
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