Harper Vending Machines

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treefrog
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Harper Vending Machines

Post by treefrog »

I have seen a few 4 column Harper vending machines for sale over the years, big lumps with a lovely art deco look, enamel sign at the bottom and a built in clock, but today at a Suffolk auction local to me was the first 2 column version I had seen. Much more practical size and this one had a brass finish on the front the rest being chrome/stainless steel. The size was perfect, very slim. I believe they all light up, including the lower sign and in the flesh looked much nicer than I expected.Knowing everything is on-line these days, I knew it would not be cheap, but set my self a limit if with the low £100 to £200 estimate. While waiting around I over heard another buyer talking about it and that they wanted it, what they may be willing to go to etc, I think I heard the numbers £600, I had originally been hoping for £400......well we ended in a bidding war and auction fever took over both of us.........

I found myself at £1300 and suddenly realised I had lost all sense of reality and the other bidder had paused, panic set in for a moment, then one more bid to £1350 from my opposition......boy the relief.....Still lovely machines
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jimmy55
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by jimmy55 »

At least you made the vendor happy TF ..... lucky escape!
ilovemyjukebox
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by ilovemyjukebox »

I sat at home waiting to bid on the machine and had the same sort of limit as you. When it took off I couldn't believe it.
You had a lucky escape methinks.

I had extra pictures sent to me and it looked like there was some serious damage at the back. Might just have been the photo angle.

As for the brass finish Harpers are notorious for poor chrome. Every door I have seen has pealed. This is what has happened with this one and someone has decided to strip it rather than re-chrome it.

Never-the-less a very nice machine ... Would have looked lovely next to a BMR Cigarette machine I have that also has the art deco clock in the top.. But not for £1500 plus..

Dave
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treefrog
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by treefrog »

Yes, yet again I wake up feeling lucky, this would have been over £1600 after commission. To be honest, if I had paid £600, that would have been too much. The other bidder was an antique dealer, had seen him on the rounds before. Suspect he thought I knew what I was doing, rather than just being an insane old fool.

The finish looked original and much better in the flesh. I am surprised they would use chrome. The sides were definitely polished/stainless steel panels, like BDR vendors. It had been messed with though, rewired and the top did not fit properly, but I guess when or how long till you will see another. Seen at least four 4 column types over the last 18 months, but they are way too big and sell for way less than £500.

Another day I guess....
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treefrog
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by treefrog »

Well maybe we are all wrong......just found the very same machine at a Christies auction on 3rd September with an estimate from £3500 to £4500.... :shock:

http://www.christies.com/zmags/?ZmagsPu ... JumptoLot=
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operator bell
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by operator bell »

Nah... The Christies guy was sitting at the back of the room taking notes and thought to himself "well if Stuart was willing to go to $1300, that's good enough for me. I'll just triple his estimate, otherwise our clients won't even look at it."
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treefrog
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by treefrog »

Yes, you're right, but just looking at other items you realise how crazy the prices are. There are two '70s pinball machines with estimates up to £15000 each...ha ha ha, crazy people and crazy idiots who will be going to that auction.... Having said that, perhaps a go place to stick a few slots if they reach these prices, even with the 30% commission.
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operator bell
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by operator bell »

The same thought has occurred to me - I could sell that old Gottlieb I have in the garage and pay my mortgage for a year and a bit. Clearly there are a lot of wealthy idiots around - the problem is finding one when you need one. But there are places they tend to hang out when they're not at Christies and Sothebys. One is Etsy, where stuff often fetches twice or more what it sells for on Ebay. Incidentally, you can sell "antiques" on Etsy, and I wonder if it might be a good place to unload old bandits without the Ebay hassles? Another is Kickstarter, though there you really need to be making things. I make nixie clocks, and I can't give them away on Ebay, but I've seen people raise truly absurd amounts of money on Kickstarter, raising $20,000 or more for a run of 25 squalid, ugly clocks that nobody with any taste would allow in their house.
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

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treefrog
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Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by treefrog »

Well only just got around to check the results on this auction and the pinballs made their estimates with the Mata Hari making 15k.....and the Harpers Vendor made £6250 30% more than top estimate........well that is a profit of £2500 after commission, well I'm blown :burp:
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