Estimate: $6,000 - $12,000
Coney Island The Cheating Chimps automaton, this complex mechanical device was a major attention getter on the boardwalk in Coney Island, New York. The Coney Island History Project (https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/ask-mr-coney/lillie-santangelos-world-wax) is a font of knowledge on all matters Coney Island and mentions this automaton noting that it was in the front window of Lillie Santangelo’s World in Wax, a major attraction in Coney Island from the 1920s until 1984 and was titled “The Cheating Cheaters”. Mr. Fox carefully restored it to operational condition: each figure moves their heads while raising their hands to bid. Other animations portray the “cheating” – the stack of poker chips under the arm of the figure on the left grows and diminishes during play, while an extra card appears out of the table leg next to the chimp on the right, overall height – 57″, base – 78″ w., 29″ d.
The mechanism is in full working order but the main drive belt has stretched and needs replacement for full functionality. Light wear to fur coats and composition heads.