Morphy Auctions hit the jackpot during its May 1 to 3 sale in Las Vegas when a Caille Brothers Co. Peerless 5-cent floor roulette slot machine realized $300,000.
The embellished nickel-on-oak slot machine was the top dollar getter in the sale of antique coin-operated machines, gambling machines and advertising memorabilia that brought a combined $3.7 million, according to the auction firm.
Among the other mechanical slot machines that brought strong prices were:
➤ An imposing 70-inch-tall deluxe model Mills Duplex upright slot machine made in 1899, retaining its colorful original tin wheel, and is, like the Caille Peerless, one of the best preserved of all known survivors, $108,000.
➤ A circa-1912 Caille Silver Cup 5-cent slot machine, $47,000.
Peter Sidlow, president of Morphy’s Las Vegas Division, said the Caille Peerless slot machine is considered the “Holy Grail” among mechanical slot machines.
The record-setting example is the finest among approximately 30 examples known and is original, without having been subjected to any professional restoration, Sidlow said. The machines were built to be used in gaming play so most examples known have considerable wear.
The machine has a multicolored roulette wheel behind glass on the top of the machine, and players could chose from up to seven slots into which to insert a 5-cent coin, with the pay-out odds listed for each. Sidlow said a player could insert coins into each slot.
After insertion of a coin or coins, turning the crank on the right side of the machine triggers the roulette wheel to rotate and also ejects a ball that will drop into a slot on the wheel once the wheel stops. If the ball drops into one of the slots for which a player has placed a bet, the slot machine will release the jackpot into the tray below.