Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

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treefrog
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Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by treefrog »

Without meaning to upset those who think no-one noticed, two nice working models are up for auction at SAS in three weeks. These have been online for a while and very well described. I wonder where these came from, private collection or a business.

“Problem” by Canova, as described:
A unique early 20th century Vincent Canova of Birmingham Penny in the Slot working model ‘Problem’ arcade machine, in wooden countertop case, original top flash, ‘Drop Penny in the Slot and see the Results’, figures with wax heads, on inserting coin figures rock the cradle, sit up in bed, male and female figures rock babies in arms and then nurse appears with yet another baby, works on pre-decimal pennies.

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“Operating Theatre “ by Nicholson:
A unique Nicholson of Blackpool Penny in the Slot working model ‘The Operating Theatre’ arcade machine circa 1935, in original floor standing wooden case with coloured timber and moulding, black painted panels and cast-iron lion feet, on inserting coin nurse works suction, blood comes down the tube and patient’s feet extend, cutlery appears from open wound and then reverts to the beginning, spectators in balcony including judge, works on old shilling coin.

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The operating theatre is bizarre. The surgeon looks like he is drinking red wine or blood. There is a large carboy on the right for some reason and what is that ray gun on the left? :HaHa:
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JC
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by JC »

Problem” by Nicholson, as described:
“Operating Theatre “ by Vincent Canova:
Tom, you should perhaps edit your post, as you have Canova and Nicholson the wrong way round :didact:
* Now corrected in original post - Site Admin.

The Operating Theatre is very interesting, as I have seen another - possibly the same machine, but I have doubts. John Hayward had such a model in the basement of his place in Edward Street, Brighton. He had apparently been told it was an Ahrens machine but I recall he thought it might not be - I certainly took the view at the time that it was very unlikely. This was many years ago and I really wish I'd taken pictures. My memory of the machine is vague, but I'm pretty sure it was significantly different to the one above (although I do remember the patient's legs grew during the course of the machine's cycle). Does anyone know what happened to this and whatever else John had in the basement? (mostly junk, as I recall).
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treefrog
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

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I thought it might have been my cutting and pasting, but taken as is from auction description. Don’t own a copy of the Automatum book by Darren Heskith as they always sell for good money, but apparently mentioned in these :!?!: My knowledge of working models is as good as my knowledge of 18th century Chippingdale furniture.
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by pennymachines »

Shouldn't that be Chippendale? :lol:
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treefrog
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by treefrog »

pennymachines wrote: Mon Jun 05, 2023 5:54 pm Shouldn't that be Chippendale? :lol:
Exactly, I am clueless…. :#:
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by treefrog »

By the way, those who follow Carters may have noticed another auction at their Maidenhead yard. Although the slots are gone, lots of stuf is being cleared……waiting for final catelogue as may go along. It is in July….

Funny my first slots auction when I started collecting was at their yard in 2008, I saw JC for the first time there, only wish I had bought something, but was very green
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moonriver
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by moonriver »

Quite a few later additions made to this Nicholson model, but then there were a few characters of the day making up missing parts in working models thinking nobody would notice, and doing so without much creative skill,
and even passing off their own complete creations.
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by JC »

I saw JC for the first time there....
Is that me or Joby Carter? If me, I'm rather chuffed that you remember - I hope first impressions were favourable :cool:
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daveslot
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by daveslot »

I bought the Nicholson out of John's basement. I believe he got it from Roger Gillman when it was advertised in his newsletter in the 1980s. I sold it decades ago, but it looks exactly the same as I remember. It's even got the figure of a character from Ghostbusters which John had placed on the balcony to amuse the kids as he had planned to operate it.
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by JC »

Thanks Dave, so it is the same one - as I said above, my memory is vague. Was it working when you acquired it? I recall John reckoned there was quite a bit of work to do to get it operating, but I might have got that wrong too :!?!:
Did you have the John Bull that was down in the basement? That's about all I can remember John had, other than half a dozen or so German electro-mechs that I took to one of the early Coventry auctions for him.
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by daveslot »

I can't remember if I tried it. The John Bull was there but was promised to someone else, but looked incomplete.
I did later buy his French Domino, a lovely machine, which he said was the first machine he bought.
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by sweetmeats »

I really hope the buyer of these models viewed them before he bid as the pictures gave a misleading idea of their condition. The Canova case seemed to have no way of opening and the Operating Theatre had been heavily and poorly restored. Despite this they sold for hammer prices of £4400 and £5000 plus the ex's. I would think at least 100% more than they were worth and if sold in a specialist auction. The Dracula 1960 model made £2700+. I believe a similar one sold about a year ago for a little over a £1000. I am sure someone will know the exact price.
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Re: Nicholson “Operating Theatre” & Canova “Problem”

Post by moonriver »

Plenty more where these have come from, and testing the water, with let's say some of the models chosen to go first seems to have had a desirable result!
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