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Earl Scruggs souvenir piggy bank?

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Apr 15, 2019 - 5:08:05 PM
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1285 posts since 3/27/2008

Hi Everyone,

I just came across an Earl Scruggs souvenir piggy bank.

Has anyone seen these before?

I believe (but am not sure) that they were available at Scruggs shows (or at least a “Scruggs and Friends” show in 2005 (a ticket stub, a signed banjo head and a Earl Scruggs signature baseball cap came with the piggy bank).

On the piggy bank, there is an etching that reads: “Earl Scruggs Memorial Bluegrass Banjo Pig” and “Pick Bank.”

The bottom of the bank is signed “Tipton 76,” so maybe it was created in 1976


Edited by - KD Banjer on 04/15/2019 17:32:53

Apr 15, 2019 - 6:01:13 PM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

And here is the bottom of the piggy bank, as well as the 2005 ticket stub that came with the bank.

However, the ticket stub is from 2005, and the bottom of the piggy bank is signed "76" (which I assume means 1976).


Apr 15, 2019 - 7:20:04 PM

1654 posts since 10/17/2013

WOW!

I'm going to sell both my Gibson banjos for one of those RARE Earl Scruggs piggy banks! 

NOW we finally know where Jim Mills stores his ancient cache of prewar cash! The secret is OUT!

We can now rid ourselves of the Verifyer for good. This photographed existence of the Earl Scruggs Souvenir Piggy Bank, renders all Verifyers null and void.

Apr 15, 2019 - 7:52:33 PM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by bluegrassbanjopicker

WOW!

I'm going to sell both my Gibson banjos for one of those RARE Earl Scruggs piggy banks! 

NOW we finally know where Jim Mills stores his ancient cache of prewar cash! The secret is OUT!

We can now rid ourselves of the Verifyer for good. This photographed existence of the Earl Scruggs Souvenir Piggy Bank, renders all Verifyers null and void.


Hey Luke...

Your bold fonted "WOW!" is throwing me off a bit...

Are they really not common, or VERY common . :)

I think I'll store my National "oval 8" picks in it... and maybe some buffalo nickels.

I'll trade you the piggy bank for only one of your Gibsons . :) .  (unless they are both 70s Gibsons... in that case, you'll have to throw in a third) .  

I feel like I should know what the "Verifyer," but I don't. Help me out, man . :)

Edited by - KD Banjer on 04/15/2019 19:55:24

Apr 15, 2019 - 7:58:37 PM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

Thanks, Luke for the tip... I did a little research and learned something:

"prewar flathead ring Verifyer"

https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/63644/1

Gotta have one   :)

Apr 15, 2019 - 8:02:50 PM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

I will trade a miniature 6" banjo (complete with a miniature PreWar tone ring and old growth one-room schoolhouse pencil conversion neck) for a Hoyt-Clagwell Prewar Flathead Verifier...

(described here: https://www.banjohangout.org/topic/346536)

Edited by - KD Banjer on 04/15/2019 20:19:14

Apr 16, 2019 - 3:46:13 AM

1737 posts since 1/4/2009

I’d love to have one.

Apr 16, 2019 - 4:45:42 AM

203 posts since 2/6/2018

One sold on eBay last week....came with a Earl hat and signed banjo head. Highest bidder got a little over $100. Came with tickets too. Was that you KD? ;-)

Apr 16, 2019 - 4:50:42 AM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

Kquote:
Originally posted by MoJoBanjo

One sold on eBay last week....came with a Earl hat and signed banjo head. Highest bidder got a little over $100. Came with tickets too. Was that you KD? ;-)


Hey Mark...

Yes, that was me.

I had never seen the piggy bank or the hat before, so I bid on them.

Have you heard of an ES piggy bank and the history behind them?  

Edited by - KD Banjer on 04/16/2019 04:59:29

Apr 16, 2019 - 5:30:09 AM
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203 posts since 2/6/2018

Congratulations! That was a nice set. No, like you, that was the first I had ever seen, so I'm just as curious as you. Maybe someone else with knowledge on this subject will chime in. Cool hat too. Never saw one like that as well. Great collection at a great price. Good job!

Apr 16, 2019 - 5:58:44 AM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by MoJoBanjo

Congratulations! That was a nice set. No, like you, that was the first I had ever seen, so I'm just as curious as you. Maybe someone else with knowledge on this subject will chime in. Cool hat too. Never saw one like that as well. Great collection at a great price. Good job!


Thanks, Mark.

The bidding price was very low until the last hour or so (I think I was the first bidder).

I wonder if the clay piggy bank (that was hand-signed by the artist on the bottom) was a short run or limited edition item sold at Scruggs shows.

Maybe someone who has attended some Scruggs shows, and had a look at the souvenir tables, can share their recollection.

Apr 16, 2019 - 6:04:27 AM

203 posts since 2/6/2018

Agree. I found nothing online to suggest differently - which would seem to validate your suspision of a one off or very short run. One of a kind! Now you can retire! ;-)

Still, super cool.

Apr 16, 2019 - 6:05:20 AM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

by the way, I just looked up the address on the ticket, and it is the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.

From the photos I saw online, looks like a big place.

Apr 16, 2019 - 6:08:21 AM

1700 posts since 12/31/2005
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What leads you to believe that the Scruggs family sold these at shows? Looks like a collection of Earl Scruggs stuff from a fan, who might have made the pig in his honor. The heads were sold at shows in the 2000's. I got one of those in Cherokee. I remember they bought a lot of perhaps Remo seconds and he sold a lot of those. The tickets are from 2005 so that is consistent. (This was the tour where, three months later, he walked off the side of the stage in Myrtle Beach and fell the hard ground (that was terrifying). I do not remember them selling items at the MB show. That, plus the fact that the pig is dated almost 30 years before makes me think it was not an item they sold, but a piece of folk art someone created.

Apr 16, 2019 - 6:13:35 AM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by MoJoBanjo

Agree. I found nothing online to suggest differently - which would seem to validate your suspision of a one off or very short run. One of a kind! Now you can retire! ;-)

Still, super cool.


 

Yes, Mark...

This could be the Mona Lisa of Earl Scruggs collectables .  ;)

But, seriously, I'm guessing it was a short run of piggy banks that someone offered to Earl (or Louise Scruggs) to seel at some shows.

I've been keeping a close eye on Earl Scruggs collectables, and have never seen it before.

Apr 16, 2019 - 6:17:45 AM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Murphy

What leads you to believe that the Scruggs family sold these at shows? Looks like a collection of Earl Scruggs stuff from a fan, who might have made the pig in his honor. The heads were sold at shows in the 2000's. I got one of those in Cherokee. I remember they bought a lot of perhaps Remo seconds and he sold a lot of those. The tickets are from 2005 so that is consistent. (This was the tour where, three months later, he walked off the side of the stage in Myrtle Beach and fell the hard ground (that was terrifying). I do not remember them selling items at the MB show. That, plus the fact that the pig is dated almost 30 years before makes me think it was not an item they sold, but a piece of folk art someone created.


Hi Brian...

It's great to hear your memories of that time period of shows.

You might be right that it was a one-of-a-kind folk art item.

The reason why I think that it is very possible that the piggy bank was sold at a show is that all of the 3 items (2 of which we know were sold at shows) came with the 2005 ticket.

That clay pig does not look easy to make.

It seems like it would take a pretty good potter to form the round clay body of the pig (without any visible seams) and assemble the other sections of the pig.

And if the piggy bank is folk art, the artist did a really high quality job in stamping the letters in the clay with pre-made letter type stamps.

I wonder if anyone might have an idea who "Tipton" was... Was there a Tipton associated with Earl?

Edited by - KD Banjer on 04/16/2019 06:24:50

Apr 16, 2019 - 6:35:46 AM

1285 posts since 3/27/2008

p.s... I just emailed the seller to see if they have any info on the origin of the piggy bank.

Apr 16, 2019 - 7:41:38 PM

168 posts since 10/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by KD Banjer

...That clay pig does not look easy to make.

It seems like it would take a pretty good potter to form the round clay body of the pig (without any visible seams) and assemble the other sections of the pig.

And if the piggy bank is folk art, the artist did a really high quality job in stamping the letters in the clay with pre-made letter type stamps.

I wonder if anyone might have an idea who "Tipton" was... Was there a Tipton associated with Earl?

 


No expert here but the body looks hand slung on a wheel.  That's why the perfect concentric rings around the body,  which could have been wheeled out if wanted,  but obviously left for effect.  The base,  ears,  ribbon,  and tail (if it has one) would have been stuck on after shaping the body,  while the clay was still green and before firing.   Same with the lettering -- while green and before firing.  Notice he got a little heavy handed around the "BANJO" area and made a bit of an impression there in the still wet mud--an easy fix if he wanted to take the time. 

About the signature:  My brother took an art class in high school where he spent a lot of time behind the (potter's) wheel,   turning out beaucoup pots,  vases,  and the like.  Some of it was ribbed,  just like your pig's body,  and some smooth.  I think I still have a piece or two around here somewhere,  and I know he still does.  But on every piece's bottom,  he would scratch in his name and date with a stylus,  so it must be de rigueur for the craft's people who do it. 

Searching "Tipton's pottery",  I found 2 Tipton's but only one old enough to have cranked this out:

[quote]

Tipton’s pottery shop built brick by brick

CORTEZ -- When Scott Tipton graduated from Fort Lewis College in the late 1970s, his father gave him a simple choice.

He could either earn his keep with a shovel working for the family’s construction company, or he could figure out another way to make ends meet.

Tipton chose the second option.

And 31 years later, the Republican who spends his spare time trying to unseat U.S. Rep. John Salazar, still owns and operates Mesa Verde Pottery on the edge of town where it greets tourists coming in from Durango and the nearby national park of the same name.  ...

https://www.chieftain.com/article/20101019/NEWS/310199945

[/quote]

(This article is about 9 years old,  BTW)

Graduating from college in the late seventies,  he could have made this in a college art class.  It does have a rather amatuerish look about it.  

Then again,  it could be another Tipton altogether,  albeit one who didn't stay with it.  In either case,  I think it's a one off,  in which case it's unique but not really worth all that much.  Still a very cool item,  nonetheless.  (I'll give you 5 bucks for it.)

Apr 18, 2019 - 5:35:51 AM
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Players Union Member

1965

USA

97 posts since 2/26/2017

Saw this gumball machine online and got excited....thinking to myself "Man, I've got to find one of these". Turns out it's a manufactured "fantasy" piece. Still think it's kind of neat though.


 

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