Rare Victorian - Caille Eclipse Upright Antique Slot Machine

Caille Eclipse Upright Antique Slot Machine

rsz 2360 1 lg Caille Eclipse Upright Antique Slot Machine

rsz 2360 1 lg Caille Eclipse Upright Antique Slot MachineWhat I wouldn’t give to have one of these antique slot machines sitting amongst my Victorian antiques in the parlor.  I’m in the process of selling my ca. 1999 pool table whose removal will open a new swath of floor real estate for Victorian antiques!

If I wanted antique slot machines to take some of that space, I’d need to be prepared to spend between $54,000 and $108,000, which is the expected price range for the sale of this one according to governmentauction.com.

Slot Machine History

Sittman and Pitt invented a five drum gambling machine in 1891 that represented a deck of 50 cards due to the popularity of poker at the time.  It is considered the precursor to modern gambling machines.  When a customer won on these machines, they may have been offered a cigar or beer as payment, but that was obviously awarded by a human.

Charles Fey provided the revolutionary changes to the slot machine design that provided for automatic payment by the machine itself by employing 3 drums instead of 5, greatly reducing the number of winning permutations.  This was the famous Liberty Bell model which included a cracked Liberty Bell as one of the images in the reels.

According to Slot Machine Resource:

There are some who say he invented the first mechanical slot machine in 1887, four years BEFORE Sittman and Pitt’s machine hit the bars of New York. There are others who state that Fey conceived his innovation in 1895, four years AFTER Sittman and Pitt’s machine. It is the year 1895 however, that seems to prove more popular with gambling history enthusiasts. Regardless of the chronology, Fey’s invention was revolutionary.

The Caille Eclipse will be sold today starting at $10,000.  Judging from other machines I’ve Googled, it is probably from 1898-1907.

img history liberty bell big Caille Eclipse Upright Antique Slot Machine

From Slotsdoc.com

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  • james conrad - December 28, 2008

    ” I’m in the process of selling my ca. 1999 pool table ”

    You mean 1899?

  • RareVictorian - December 28, 2008

    Nope, 1999. http://flickr.com/photos/67005936@N00/sets/72157607471522286

    Don’t use it enough to warrant having it.

    Only getting about 1/3 of what I paid for all of it, though. Massive depreciation is part of the reason I now buy antique furniture…

  • woodwright - December 29, 2008

    Very nice. It sold for $18,900.00 (+BP) – significantly less than it’s estimate. I know old slot machines are highly collectible and can bring big money. woodwright

  • RareVictorian - December 29, 2008

    Yeah, governmentauction.com has a habit of putting an outsized range on what I’ve seen from them in past.

  • Jeff - December 29, 2008

    My primary interest is upright slot machines of this vintage, the Victorian furniture I have is just to highlight them! The best place to pick these up is at Peter Sidlow’s “Victorian Casino Antiques Auction” held twice a year in Las Vegas. They are pricey, but beautiful and fun.

  • RareVictorian - December 31, 2008

    Jeff, thanks for the tip and welcome to the site. Some day when I hit it big on Blackjack in Vegas I’ll go down the street and buy one of these!

  • Gary - March 26, 2010


    I was online and saw your great display and site. I was wondering if might be able to direct me please to someone (possibly you) who can give me a manufacturer and full details of the gambling wheel called a “Bee Hive” please? I located a version of it in the 1911 booklet Protection. It tells a little of the presentation, but not what the gimmick does. I have a friend who has one that has a “button” located in the center of one of the sides of the Bee Hive base frame. I can push the button with my thumb and it does sound like it is moving something in the center (most likely, displacing a steel ball to another place) where the ball drops down before leaving the nest of the hive. This unit has places where the money is slipped in clips. Possibly, the hold button stops the ball from going to where the big money is or alters its course. I just don’t know if it needs to be pushed in to do this or left out until you want to make the stop. I would lean toward having it pushed in until you want the person to win. The unit comes with four 1/2″ steel balls.

    I figured you would be the best person to ask since you have been surrounded by these great ideas of the past.

    I appreciate any assistance for locating the instructions for the Bee Hive. Also, if there is any record of who manufactured the items too.

    Thank you in advance,


    • John Werry - March 26, 2010

      I’d have to see photos of it to be able to help. Can you send them to me?

  • Fernando Sousa - March 3, 2013

    I have a Caille I want to sell, can someone help me find a new owner?

    thank you

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