Lot 627: A MACABRE MECHANICAL ''SKELETON IN A COFFIN'' FAIRGROUND AIRGUN TARGET,
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
A MACABRE MECHANICAL ''SKELETON IN A COFFIN'' FAIRGROUND AIRGUN TARGET,
almost certainly pre World War Two and probably Showman produced but competently made, featuring a 20in. long pine coffin of realistic shape and fitted with authentic side-handles, the lid split lengthways with each half operating on coil springs, the interior with a flip-up iron skeleton with loose chain arms and legs (chains renewed), the action of the lid opening thrusting the skeleton forwards to stand upright in the coffin, the lid halves held shut by a locking catch released by hitting a small circular target positioned in front of a steel backplate, the plate now crudely painted with a bullseye and the legend ''POOR OLD JOHN, SHOT TO DEATH'', (the hardwood skeleton head with losses and heavy pellet damage, original painted finish worn)
Other Notes: The back plate of this target almost certainly originally supported a large circular bell which would ring if the centre release was missed. Once activated, shooting the skeleton in the head would make it fall back, but the lid would have to be manually reset.