ANTIQUE TOY BANKS featured  mechanical banks manufactured in the United States in the 1800s.

Made of brightly painted cast iron or tin, these toy banks often depicted animals and people in whimsical settings and situations. The insertion of coins activated fascinating mechanical movements, entertaining children while instilling the value of saving for the future. This collection was a gift to Mingei International Museum from the Thomas W. Sefton Trust.

The exhibition was accompanied by a five-minute video of the same name.


On View: Apr 22, 2006 - Oct 01, 2006

More Exhibitions


Indonesian Shadow Puppets

An intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery featuring a selection of shadow puppets from Indonesia.

July 19, 2017 - March 18, 2018Closes soon



Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal

Featuring approximately 40 kantha (decorative stitched quilting made from recycled sari) from the Museum's permanent collection.

October 28, 2017 - March 25, 2018Closes soon


Weaving a Path

Navajo Women and the Feminine Ethos

December 9, 2017 - May 20, 2018


Voluminous Art

Treasures from San Diego's University Libraries

March 10, 2018 - September 3, 2018