Posts Tagged ‘David Silverman’

United Tropicana Pinball Machine

Backglass of United Tropicana Pinball Machine, 1948. Lot #12, Silverman Collection via Morphy’s Auctions. Estimate $2,000-$2,500

In 2011, ATZ’s feature for Games Magazine on places where you can play vintage pinball year round included the then-new National Pinball Museum in Washington D.C. The museum showcased some of the more than 800 games from founder David Silverman’s 35-year collection, including a 19th century pinball precursor, vintage woodrail games and modern, solid-state machines.

The museum, which later moved to Baltimore, closed its doors after losing its lease again last year. In August, Silverman told the Baltimore Sun that without investors coming to his rescue or a reasonable long-term lease, he’d have to sell off his pinball machines. Silverman’s collection is now up for auction in a series of sales at Morphy’s Auctions starting with a February 21 sale that includes 75 machines. Pre-sale estimates range from $600 to $3,500.

Bank a Ball Pinball Machine

Backglass of Gottlieb Bank a Ball Pinball Machine, 1950. Lot #13, Silverman Collection via Morphy’s Auctions. Estimate $2,500-$3,000

Highlights within the introductory grouping include Lot 13, a 1950 Gottlieb Bank A Ball, with a $2,500-$3,000 estimate; Lot 15, a Gottlieb Sittin Pretty, $2,500-$3,000; Lot 17, a Gottlieb Knock-Out, $3,000-$5,000; and Lot 66, a Bally Revenge From Mars, $3,000-$3,500. Online bidding is available via the Pennsylvania auction house’s website and live auctioneers.

Coronation Pinball Machine

Backglass of Gottlieb Coronation Pinball Machine, 1952. Lot #18, Silverman Collection via Morphy’s Auctions. Estimate $2,000-$3000

Some of the games took their inspiration from historical events such as a 1952 Gottlieb Coronation Pinball Machine released in anticipation of the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II which took place on June 2, 1953.

Pop culture phenoms also gave birth to pinball machines. The TV show “I Love Lucy” became the 1954 Lovely Lucy Pinball Machine. Both Coronation and Lovely Lucy feature original backglass and playfield art by Leroy Parker, whose work emblazoned Gottlieb machines for more than 30 years.

On the 50th anniversary of the Beatles, let’s not forget Williams Beat Time Pinball Machine (1967), a Beatles-themed game that was called the Bootles due to copyright laws. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

UPDATE April 26, 2014:

Day two of Morphy’s April 26-27 auction will open with the company’s second offering of pinball machines from the 35-year David Silverman collection, previously displayed at the National Pinball Museum. Film-related machines lead the grouping, with a 1993 Williams “Indiana Jones” pinball estimated at $6,500-$7,500; and a 1992 “Creature from the Black Lagoon” with fantastic artwork by Kevin O’Connor, expected to reach $4,500-$6,000. Other notable lots include two Gottlieb pinball machines: a rare, low-production 1950s “Buffalo Bill,” $2,000-$2,500; and a 1952 “All-Star Basketball,” $1,500-$2,000. Bidding is available online via Live Auctioneers.

Beat Time Pinball Machine

Backglass of Williams Beatles-themed Beat Time Pinball Machine, 1967. Lot #35, Silverman Collection via Morphy’s Auctions. Estimate $1,000-$1,500


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National Pinball Museum Set to Open in Baltimore on January 14. NPM Photo

Last summer, Washington’s D.C.’s National Pinball Museum invited pinball fans to “come out and play until the flippers fall off” after losing their lease at a Georgetown shopping mall. Now the relocated museum is set to open in downtown Baltimore on January 14.

Pinball collector David Silverman’s 12,000-square-foot museum houses a collection of over 100 pinball machines, including a 19th century pinball precursor, vintage woodrail games and modern, solid-state machines.

“Education is a big part of the museum,” says Silverman, whose background is in art, education, and landscape design. Over the past 30 years, he has amassed a collection of more than 800 pinball machines. The Museum was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1998. “We have a walk-through exhibit of different types of games, so people can get a sense of pinball’s rich history,” the collector told ATZ.

National Pinball Museum

Exhibit at National Pinball Museum. NPM Photo

There’s also a “Pinhead Gallery” where visitors can play up to 40 machines. Admission tickets include full access to the exhibits and range from “Special When Lit” with unlimited play for $13 to “Replay” featuring two hours of play. The museum is currently offering 35% off admission and annual passes if purchased by January 13. Regular hours of operation will be posted on the museum’s website and Facebook page.

National Pinball Museum, 608 Water Street, Baltimore, 21202. Phone 443-438-1236

UPDATE March 4, 2013:

The National Pinball Museum closed its doors on March 3, 2013. A statement issued by the museum’s founder and executive director David Silverman said: “After such a successful year, everyone at the Museum was looking forward to continuing our tournaments, educational programs and interactive exhibits in our current location for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to negotiate favorable terms with our landlord to extend our rental agreement without creating an extreme financial strain on the Museum’s limited resources.”

National Pinball Museum

Pinhead Gallery at National Pinball Museum. January 2012. NPM Photo


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