Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Older Clockwork Toys

Saturday, January 5, 2012

The Older Clockwork Toys

    I've been writing about the clockwork toys starting with Louis Marx and then Ferdinand Strauss, both from the USA However, as Europe was established long before the USA, it goes without saying, that toys would have been made there first.

    The term "clockwork toy" simply means a wind-up mechanism that gradually releases its energy to allow for a toy to move or create some kind of motion. What interesting is that once the mechanics were figured out in terms of the mechanism (gears and springs), it wasn't hard to modify different toys to do different motions.

    Most of the toys below were patented in the late 1880's-1890's to the early 1900's in Europe. What's also interesting is that for several toys fine lustrous fabrics were used to clothe the characters or models of the toys. Later, I assume both for cost savings and better development of the lithographic process, printed sheet metal or coated sheet metal with tin were used.

(Please click on the above link to be redirected to Bertoia Auctions fine listings and great photography)

I'd like to mention that I go to Live Auctioneers  for convenience. However, the photos there are usually smaller. Periodically, for rarer toys, and having more time, I will go directly to the 
Bertoia Auctions site. There,the photographs are much larger and easier to view!

(Please click on the above link to be redirected to Bertoia Auctions on the Live Auctioneers website)

     The beauty of the 2  toys above is just  phenomenal. You can see how the toys needed to be hand-made. The painting, the assembly of the toys, and the clothing all took time, and lots of time.

You can enlarge this image just like any other image. The reason that I mention that, is that this particular toy was especially made for "very important" clients of this particular toymaker.
The round metal disks to the right of the clown would be inserted into the bottom of the mechanics.
Different disks would allow the clown to actually "paint" different paintings! Now that is certainly unique! 

I've seen some toys that I assume would be hung from the ceiling. This might be one of these. You can see a brass ring at the top of the dirigible. The toy woukld be wound up, and as the large yellow propeller spun, a sailor in a parachute would drop down from the "sky".

I like the exquisite balance of the cat on small wheels counterbalanced by the umbrella.
Also,have a look at the small mice crawling on the back outer side of the umbrella - very whimsical!

Thanks for dropping by, 
and have a great morning, afternoon, or evening wherever you may be.



No comments: