Sunday, February 2, 2014

Do You Sell Antique Toy Tractors?

Sunday, February 2, 2014
(Cold and still snowing from yesterday)

Do You Sell Toy Tractors?

  Today's post about  old and antique tractors was supposed to be yesterdays' post before I wrote about the beautiful Keystone toy airplanes - a must see post, if you like toys. Today is tractors, and almost all are cast iron except for the last one  that I just had to present. 

  If you do a search on ebay, you will find that farm toys are very popular. If you look at a typical screen-capture like the one below, you'll see that farm toys are in fact # 3 on the list, although they;re in fact the 4th most popular buy number. Airplanes came in with 31,000+. Why ebay chose to place farm toys ahead of airplanes is beyond me. I'm assuming that they are in high demand, especially the very old ones. I would also theorize that way back 80-90 years,  and even longer ago,the population of the USA was much more rural (country versus city), and more people were in fact employed in farming then. Even today, everyone, including farmers, still collect them.

  I've mentioned before that cast iron toys have a certain "feeling" in your hand with their cold feeling and weight. You have to have one in your hand to understand what I'm trying to say, of course in a very positive manner. As far as cast iron toys go, they were made much more in the USA than anywhere else in the world t the time (1880's-1940's).

For myself, and I'm sure many other  people, there is a beauty and attraction of cast iron toys that is totally different from later-era toys. The manufacturers had to create a mould that would allow the molten iron to form well, as well as present he details of the toy. When cast iron was later replaced by pressed steel (USA) and later tin, more details could be presented with more moving parts. What I've always especially liked is the nickel-plated drivers on the farm tractors. I can remember when a nickel (a term for our 5 cent coin) was in fact made from nickel! Nickel was an expensive metal to use at the time, because it was rarer, and you had to electroplate a smoothed metal shape under it.  However, the metal did an exceptional job at shining the driver, and of course to prevent rust from forming, as you can see from many of today's examples that are shown today.

If you enlarge the image above, you'll notice that the driver's hands are like gloves or mitts and fit into the 2 levers of the tractor. This particular driver type is rarer than the others with regular-looking hands.

Here's another nickel-plated driver with those "gloved-shaped" looking hands!
The blue-red colour combination is certainly different for a tractor,and is very appealing to the eye.

I hadn't seen this  farm toy before. It's from the Wilkens toy company,that was later purchased by the Kingsbury toy company from New Hampshire (USA). It's simply beautiful. Also, its' quite old, since not all toys in the cast iron toy era (USA) were always made from cast iron. 

My surprise was the lower price that this particular toy was purchased for. I would assume that was because the toy was restored. If I had to have a farm toy in my collection of toys (not cast iron), this one would be it.  Bertoia Auction's excellent photography certainly presents this pair of toys in the best way. But for me, it's the beauty of the toys themselves. The wind-up mechanism with all of those repeating wheels, the yellow colour of the driver with the grey,black  and red colours is fantastic. As well, there are the wooden wheels. Then there is that simple but "elegant" cart with the silver-grey wheels, and the red and yellow curvature of the sides. And of course, the chained "tracks".

Thanks for visiting,
and as always, 
have a great part of the day or night
wherever you may be.

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