Saturday, July 25, 2009

Video of Vielmetter drawing clown tin toy

The other day, I wrote about a drawing tin-toy automaton that was on eBay. Here is some video of the toy showing how the cams are installed in the base and how the clown draws with a pencil on paper.

From the YouTube description:
A very rare and clever toy produced in Germany approximately 1885 until about 1905. The little hand-cranked tin artist draws with a graphite stick onto paper via 'programmed' double-cams (x and y axis).

Some texts say it was an expensive wealthy person's toy, and other texts mention it as a give-away to favorite clients of the firm Phillip Vielmetter Mechanische Werkstatten of Berlin, Germany. This ultra-rare original box was repaired by Randy's Toy Shop.

I suspect the 5 cams are from various production dates. They are labeled (in German): HAHN, KAKADU, GLADSTONE, HARLEKIN, AFFE. There are several more cams that I do not have, such as Napolean, Balzaax, Queen Victoria, and still others.

I had only seen photographs of this amazing toy in the books Mechanical Toys (Spilhaus and Spilhaus)and Automata and Mechanical Toys (Hiller). It's great to finally see the actual toy in operation! get a peek inside...

[ Thanks Els! ]

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Blogger Karin Corbin said...

The toy is great but I found the video to be shocking in terms of the abuse in the handling of the toy. The toy was turned over and scuffed on the table, then pushed around on its base. You could hear the scraping noises of delicate paint abrading against the table top. Has this individual ever heard of felt or padding?

July 25, 2009 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Falk Keuten said...

Very commendable to see this toy in motion. I saw this original a half year ago in the Museum Tomi Ungerer in Stra├čburg but only closed in a showcase. Tomi Ungerer was a maniac collector of
tin toys in the late 50s and 60s during his NYC
years. Later he donated his whole collection to the City of Stra├čburg.

July 26, 2009 at 7:02 AM  
Anonymous David Hall said...

You might be interested in seeing the mechnical drawing artist made by Joseph Walker of Birmingham, England around 1880.

This pre-dates the Vielmetter clown artist and it is thought that at some point in the late 19th century Vielmetter purchased the rights to the mechanism from Walker as the cams are interchangeable.

January 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM  

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