Thursday, April 21, 2011

Instrument playing bear automaton from Austria

Here is a vintage automaton bear that knows how to rock. Apparently, the bear is is original, but is missing whatever instrument it originally played. The bells -- taken from another antique toy -- were added later. The bear's maker and original instrument remain a mystery to the current sellers.

From the bear's description on ebay:

We are guessing he was made in the latter part of the 19th or very early part of the 20th century. The bear did not have an instrument when it came to us, only the metal drum sticks in his hands and a hole in the base where an instrument would have been mounted. Considering that he is holding metal drum sticks, whatever he was originally pounding on would have to have been metal or very durable at the least. After doing exhaustive research to find another like him and coming up empty, we chose to give him a set of antique nickel plated bells from an early push toy and mounted them to an appropriately sized tree stump...

Here is where you can see a bunch of photographs of this Instrument playing bear automaton made in Austria.

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