Shopping on eBay for automata and antique toys can be fun; your never know what you may find. The down side is that you often have to sort through a lot of stuff that isn't exactly relevant. A new online shop has opened and you should know about it. Called simply Antique Automata and Toys, the store sells just that. They offer automata, American toys dating from the 1860s to the 1960s, European toys, toys made in Japan, and toys by the Schoenhut. There is a lot to see! Take for example this toy they are offering for sale: an early American Brower's Automatic Toy Dancer dated to around 1873.
From the clockwork dancing toy description:
This toy features a clockwork driven dancing black man performing in front of a paper on board background scene of a Southern plantation and the neighboring sharecroppers shack. The figure is dressed in his all original clothes. We believe the entire toy to be in its original condition....The clockwork mechanism is functioning well and when wound the gentleman will "dance" tapping his feet.
The toy has the original gold stenciling on the back side of the tin box which protects the clockwork mechanism. The printing reads "BROWER'S AUTOMATIC DANCER PATD SEPT 23 1873".
Here is where you can see 10 detailed photographs of the the Brower's Automatic Dancer Toy. You can also buy it directly from the site. Be sure to check out the rest of the site too!