1926 Kellerman, Mechanical Head Cigarette Dispenser

1926 Kellerman, Mechanical Head Cigarette Dispenser

This unusual mechanical tin litho cigarette dispenser is possibly the only non-toy produced by Georg Kellerman & Co. of Nuremberg, Germany. Marked only "Made In Germany D.R.G.M." it's also one of the company's few post-1920 items which did not have the "CKO" Kellerman trademark. For that reason it can be difficult to identify. 

It features a double sided, 3/8" wide, die cut tin litho portrait of the head and upper shoulders of a well dressed, mid-1920's gentleman. His bow tie is mechanically connected to an internal spring activated lever. Push down on the tie and a cigarette is ejected through a hole in the mouth. It would've originally sat on a restaurant check-out counter to provide patrons with a smoke on their way out. 

The left side of the face is hinged. Release the latch at the top of the head and the face opens to reveal the cigarette chamber. It holds exactly half a pack of 10 old style, non-filter cigarettes. It's just wide enough to accommodate a single stack. 

The dispenser comes complete with its original brass ashtray. A peg in the bottom of the tray fits into a hole in the silver, steel litho base. The last photo shows the metal tabs outlined around the right side of the head and face which hold the internal mechanism in place.

This item is featured in Gerhard G. Walter's book "Metal Toys from Nuremberg" published in 1992. It's one of Kellerman's most difficult to find early tin litho mechanical creations. It's also one of the most artistic and realistic items produced by the company.

Size: Base 8" x 3¾". Face 4¼" x 6-1/8" x 3/8".

Sold: Apr. 2006

Price Sold: $ 551


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Subject: 1926 Kellerman, Mechanical Head Cigarette Dispenser

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