c.1926 Jeannette Toy & Novelty Co., Jeannette Express in Original Box

c.1926 Jeannette Toy & Novelty Co., Jeannette Express in Original Box

Outstanding mechanical tin litho "circle toy" nearly identical in concept to Louis Marx's Honeymoon Express toys. Although circle toys were also produced by Distler, Mettoy and some Japanese companies this particular example has features I've never seen in any other toy of its type. Plus it comes complete with its beautiful art deco poster-type box.

The Jeanette Company was founded in 1898. They produced many tin litho toys including mechanical, tea sets, trays, glass toy candy containers and tin litho board games until the mid-1920's. However, until now I never knew that they produced a toy bearing their own name. This circle toy uses a pull type mechanical mechanism rather than a spring. Push the wire loop to the left and it spins similar to a roulette wheel. The center illustration was lithographed onto a convex surface. In other word it bubbles upwards like a hub cap. 

The illustration itself is incredible. It shows a complete countryside in correct "viewer" perspective. If you look at it from the front near the entrance to the train station it appears "fish-eye". Disembarking passengers dressed "to the nine's" complete with porters carrying their golf clubs can be seen. As the drawing continues to the center of the hub the points of interest decrease in size. Notice the circus with three ring tent and ferris wheel off to the right. Roads and fields connect to a factory near the center hub. Continuing towards the rear is an entire airfield complete with biplanes and airplane hangers. To the right beyond the trees is a small lake.

Circling the lavishly detailed illustration is a four piece tin litho steam locomotive. Balancing the locomotive, on the opposite side of the spinning wheel is a cast iron racer with original green paint. The train and racer pass through three tin litho tunnels. Around the edge of the circle are "betting" platforms spaced out in 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 value increments. The red base is all steel, not tin, litho. The steel bottom and tin litho halves bolt together in the center and are crimped around the edges.

The box is heavy cardboard reinforced with metal corners. The cover illustration is absolutely awesome showing a perspective illustration of the locomotive drawn in art deco poster style. This must've been a cherished toy because, in addition to metal corner reinforcements on the box bottom, it was hand stitched together with heavy cord. 

Size: 9¼" diameter and 2½" tall. 

Sold: Mar. 2005

Price Sold: $ 450


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Subject: c.1926 Jeannette Toy & Novelty Co., Jeannette Express in Original Box

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