1920 Strauss, Tip Top Porter in Original Box

1920 Strauss, Tip Top Porter in Original Box

I was aware of only one version of the Strauss Tip Top Porter. That is, until I found this example of a hand painted, hand stamped version of the same toy. Carrying an identical Strauss logo the differences are undeniable. This auction also includes it's incredibly difficult to find original box which is complete with all original flaps. Although I show both examples below, only the previously unknown, hand painted version is included. The documented toy (shown in the insert to the right with cap visor missing is not included). 

The design of the two versions is, in theory, identical. But the difference in quality, both in movement and craftsmanship are remarkably different. Hand stamping resulted in more detail which can be seen on the coat, trousers, and head. Facial features are more distinct. Features around the boot heel and toe are more uniform and realistic.

There are also structural differences.

  • Version 1 (which I'm calling the earlier hand painted version) carries a cart which does not include a backboard. Version 2 has the backboard.
  • Version 1 has a stop/start steel rod located on the right side of the cart just behind the wheel. There is no such mechanism on the Version 2.
  • The figure in Version 1 wears a hat with wide brim all around. Version two wears a cap, painted red on top and uses a visor (although it's missing on the example shown). 
  • Version 1 is hand painted. Flaking around the top of the head, on the coat, and around the boots is similar to that seen in some of the earlier hand painted German toys by Kellerman and Bing. Version 2, although nicked in several places doesn't show the same kind of flaking. In other words in Version 2 the paint came off in "scratches". In Version 1 it flaked off. It also has a much older appearance with crackling, darker paint.
  • There's also a difference between the actual movement of the two toys. Version 1 is smooth, even, and looks more like a figure walking. Version 2 is shaky and tends to move slightly from side to side because the attachment of the legs to the trunk varies slightly.

....and then there's the original box! It's only one of two I've ever seen for this toy, however it's the first I've found which was complete. Curiously it's illustrated with the Version 2 (wear a cap with visor, rather than a hat with brim). Two sides open identically with four sets of interlocking endflaps. The other two side panels show the Strauss balancing, juggling clown logo. The back side of the box is blank. 

Size: 6¼" long x 5½" tall. 

Sold: Aug. 2006

Price Sold: $ 910


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Subject: 1920 Strauss, Tip Top Porter in Original Box

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