1920 Toyodo & Co., Clockwork "Boy Feeding Rooster" in Original Box

1920 Toyodo & Co., Clockwork

Very early Japanese wind-up tin toys produced right after World War I are difficult to find in any condition. Their boxes are almost nonexistent. Which is why I couldn't believe it when I recently found this magnificent museum quality tin toy at a small auction in upstate NY. I was told that it was just found in an attic. It appears to have never been played with.

There's no official name for the toy so "Boy Feeding Pecking Rooster" is as good as any. Produced in 1920 and selling for 89ยข (see Montgomery Ward catalog page below) I wouldn't call it "pre-war", but more accurately "post WWI". 

The condition is phenomenal; near mint and it works great. Even without complete winding it ran for approximately five minutes.

The box is the oldest and highest grade unrestored Japanese toy box I've ever found; it grades EXC+ to near mint and still has its original tissue paper packing.

While researching the toy I did find previous examples which sold at Christie's, Bertoia's, Morphy's, and Ebay dating back several years. Kitahara also shows it in his book "1000 Robots". However, my toy up for auction grades higher than any I could find sold in the past. And none of them had an original box. It's very possible that this box may be the only and/or finest example known.  

The toy is all lithographed tinplate (although one well known auction house called it "hand painted' which it is not). As you can see it's a brightly multicolored toy, almost "rainbow-like". The base is dark green with gold highlights. A pseudo Lehmann trademark was lithoed on each end of the base. 

It's strong clockwork motor causes the rooster body to "peck" up and down. In response the boy's freely hanging arms with feeding pan rock slightly. It really looks as if he's feeding the rooster.

The box features a full color applied print on the cover. The original illustration was done in ink and watercolor. The boy is shown sitting on the edge of a cart feeding the rooster. Two rabbits and several chicks look on. "Made In Japan" and "Manufactured by Toyodo" were included as well.

Size: 7" long.

Sold: Sep. 2014

Price Sold: $ 1825


 

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