1926 Kellerman, Clockwork No.269 "Round the World Racing Game" in Original Box

1926 Kellerman, Clockwork No.269

Planes, trains, automobiles, and motorcycles! This early round-about toy has it all. Produced in Germany by Kellerman, this is the first example of the tin litho clockwork "Round the World Racing Game" I've seen. Before this I never knew it existed. Yet, despite its rarity this example looks virtually unused in near mint condition. And to "top it off" it comes with its original box which is in excellent condition.

I did find a single reference which allowed me to correctly identify its cataloged name and date produced.

"Round-about's" are typically simple rotating tinplate toys, but not this time. After winding it up with the attached key the racing cars and motorcyclists rotate clockwise at different speeds passing under four black upright hurdles; seemingly trying to outpace each other. Simultaneously, the two overhead aeroplanes with fixed propellers rotate counter-clockwise. A 3½" brick (tin litho) tower in the center holds up and rotates the two planes. A small building attached to the tower hides the clockwork mechanism. The same early aeroplane style was used by Kellerman for a toy featuring rotating monoplanes around a battleship. Although it's more frequently seen, it's still pretty rare.

Surrounding the tower in the center are lithographed monoplanes, biplanes, and early automobiles. Fancy yellow scrollwork with red ivy leaves on a green background decorate the corners, while the two vehicle roadways are embossed pale yellow.

It's interesting that all six moving vehicles are three dimensional with lithography on both sides. Each one was also lithoed with the manufacturer's trademark. Quite often round-about toys were produced with two-dimensional flat characters or vehicles that were lithographed only on one side. Automobile, airplane, trains, and motorcycles of all types were lithographed on all four edges of the base. And lastly, the underside of the base was lithoed solid black. Almost always the under surface of this type of toy was left as raw metal and typically acquired light surface rust.

Best of all it works great. Occasionally the upright support bracket holding the cars and motorcycles binds causing them to remain "neck and neck". To avoid this both need to be exactly perpendicular to the base, yet have enough space between them to allow passing. I was able to make this happen, but it's tricky and I didn't want to run the toy more than I needed.

The box design was fabulously illustrated with an exact representation of the toy on the cover. Done in red, white and blue, it includes the manufacturer's trademark and "Made in Germany". The cover is hinged on the rear edge. Two sides of the box include repeated illustrations of side-by-side early automobiles with passengers. The other two panels show a uniformed motorcyclist with sidecar and passenger. A single plane can be seen overhead. The underside of the box has three residual tape marks and number (pricing) notations written in black crayon. The box is complete and still has both interior flaps intact which keeps the cover from collapsing inwards.

Size: 8" x 8" x 5"

Sold: Apr. 2015

Price Sold: $ 4800


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Subject: 1926 Kellerman, Clockwork No.269 "Round the World Racing Game" in Original Box

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