c.1905 Ernst Plank, Exhibition Magic Lantern in Original Box

c.1905 Ernst Plank, Exhibition Magic Lantern in Original Box

Early 20th century child-size "Exhibition Magic Lantern" manufactured by Ernst Plank, Germany. Comes complete with its original box, glass slides, slide box, original Exhibition poster paper, and even the original Exhibition admission tickets. 

Judging by its overall high grade condition it may have been used only a couple times and then stored. The entire set including the box grades strong excellent+ to near mint which is incredible for a 103 year old toy! 

In fact it would be very difficult to determine a manufacturing date if it didn't have its original Exhibition announcement poster. The date was printed as "190_" with the last digit to be filled in by the child. This is how I arrived at the c.1905 year of manufacture. 

From my research I believe that this was the smallest standard size Magic Lantern produced. It was advertised as a novel home entertainment device which is why the poster announcement and tickets were included. 

The lantern (3½" x 13" x 7½") was made from light gauge polished steel painted bright red and trimmed in gold. The ornate gold feet and door latch are cast iron. The door opens and closes easily (and it stays closed when latched). It uses a two lens system. One is fixed into the lantern. The other, which is movable, is embedded in a brass finished housing set into a polished steel tube. Both lenses are glass. The arced 1#" diameter smoke stack was finished in baked black enamel and fits into a brass finished holder. The lantern is complete with its original 7" tall kerosene lamp which has a sealed steel container base, a brass wick holder, original glass chimney, and nearly all of its original wick. The lamp fits into a solid brass holder fixed to the inside floor of the lantern. 

The two piece box was printed with a repetitively joined purple star shape. Both lid and bottom have all of their original 90° angle corner staples. An ornate and very colorful 4" x 5" print was fixed to the box lid. It shows the "contemporary" family watching a lantern show. Each corner was printed with red scrollwork. A distinguished looking clown dressed all in white runs the show which is currently a rooster. "N?" with a blank for the product number to be filled in was printed below the clown. There's no other text on the entire box. 

Also included are its original set of a dozen 5" x 1¼" hand colored glass slides in their original box with lid. Each has approximately five images. After 103 years I can barely understand the comedy behind them. 

Amazingly, the set still has the lower half of its original paper poster announcement plus 24 consecutively numbered admission tickets. 

Size: Toy noted above, Box 7¼" x 6¾" x 4½".

Sold: Nov. 2008

Price Sold: $ 163


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Subject: c.1905 Ernst Plank, Exhibition Magic Lantern in Original Box

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