c.1899 Lehmann, "The Performing Sea Lion" in Original Box

c.1899 Lehmann,

Hand painted tin clockwork "Performing Sea Lion" manufactured in Germany by Lehmann. Extraordinary example in pristine near mint condition complete with rare original box and correct Lehmann key. By far the highest grade I've seen of this toy. Although it's usually found more often than some of the other Lehmann toys, high grade examples are practically non-existent. 

The back is painted in life-like tones of gray and black. The face and underbelly are salmon pink color. Facial details and a wide red "ribbon" around the neck were also added. The frequently replaced small brass bell "hanging" from the Sea Lion's neck is original. The underside of the tail is embossed with German patent information. 

A large flat disk underneath the chest moves the toy forward, while the tail balances on two smaller polished-tin wheels. The tail moves side-to-side, while the articulated front fins and legs provide a realistic swimming motion. And yes, it works beautifully!

The key is original and correct for this toy which has an unusual rectangular stem. The original Lehmann key is almost always lost. A wider, more common square-stem key is substituted which easily scratches most of the paint around the key hole.

The original brown box was pressed with a textured weaved pattern. The front apron (box bottom) was also pressed with the Lehmann trademark and D.R.G.M. (Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchs Muster) (i.e., patent pending). The cover features a colored illustration of the Sea Lion laying on dry ground with the sea behind it. The toy name was printed around the Sea Lion in English, German, and French. If you look closely at the box bottom you'll notice two parallel holes punched through the sides and front. These holes originally held packaging strings which kept the toy securely in place. 

Size: 7½"

Price Sold: $ 677


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Subject: c.1899 Lehmann, "The Performing Sea Lion" in Original Box

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