1926 Girard "Whiz Sky Fighter" Clockwork Biplane

1926 Girard

Fantastic early toy has it all....rarity, beauty, condition, & provenance!  Completely lithographed in polychromatic colors this is Girard's "Whiz Sky Fighter" clockwork biplane. Purchased at the Bertoia Auction from the Donald Kaufman collection, owner of KB Toys, it's the first and only example I've seen. Very conservatively graded by Bertoia as Excellent, I believe it grades slightly higher. 

It uses a complex system of 5 connected gears and attached key to produce forward wheel movement, counter-clockwise propeller rotation, and a machine-gun clicking sound....all simultaneously. 

The entire toy was colored with polychromatic red, gold, black, yellow, silver, and gold. This is an earlier process than 4-color offset lithography which have a metallic sheen, rather than a flat glossiness. Wings, fuselage, tail and even the wheels were lithoed using this method. 

The fuselage is beautifully designed using a combination of dark blue and yellow. A single, silver shooting star with trail lines was painted on each side. It has a 3-dimensional stamped metal pilot and a lithographed gunner with firing a machine gun just behind the cockpit. The entire underside of the plane, including the wings, is polished tinplate.

The main wings have embossed ribs. They're painted primarily red and have gold striping. Two large Girard logos within a gold star within a black circle adorn each end of the top wing. "Making Childhood's Hour Happier" is painted in the center of the logo. Just above this is the Girard name. And just above the Girard name is "U.S. Army". 

It has a cut-out, black engine cowl and 3-dimensional whirling propeller consisting of a polished tin center with red blades. The large embossed front wheels are red, the single rear wheel is yellow with polished tin rim. 

The toy works great! And it comes complete with the original hang tag from the Bertoia Auction.

Size: 9-3/8" fuselage, 9-7/8" wingspan. 

Sold: May 2011

Price Sold: $ 560


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Subject: 1926 Girard "Whiz Sky Fighter" Clockwork Biplane

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