1923 Ferdinand Strauss, Santee Claus Reindeer and Sleigh

1923 Ferdinand Strauss, Santee Claus Reindeer and Sleigh

Classic multicolored tin lithographed clockwork sleigh featuring Ole' Saint Nick pulled by two reindeer. This is one of the most difficult Strauss toy to locate in above average condition. It's conservatively graded VG+ to Excellent and works great.

The toy has several actions which, when combined, demonstrate very realistic "animal drawn" movement. Two wheels under the sleigh are turned by the clockwork motor. A third wheel between the two reindeer stabilizes the toy. 

As the sleigh moves forward the double harness connecting the reindeer allows them to swiftly bolt ahead. At the same time Santee rises up and angles forward slightly. The harness is then pulled back into the sleigh just a bit slower than when it extended. At the same time Santee moves down and sits upright again. The position of the reindeer is perfectly in sync with Santee's up and down motion. The result is one of the best illusions of galloping animals and driver of any American manufactured antique toy. 

Of course the intricate lithography also makes the Strauss Santee Claus one of the most eagerly sought after tin toys. The sleigh has scenes of Santa placing toys underneath the Christmas tree. Meanwhile the kiddies are snuggled up in bed dreaming of all the presents that Santee will give them. Collectors familiar with this toy are knowledgeable about the lithography on the sides of the sleigh. What you may not know is the detail used on the center of the sleigh. It was illustrated with holly, mistletoe, and bells set against a snowy background (see 3rd photo down). The design covers the entire center of the sled except for the rear where a huge Strauss logo was lithoed with patent dates and toy name. The underside is blank white.  

Santee is embossed and has movable jointed arms and can be separated from the sleigh. The reindeer are embossed with large flowing antlers. Both carry their original brass plated bell in their mouths. All three figures are three dimensional, in other words not flat. Santee's reins look old, but are probably not original. 

Size: 11½" x 3" x 6". 

Sold: Mar. 2007

Price Sold: $ 1231


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Subject: 1923 Ferdinand Strauss, Santee Claus Reindeer and Sleigh

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