1933 Einfalt, No.221 Double Spiral Railway in Original Box

1933 Einfalt, No.221 Double Spiral Railway in Original Box

Magnificent pre-war German clockwork tin litho and steel Double Spiral Railway manufactured by Gebrüder Einfalt, Nürnberg, Germany. Includes spectacular original box with instructions! An important, museum quality toy it may possibly be the only complete set still in existence. Works beautifully and grades in unbelievable excellent+ to near mint condition. One of the neatest and most scarce toys I've ever found. 

Nürnberg, Germany in 1933 was definitely not a conducive location for the manufacture of toys. That year it became the epicenter for Hitler's rise to power sponsoring immense week-long propaganda rallies which ran for 11 consecutive years. From 1933 to 1935 Einfalt created only six new toys. It was the lowest number in the history of the company. The Double Spiral Railway was the largest and most complex of the six. 

During this time of political upheaval this toy was somehow manufactured, exported and subsequently survived the next 75 years in virtually pristine, unused condition. It was part of large antique toy collection and is available for the first time in nearly 30 years. During that time its previous owner never found another set, with, or without a box. 

Einfalt cataloged their toys sequentially in 1922 beginning with No.100. The Double Spiral Railway, No.221 was available with either a single coach (221/1), or double coach (221/2). Amazingly enough, I recently found a third coach and added it to the set. 

The toy consists of six, twin-rail, tinplate tracks supported by seven color coded steel rods. Color coded connector plates welded to the track correspond to the specific colored rod. Assembly is just a matter of matching them up. In case you get stuck the huge original color schematic set of instructions are pasted to the underside of the box. They were written in German, English, and French.

Scattered between the rails and joining them together are 10 precisely located corrugated metal strips. Each coach houses a complex array of clockwork motor gears activated by a sawtooth shaped cog. The cog is engaged every time it passes over one of the strips which, in turn, runs the motor. A loud clicking sound is also emitted. The motor stops working after it passes over a strip, but its downwards motion enables it to continue moving. This way the motor is not working constantly which increases the running time of the toy. Every time it passes over the strip it speeds up like a little jet. Two complete cycles is average although at times I've gotten it up to four cycles. A 20" long inclined straight riser track with corrugated strips over its entire length returns the coach to the upper track. I also discovered that the coaches are perfectly balanced. Not one of them fell off the track during the entire time I tested it. 

The passenger coaches are gorgeous. Each side features the front and rear with six high relief, embossed lithoed passengers dressed in period clothing. The intricate color, incredible detail, and deep embossing gives each of them a fantastic three dimensional appearance that I couldn't pick up adequately in my photo's. The roof of each coach was lithographed with colored spirals and decorative roof scalloping. The directional placement of the coach is shown with a large red arrow on the roof. The wheels are all mirror polished chrome plated steel. The only identifying marks are "Germany" and "D.R.P.". 

The box is fantastic. The shape is similar to a pizza box, but larger. It features a huge full panel illustration of a carpeted playroom. The Railway is setup on the floor and it takes up most of the cover. A small toy elephant, teddy bear, and signalman all look on. It's marked with only "Germany" and "D.R.P." in tiny type in the lower right corner. It shows a golden haired child down on hands and knees watching the toy with fascination. Despite the toddlers contemporary feminine traits the child playing with the toy is actually a young boy, not a girl. During the 1920's and 30's the Goldilocks hair style, collar-less shirt and short knicker trousers were the style for boys under 5 years old. In addition something as masculine as a Railway would never have been marketed as a "girl toy". The manufacturer's name and/or logo doesn't appear anywhere on the toy or box.

Size: 39" x 19½" x 12". Box is 20" x 20" x 3". 

Sold: Mar. 2008

Price Sold: $ 1325


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Subject: 1933 Einfalt, No.221 Double Spiral Railway in Original Box

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