When the wind-up mechanism is engaged the Toy moves back and forth across the floor causing the mule to rear up and down and the clown's head and body to be jerked back and forth presenting a rather comical sight. The Toy is made mostly of lithographed Tin although the Clown wears a polka-dotted yellow tunic and the surface of the Mule is flocked giving it the look of "hair". The Toy is marked U.
Patent Applied For which identifies this as a very early example of the Toy the U. Patents were granted in 1903 and 1907. It also carries the mark of Ernst Paul Lehmann's "Lehmann Company" of Germany.While nearly every example of Lehmann's Balky Mule Tin Wind-Up toy encountered features a white face Clown with yellow hair, the earliest version was also issued with a "blackface" Clown with red hair. The Toy offered here is an example of the exceptionally rare, blackface version!! This rare and wonderful, ca1903 African American Clown version of Lehmann's Balky Mule Wind-Up Toy is in very good condition. It is 100% original and has never been repaired, repainted, touched-up, or restored in any way.
The Tin Lithographed surfaces are well preserved with some age toning to the outer surfaces of the wheels and some wear to the surface of the right hand wheel. There is also some wear to the edges of the tin lithography on the back panel of the caret.
The Clown is very well preserved with his fabric tunic showing light soiling only but no damage or repairs. The surface of the Donkey is also well preserved with very light wear only.
The Toy retains its original, delicate, braided cord reins although one rein is detached at the left hand of the Clown. The Toy retains its original wind-up mechanism which is working but is a bit touchy and sometimes need a little help by way of a nudge forward to get the mechanism started. An exceptionally rare and wonderful, ca1903 Black Americana / Blackface Clown version of Lehmann Balky Mule Tin Litho Wind-Up Toy and a fantastic addition to any Collection!!! Here is a video that shows the "action" of the White Face Version of this Toy. The item "C1903 BLACK AMERICANA LEHMANNS BALKY MULE TIN LITHO WIND-UP TOY BLACK FACE CLOWN" is in sale since Friday, February 10, 2017.
This item is in the category "Toys & Hobbies\Vintage & Antique Toys\Wind-up Toys". The seller is "walnutts" and is located in Brewster, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide.