P.O. Box 6720 Incline Village, NV 89450 , United States Call Seller 510.414.4545


American Tin Toy Trolley, circa 1880

$ 2,250
  • Description
    Horse drawn trolleys or "horse buses" were the main source of "mass transit", along with trains in the late 1800s in America. Thus they were ubiquitous subject matter for toy makers to exploit as toys for young children. While many tin toy manufacturers exchanged parts, and practically all of them neglected "makers marks" to avoid patent infringement, it makes it exceedingly difficult to identify particular toys. This particular horse drawn trolley is attributed to George W. Brown & Co., Forrestville, Connecticut, circa 1880, based on the similarity of the horses to those on page 21 of Pressland's "Art of The Tin Toy", (they are almost identical), as are the horses in Lot 404 attributed to George Brown of the Max Berry collection November 2014.

    The condition of the toy is good, having had some paint restoration to the trolley. While significant original crazed paint is observed under a loop, the majority of the trolley has been over painted in red to the sides, and green to the roof. The white paint to the horses is original. The fragility of tin and the fact that they were discarded after they no longer served a useful or "playful" purpose makes it very difficult to acquire 19th century American tin toys. Their charm and symbolism makes them particularly appealing to collectors of both toys and Americana today.

    Dimensions: 14 1/2" long x 5" high x 3" wide.
  • More Information
    Origin: United States
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: Hand painted tin
    Condition: Good. Overpaint to the trolly (see description)
    Creation Date: Circa 1880
    Styles / Movements: Americana, Folk Art, Victorian
    Incollect Reference #: 210583
  • Dimensions
    W. 14.5 in; H. 5 in; D. 3 in;
    W. 36.83 cm; H. 12.7 cm; D. 7.62 cm;
Message from Seller:

We are specialists in the field of antique mechanical coin banks. These rare and unique items were sold during the late 1800's and early 1900's to encourage and educate young children on the importance of saving money, with the majority of them having been made in America. We are leading experts in this field and one of the foremost dealers, having traded in mechanical banks since 1976.

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