Vintage Lehmann Balky Mule Tin Wind-up Toy, All Original, Drgm Germany 1897-1938 For Sale
Welcome to our sale! Many of you know
us as longtime collectors and sellers of antique and vintage Hallowe'en, Christmas,
and Easter holiday memorabilia, paper ephemera, antique dolls and toys, and
lovely old china and glassware. We have been given the honor of selling this
superb, old, German tintoy by a knowledgeable and long-time toycollector and friend!
This very-desirable and fun vintage tin wind-up toy was made in Germany by E.P. Lehmann in the early twentieth century. It is known as The Balky Mule and features a comical clown driver in his original cloth costumewith his original tassel attached to his hat. He is driving a colorful cart being pulled by a bucking mule.
When the large wheels turn, Mr. Clown pulls back and up on the original reins making the mule rear up on his hind legs. The mule then resists this command, lunges forward on his front legs, kicks his back legs in protest, and jerks the clown forward – even his head flops forward in response to his uncooperative friend’s behavior!
The colors are incredible and the paint is in magnificent condition. This toy is marked Lehmann and has the well-known “bell” logo appearing on the wheels along with the words Bild Ges Gesch. On the back it is marked Made in Germany, DRGM, DR Patent, Engl. Patent, Marke, and Bild Gesch along with the bell-shaped logo.
This fun and desirable tin toy measures 7 ½” long x 5” high x 2 ¾” wide. The exact condition is as follows:
The keywind spring mechanism does not engage. However the toy works perfectly when pushed by hand. We believe this may be an easy fix for the collector who knows how but we think this toy is amazing and fun just the way it is. The tin mule’s light flocking is in superb condition and the adorable animal still has his string tail. The mule is missing one ear. There is some very light paint wear to the very edges of the large wheels commensurate with this toy’s age of up to 100 years or more. The golden metal has slight wear and but is still quite shiny. There are no major dents or bends.
We think this very old tin toy would be an outstanding addition for the collector of classic early twentieth century toys, for the collector of clown memorabilia, for someone who likes donkeys or mules, or for anyone who enjoys fun antiques. If you are considering starting a collection of vintage and antique toys, or are looking to add to your collection, this popular and highly-sought-after example – in its all-original condition – would be the perfect acquisition for you!
The following description was found online:
The toy clown driving a mule called 'Balky Mule' is one of the most well known toys made by E.P. Lehmann founded in 1881 in Brandenburg, near Berlin, Germany. Of all the European toys produced from the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, those made by Lehmann are the easiest to recognize. They are brightly colored, and have an amusing and clever action to create dancing, climbing, walking, crawling and rolling, usually powered by a wind-up fly-wheel drive. This gave them engaging and amusing appeal which in this case sees the Balky Mule buck its back legs while the clown's head and body jerk back.
Lehmann built up one of the most important and prolific toy-making companies in the world with toys aimed at a mass market. Prices were kept low by the use of a newly-developed thin and cheap type of tin plate. While the First World War resulted in a decline in the German monopoly of wind-up toys, Lehmann was one company which survived. By the 1920s Lehmann employed over 800 staff and produced over 100 different toy designs. These were marketed around the world in boxes with instructions in both German and English.
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We charge actual shipping costs with no handling fees. We’ll ship this item for $12.00 Priority Mail in the continental United States insured. The shipping costs for this item are an estimate and may be more or less depending on your location. However, if the actual shipping costs are less, we WILL refund the difference. We pack with tender loving care, and love to combine shipping. We’re also happy to arrange for free pick-up if you can come to Lancaster PA.
Please pay within 3 days of end of sale. We'll ship within 1 business day of receipt of payment. Pennsylvania residents pay 6% sales tax. While we prefer to ship to the United States only, we will ship overseas to interested collectors – but will need to quote actual shipping costs BEFORE the end of the sale. All international sales will be shipped USPS Priority Mail International insured. We also cannot predict other fees such as tariffs or duty taxes for each country.
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