C.1914 Lehmann, No. 683 Halloh Motorcyclist In Original Box
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C.1914 Lehmann, No. 683 Halloh Motorcyclist In Original Box:
Toy Name: Lehmann, No. 683 Halloh Motorcyclist in Original Box
Description: Extraordinary example of Lehmann's legendary No. 683 Halloh Motorcyclist in excellent+ to near mint condition. Probably one of the best examples I've seen in the last 20 years. And to top it off, it comes complete with its super rare original box that includes both the its original English and German instruction sheets. The box is in excellent condition with its cover print illustration completely intact.
The toy is unique in that, like an real motorcycle, it actually runs upright on its two wheels without the aid of training wheels. The realistic effect was, and still is, amazing. The secret was a built-in flywheel which acts like a spinning gyroscope. Housed inside the frame it was capable, when new, of completing a turning radius of 39 feet on a single wind-up.
Eventually the clockwork mechanism runs down and the toy falls over which is the reason why high grade examples are so difficult to find. In fact any example is difficult to find, however those that do turn up usually have paint chips and scrapes on both arms, lower back and shoulders, as well as the face, hat, red pullover socks, and parts of the motorcycle itself......but not in this case!
Lehmann produced subsequent litho variations of their Halloh cycle called Echo, Roon, & Quex. However they all had training wheels permanently attached to the underside for balance. Only the Halloh incorporated the gyroscopic concept.
Most important; all the parts on this toy are original, no touch-ups or repairs, and it works great! (although I would not run it along the floor).
The box is pure awesome. The cover illustration shows an early 20th century motorcycle race. Three riders including Halloh are rounding the curve. Patent information pertaining to the gyro mechanism was listed on an infield sign. Manufacturer name, toy name and catalog number were included. The cover print is complete. It has approximately half of its original cover apron (flaps). The box bottom is complete.
Still factory glued to the underside of the cover are its original two bilingual instruction. The top sheet is English and underneath it is German. It includes a fantastic illustration of how to hold the toy while winding. Much of the text cautions about it's use, winding, the type of floor to run it on, etc. In other words it was fragile even when new.
Size: 8¾" long, 6½" tall. Condition: Phenomenal condition; excellent+ to near mint with all original paint and parts. The delicate gold details on the motorcycle are complete; frame sides, underside, and fenders. The silver wheel spokes are all intact and every one is connected on both ends (rim and hub). The tires have only an occasional tiny spot of sidewall wear. The tire rims are near pristine with only a narrow rub line in the center. The lithography on the cyclist is truly amazing. Paint on the entire back, legs (calves, hips, etc.), pull-over socks, both sides of the face, and knuckles on both hands is nearly 100% complete. Only an occasional nick can be seen. It's few wear spots are present on the elbows, and lower side outer boot edges near the sole. The top forward section of the cap has a couple of tiny rubs on either side, but is not scraped. A tiny spot of wear can also be seen on the brim.
As already mentioned the box is excellent with the top cover print complete and intact with only a scattering of tiny nicks. Very faint penciled words "Arthur" and "from Santa", probably the original owner, can be seen. About half of the original cover aprons are present. These had split off, but were still inside the box and have been reattached. The box bottom is complete although one of the sides was fractured into several smaller pieces. Like a puzzle it was all precisely put back together (amazing job). All eight original corner staples are also in place. The instructions, although extremely brittle, have edge chips, corner curling, and age discoloration. But, they're still the only instruction sheets I've ever seen for this toy.
Rare toy and very rare box with instructions; easily one of the highest quality German clockwork motorcycles from this early period.
My Item No. 12-0180
American Toys; Quality 19th and 20th Century Antique Toys
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