Well, I thought I was done with the antique toys we have but Joyce reminded me of one more. The story behind this is that her grandmother went for a visit to the family homeland in Sweden sometime in the early 1900’s and brought back this wind-up tin toy. It has been around in her family since then but nobody really knew much about it.
The little old lady with a broom has lost much of her original paint but is a great display piece. When I took her down off the shelf to do some macro shots, I decided to have a closer look and see if there were any identifying marks to help me research the origins. The only thing I could find was a number D.R.G.M. 140668 stamped on the side.
It turns out the DRGM is the German abbreviation for a Registered Patent (Deutsches Reiches Gebrauchs Musterschutz – meaning protected patented design under the Reich Government.). So, the toy is German-made but apparently sold in other countries. Also, this proves out the vintage of the toy. The DRGM mark was in use from before World War I up through the World War II era of the 194o’s.
It appears that the broom was probably added sometime later to replace what was originally a walking stick. I found a post with a more well-preserved example of this which is in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The description (translated from Swedish) on the museum site is:
“Old Woman with feather works, in the original box with lid, of bent and hand-painted sheet metal, gray dress, red apron with white dots, glasses on nose, basket on the back and stick in hand, paces forward, feather work with the wrench back .“
Vintage German wind-up toy
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 – 1.6 sec – ISO 100