Searching for Vintage Collectibles

Confusing Tin Cowboys

A new metal Roy Rogers windup toy is a close copy of a series of vintage cowboy character toys first introduced in 1938. The original windup horse and rider toy was made by the American toy company of Louis Marx. Action in both new and old toys is the same. Horizontal arms in the base rock the toy forward and back while the lasso spins around the cowboys heads.

Rare Robot Reproduced in Super-sized Version

The original Atomic Robot Man is thought to be one of the first tin robots made in postwar Japan. It is a wind up piece that walks with a strange side-to-side Frankenstein-like waddle. Originals are sometimes, but not always, marked Made in Occupied Japan. Originals are only 5 tall.

New clay tobacco pipes

Clay was the most common material for tobacco pipes from the 16th century to the early 1900s. Molded clay pipes representing historical and political figures, animals, occupations, fraternal symbols and other decorations were at the height of popularity between the mid-1800s and 1900. As cigarettes and briar pipes became more popular, the use of clay pipes declined and were rarely used after 1920.

New Miniature Lamps in Brass

An American lamp supply company has just brought out a line of new brass miniature oil lamps. Although the new lamps arent copies of specific old originals, they do resemble vintage miniature oil lamps in general.

More copies of mid-century modern

More and more retailers are offering mass produced copies of works by famous mid-20th century designers. Copies of original works by Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, Eva Zeisel, George Nelson, Lee and Pup McCarty and others are becoming widely available through catalogs and retail locations.

Carved bone imitates ivory folk art

An American reproduction wholesaler has recently introduced an extensive line of carved bone that resembles 19th century carved ivory folk art.

New Handcuffs, Leg Irons, Shackles

Walk through any outdoor market or surf the large auction sites and youre almost sure to see handcuffs, leg irons and other restraints. Such pieces are often represented as slave shackles or are attributed to the American civil war, American frontier, or are purportedly marked with the names of well known prisons.

Teddy Roosevelt campaign ribbon

Heres a new Teddy Roosevelt 11-inch campaign ribbon.

New Paper Mache Nodders from Old Molds

Paper mache nodders are currently being made by the German firm of Marolin. The examples shown here are made in molds first introduced in the late-1890s. New pieces, like the Victorian originals, are painted by hand. These examples were $33 for the pair. New pieces are not marked.

Confusing Mickey Pinball Game

Here is a bright colorful Mickey Mouse tin-back pinball toy, about 10-inches tall. The image of Mickey is from the 1930s, with the so-called "pie-eyes," black eyes with pie-shaped wedges of white. Pie-eyes used to be a good indicator of age but that's no longer true. Early pie-eyed images Disney characters have been appearing on many reproductions since the 1980s.