Pehr's Clockwork Menagerie

26 September 2013

I'll let you in to a bit of a secret...I am one of those 'collectors' that gets a bit obsessive.
I have a deep love for clockwork creatures. Not any creatures, but those ones that are 'in need of TLC' or 'Not working'. I tend not to pay too much, so I'm only interested in rescuing.
Each of these creatures has a story about how I found them, and where they are from. Not just that, but most of these toys are made during the 1950s in countries that were occupied after the war such as Germany and Japan. The craftsmanship is amazing, and I suppose it was considered a safe way of keeping countries capable of producing world class fighter planes and ammunitions etc, was to make them produce clockwork toys instead. Whatever, I don't know too much about it but I think these toys have bought generations of fun and amazement which is nothing to be sniffed at all. This Scotty dog was made in American Occupied Germany, the bear is also made in Germany. 

We found this little penguin (?) at Kempton Park market, it had one foot fallen off, but it does a funny squirmy motion and its beak opens and closes as if begging for a fish. I have glued its foot back on today after having him for a year! I don't know where this little chap is from but I noticed it has the same eyes as...

...this lovely elephant. She is made in Japan in the 1950s and cost me just a few pounds. It was advertised as 'not working, no key' so I thought I'd offer her a home.
She is missing one ear, one eye and a tail. When I opened the packet (from ebay) I heard the creak of the mechanism which gave me hope that she might actually work. I found a key from another toy that fit, and when I wound it up, she moved her head and waggled her ears as if just waking up from 40 odd years asleep. I was so excited, its embarrassing. So I dug out my sewing machine oil and put a few dabs inside and now she's quite energetic and even walks and sways her head all the time.

small things like this make me so happy.
So now I am thinking to make a replacement ear because she seems to really want to flap them.

My collection is growing, and I am thinking to put them in a glass cabinet for our little'un. She loves watching them and starts growling like the bear!

One day, I'm hoping to make films of them all in action but I haven't got enough space on my memory card at the moment. I have found this film of the bear which I posted about ages ago...

*Of course I am not going to let her play with them until she is older. I feel sad that I have to state the obvious, but there you go.

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