State Library of South Australia logo To be a child
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Clockwork clown
Title : Clockwork clown Clockwork clown
Add To My SA Memory
Date of creation : 193-?
Format : Toy
Dimensions : 120 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Donated by : Ms J. Frawley
Copyright : The State Library has endeavoured to identify and contact copyright holders of material digitised for this website. Where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Library has decided in good faith to proceed with digitisation and publication. The State Library invites persons who believe they are copyright owners to contact Library staff to discuss usage of this item.
Description :

Violin playing clown, dressed in yellow and blue with red hair and beret, with key. The maker is unidentified but the style of clothing is similar to the Schuco Solisto clown with drum.

Schuco toys were made by Shreyer & Co. in Nuremberg, Germany. The company was founded in 1912 and one of its chief designers was Heinrich Muller, who designed many ingenious toys. In 1931 he developed a design which could be stamped from sheet metal and either painted or covered in plush. Preceding Schuco were Lehmann toys, one of the most famous of the toy manufacturers. Established in Brandenburg in 1881, Lehmann toys were noted for their fine design and innovative action. Founder Ernst Lehmann died in 1934 but the company was re-established in Nuremberg following World War Two.

Clockwork toys began appearing in the early 18th century, however these models were not meant for children but were lavishly designed for adults. The best were produced by German, Swiss or French makers but London had experts as well. During the mid-19th century tinplate toys began to appear. Clockwork toys became affordable in the 1880s with the introduction of the coiled spring mechanism by Ernst Lehmann.

Period : 1927-1939
Further reading :

Bartholomew, Charles. Mechanical toys, London; New York [etc.]: Hamlyn, 1979

Cadbury, Betty. Playthings past, Newton Abbot [Eng.]: David & Charles, c1976

Hillier, Mary. Automata & mechanical toys: an illustrated history, London: Jupiter, 1976

Tempest, Jack. Collecting tin toys, London: Collins, 1987

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on