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Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Clown Shoes

Collection of Clown Shoes at Darrell Dean
Antiques & Decorative Arts, 1stdibs Gallery

You may have heard that laughter is therapeutic but did you know that trying on clown shoes is too? “I can’t tell you how much trying on a pair relieves stress and blood pressure. People really love it,” says Darrell Dean, a dealer of antiques and decorative arts in Kensington, Maryland, who collects clown shoes. “I have had probably 50 to 60 pair, but have regrettably had to sell some as this is my business. But there are always more to come,” he adds. A selection is on display online and at 1stdibs Gallery at the New York Design Center (200 Lexington Avenue, 10th floor), where you can try them on.

Dean says the most common question he gets is “Where did you get all these clown shoes?” His answer: “A clown goes out of business everyday and I get their shoes.” He started about six years ago and generally collects one pair at a time but has occasionally gotten three to four pair from the same retiring clown. There is a wonderful diversity to the shoes, from colorfully decorated ones with bulbous toe caps to long, narrow flap shoes that comically slap the floor to a jester’s curly toed pair bedizened with bells.

“I was never really interested in the remaining clown outfit or even the history of the clown or previous owner,” Dean tells ATZ. “To me the worn and weathered clown shoes speak for themselves and tell an interesting story and as a large group or collection are impressive. Most people are very happy to see and touch clown shoes, and trying on a pair will change your life for sure.”

Collection of Clown Shoes

Collection of Clown Shoes at Darrell Dean
Antiques & Decorative Arts

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Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine

Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine. German, c.1950. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery

Isn’t this the cutest? There are already two bids on this circa 1950 “Bimbo Baby” arcade machine featuring a monkey orchestra. It has a starting bid of $1,000 and a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$4,000. The sale is on Saturday morning at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass., not far from where my Dad once had a real live monkey on the midway.

Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine. German, c.1950, coin operated automaton box lights up inside with 6 figural cabana monkeys on a tropical decorated stage, the figures dance, shake and play their instruments; has a speaker built into the base which plays music through a Tefi Spezial-Band cassette (tape in cassette is unwound). Animated mechanism is in good working condition. 38 in. high x 24 in. wide x 23 in. deep.

Now if somebody would just drop a dime in the slot and make a YouTube video of the toy monkeys dancing and playing, we’d be delighted.

Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade

One of the Monkeys in Bimbo Baby Automaton Arcade Machine. German, c.1950. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery

Update: Found on YouTube! There are quite a few videos of “Bimbo Box,” the larger version, in operation…

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Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy

1930's Tin Litho Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy. Courtesy of eBay Seller Toy Claus

ATZ came across this delightful 1930s tin bumper car wind-up toy with two lithographed riders on eBay. At the moment, nine bidders are vying for it! The high bid is $71 in an auction that ends on Saturday, February 25th.

Earlier this month, a similar toy sold for $156 on eBay. In that auction the unsigned toy was said to have been made by New York’s Buffalo Toy Company. In the current auction, seller toyclaus ascribes it to the Wyandotte Toy Company. Either way, good luck to everyone who jumps in with a bid.

If vintage toys are beyond your budget but you want your very own fleet of bumper cars to play with at work, check out xUmp.com’s Never-Fall Bumper Car Wind-Ups. The plastic toy retails for $3.00-$4.99 and is engineered not to fall off the edge of your desk. In this video xUmp founder and physicist Anton Skorucak gives a demo and explains the science behind his toy bumper cars…

UPDATE March 1, 2012:

The vintage bumper car toy sold for $182.38 with the winning bid placed in the last few seconds of the auction!

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