Boy on Velocipede Automaton by Stevens & Brown
- Sold for:
- American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2282
- Date / Time :
- August 14, 2005 10:00AM
Boy on Velocipede Automaton by Stevens & Brown, Connecticut, with "EXLCR" pattern pressed-cloth shoulder head, painted blue eyes with long straight eyebrows, flocked and painted hair, closed mouth (lips rubbed), stamped brass hands and boots, riding a velocipede with large spoked cast-iron wheels, curved tin motor cover with gilt-stenciled decoration over blue paint, and swivel-joint for straight or zig-zag motion, the open-spring mechanism causing the figure to pedal forwards and turn to the left or right, in the original striped cotton breeches and red twill jacket (worn) edged in braid, lg. 11 in., (remains of green paint on wheels, otherwise original paint throughout with some wear and chips).
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of the Duke of Bedford, Woburn Abbey, England.
Literature: Blair Whitton (1981), American Clockwork Toys, p. 36. The child's velocipede was patented in America by Jesse and Charles M. Crandall in 1868 with instant popularity, leading to a race to produce the first toy velocipede the following year. Steven and Brown's "Champion Velocipede" was patented in February 1870. It was offered for sale by Althof Bergman and others in several versions - including a girl and the scarcer boy - and it later appeared on the cover of Stevens 1872 catalog.