Here is a pre- World War II celluloid clown windup from Japan. With red, white and blue clothing, it’s a pretty safe guess that this was made for export to the USA. Wind him up. The clown’s legs move back and forth which propels the donkey forward. The donkey’s ears bounce up and down with the movement.
The toy is marked “Made in Japan” on the bottom of the donkey. There is also a manufacturer mark which looks like “500” in a diamond. We have not been able to identify the manufacturer. There is also a “Japan” sticker on the right leg of the clown. It’s upside down. And that is the way received the toy. We didn’t want to change it for fear the tag might fall off. Notice the inspection sticker next to the manufacturing mark. Pretty amazing that the stickers are still in place after all these years.
Size: 6 inches tall; 5 inches donkey head to hoof; 2 ½ inches at the clown’s feet
Condition: The clown is in very good condition. The face is excellent as is the rest of the celluloid body. The clothing is in good shape, although it shows signs of soiling with age. The donkey is in great shape, although there appears to be some repainting on the right half of the head. The donkey’s ears are attached by some elastic string which has lost some of its resiliency. The key is a replacement.
Overall, this is a nice example of an early celluloid windup toy.