This little bird in a cage is based on an Issmayer example from the 1920s and ‘30s. Our example, however, was made in the U.S. Zone Germany between 1945 and around 1955. We don’t know the maker of this post WWII and further research is needed to determine the manufacturer. We have also seen this toy with a stand for hanging. This version doesn’t have a stand, and probably never did. But it does have a ring at the top of the cage for hanging.
Push the on/off lever to the stop position. Wind up the key about 7 times. (More on why 7 in the Condition section). Push the lever to the on position. The bird will rock back and forth, and make a chirping sound. Note that most of these examples no longer chirp. But this one does.
Allow the windup to run down as much as possible, then hand crank the windup to the full wound down position to release all tension on the windup.
Size: 3 inches long; 3 ½ inches high at the peak of the cage; 2 5/8 inches wide at the windup key
Condition: We aren’t sure of the original base color. It could have been red or orange. Both of these colors are susceptible to fading. And this toy shows fading. Perhaps it sat in a window.
The white cage has a few bends, typical of this toy. They can be straightened a bit. And they could use some cleaning. There is some residue on the bottom which looks to be from a price tag. It most likely will come off with some cleaning.
The toys is marked “Made in U.S. Zone Germany” inside the cage.
The bird still chirps. Most do not. The billows are made of heavy paper, and deteriorates with age.
The windup: we believe this was left in a wound state, causing a memory to the spring. As a result the windup doesn’t work until you wind up the toy about 7 times. The toy will work for about 2 revolutions of the windup key. It’s possible by leaving the windup non-tensioned that some of the memory will resolve itself. And then again, It may not.
As a precaution, for ALL toy windups: always leave the windup in the wound down position.
Song Bird in Cage Tin Windup Made in U.S. Zone Germany