Hans Eberl Toy Van with Box, ca. 1910

Value (2008) | $5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction

This was a gift to my husband from his grandfather from Strawbridge & Clothier. The grandfather ran a business where he delivered things from the store to people's homes. There's a picture here of the grandfather, and my husband's the little one that's in the wagon. And as far as I know, it works, it winds up and it moves. And it's in pretty good shape.

Now, the company, Strawbridge & Clothier, actually opened in 1868 in Philadelphia. And it was very famous chain of department stores for many, many, many, many years. In doing a little research I found that they had a little quote, which I thought was cute. It said, "This is the place where Santa came to appear in the magic window." So it was a place where kids would get their toys for the holidays and everything else. The toy itself is made by Hans Eberl-- E-B-E-R-L. It's a German toy. Actually, the side of the box is even marked "Germany." So it was made in Germany. Guesstimate for the age it was made-- just pre-World War I, 1910, 1912, around that period. It's a tin toy lithographed in different colors, plus the decal you have here on the side. To find a toy like this in the original box is extremely important. And it's great that people keep the boxes. One thing I want to point out with this toy is the condition's wonderful. But in this case, with the box, if you look at the very, very top of the toy here, you can see some scuffing. And that's a result of sliding it in and out of the box. So I would want to tell people when you have the box, the original box, you can keep the toy in it, be careful moving it in and out because that can cause some damage. Leave it alone; you don't want to do anything with it. You never want to restore a toy like this. It's going to diminish the value dramatically. Very, very scarce toy, especially, as I said-- and again, I'm stressing with the box. One very recently did sell at auction. I would estimate the toy at $5,000 to $7,000. The one that just sold at auction, with the box, went for $6,500. But it's important to remember, too, that prices will vary from auction to auction...


From month to month, from week to week, depending on who's bidding on it.

Wonderful. That surprises me. I didn't realize it was that valuable.

Appraisal Details

Philip Weiss Auctions
Lynbrook, NY
Appraised value (2008)
$5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction
Hartford, CT (August 23, 2008)

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