Hans Eberl Toy Van, ca. 1912
I brought my great-great-uncle's toy. He died young, and his father put it away, and when he sold the house, we got the toy. It's a Strawbridge & Clothier truck. I don't know much about it. I was told that it was made somewhere around 1912, 1914, but that's about it.
Now, where did your great-great-uncle live?
In Philadelphia, but I don't know exactly where.
But you are familiar with the firm that is on the side of this truck right here, correct?
Yes. Because someone told me it was from Tip.
No. Tip, um... Right here is TC, and that sometimes looks like the Tip & Company logo, but Tip & Company is not the producer of this piece. What I was referring to, and one of the reasons I love this toy, is that it's really a Philadelphia piece. The Strawbridge & Clothier was a very famous department store, and I really think that it is the 1912 period. The other thing that's really neat about it is that these were produced for other department stores, and collectors love to see them from other stores and other cities. And so it becomes a competition of who can get what. And I'm turning this around to point out right here is sort of a little dancing figure with the letters "H E N," and that stands for "Hans Eberl of Nuremberg." So it tells us both the manufacturer and the city it was manufactured in. So we essentially have an early transportation piece. It can be called a panel van or a delivery van, but that's really even almost before they made up those terms. It's in wonderful condition. I love the alligatoring finish that you can see on the roof. And all through here is that sort of rich crazing. Now, do you have any idea what it's worth?
No. I have no idea what it's worth. Sometime back, a family member said they thought it was about $500.
Well, I think a fair retail price is around $3,000.
It's in wonderful condition. It's an advertising piece, it's fitted with a key-wind motor so that it will actually roll along, and I'm so pleased that you brought it to us in Philadelphia.
Well, thank you.
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