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Joseph Walker Mechanical Drawing Artist

The Drawing Artist made by Joseph Walker of Birmingham is a very rare painted and copper plated toy. Operated by winding the handle in the base, a double cam allows the seated figure to draw a portrait of a number of 19th century personalities – in this case the cams that accompany the toy are of Gladstone and Lord Salisbury. This toy and a discussion of its relationship to the later and more easily found Clown Artist toy by Philip Vielmetter of Germany appears on pages 18 and 19 of Mechanical Toys by Athelstan and Kathleen Spilhaus - they date the toy to 1880 and indicate James (sic) Walker of Birmingham, England as the maker - curiously it uses the same interchangeable drawing cams as the Vielmetter clown suggesting that at some point in the late 19th century the rights to the mechanism were purchased by Vielmetter.

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