Tin Mania TV

Philip Vielmetter Clown Artist

The brightly dressed Clown Artist, crank-operated, German lithographed tin toy by Philip Vielmetter sits at an easel, drawing a caricature of Queen Victoria. The clown's pencil is controlled by a double cam, a rotating irregular metal plate which forces the pencil to move along its edges. In their book, "Mechanical Toys, How Old Toys Work” Athelstan & Kathleen Spilhaus show that although Vielmetter is generally credited with inventing this toy's mechanism, he probably purchased its patent from its English creator, Joseph Walker. Both toys' cams are interchangeable. The Clown Artist was curiously the only toy made by Vielmetter. Although not as rare as the Joseph Walker Drawing Artist it is nonetheless a scarce mechanical toy and only occasionally surfaces at auctions.

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