This is an extremely rare and highly sought after toy made by Joseph Walker of Birmingham, England - circa 1880. This is the very toy pictured and discussed on page 89 of Mechanical Toys by Athelstan and Kathleen Spilhaus. Joseph Walker only made a handful of different toys; very few of which have ever been found (see also Joseph Walker's mechanical Drawing Artist) . This interesting painted tin and brass hand operated toy, depicts a robed boy with tasselled hat seated on a pedestal. With the press of a lever he dips his pipe in soap solution then raises pipe as if to mouth but air from an internal bellows actually runs through his arm to create the bubble.
From his trade catalogue in the Birmingham Library, Joseph Walker is characterized as 'Designer, modeller, Diesinker, Toolmaker, Stamper, Piercer, etc - Patentee and Manufacturer of novelties and fancy goods in Silver, Electro and Nickel Plate, Copper, Brass, Aluminium etc'.
Size: 6" t.
Condition: Good (bellows and tubing integrity not checked)