The Performing Sea-Lion

Object Number: 
1957.258
Date: 
1899
Medium: 
Iron, tin, paint
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3 x 8 x 5 in. ( 7.6 x 20.3 x 12.7 cm )
Marks: 
inscribed: on underside of tail: "MADE IN GERMANY/ENGLISH PATENT/[two stars]/D · R · G · M [bisected by trademark consisting of spindle press with interlaced letters 'EPL'/DEUTSCHE ARBEIT"
Description: 
Tinned sheet iron gray sea-lion with black markings, beige underbelly, and red collar; jointed flippers connected to central wheel; tail mounted on pair of wheels; when pushed or pulled, flippers move to create a swimming motion.
Gallery Label: 
"The Performing Sea-Lion" (no. 445) was manufactured from 1899-1935; however, this version of the trademark, registered by E.P. Lehmann in 1896, was only used before 1900 (p. 174), dating this example to 1899. The toy is powered by a coilspring mechanism made out of piano wire, and cannot be overwound. Lehmann used real piano wire, purchased from a company in the Black Forest (pp. 161-62). See also p. 180 for illustration of advertisement (See Publications).
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mr. Morris W. Abbott
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group