Stevens & Brown Mechanical Walking Doll with Hoops Toy
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We are pleased to offer for your consideration one of the rarest and most desirable early American clockwork toys ever produced.  Patented by George Brown, the 1872 Stevens & Brown catalog lists the toy as “Walking Doll, With Hoops.” This amazing toy still works great so be sure to view the videos above! The clockwork motor works very well and the doll performs exactly as designed. This wonderful toy has had restoration work done to it so please see the list below. When wound the clockwork mechanism will propel the two large hoops causing the doll to walk, raising and lowering each leg as she moves forward in a very life like manner. The forward motion causes enough action to ring the brass bell mounted to the front. The solder joint is loose at the bell. The toy was designed with one wheel being 7 inches in diameter and the other being 8 inches in diameter which causes the toy to travel in a circular path. George Brown’s genius application of the powerful brass clockwork motor makes it appear as if the doll is pushing the hoops forward, when in actuality the clockwork powered hoops are pulling the doll along. This doll is considerably taller than the typical Goodwin’s Patent Doll often found pushing a carriage (just over 11” tall).  The doll's head is composition, her torso is wood, the arms are cloth filled with sawdust, her legs are made up of flat steel, and her hands and feet are cast iron with leather uppers for her boots.  The dress she is wearing is a shear lace type material over a petticoat and bloomers. After searching our own library and extensively online we have only been able to locate two other examples of this amazing toy. The toy is large and delicate and it’s possible that these two conditions contributed to why so few examples survive today. Being large and delicate may also explain why this toy was in need of restoration when it came to us. The list below details the restoration this toy has undergone. Be sure to read all the way to the end of our listing so that you have all of the info on this great toy!

1. The boy holding the flag is an authentic replacement; it was taken from an original George Brown pull toy. The flag holder and the flag, along with a bit of black touchup on the solder at the lower portion of his shoes have been added.

2. The largest hoop wheel and its 3 spokes are replacements; however, the hub at the center of this wheel is original to the toy. The smaller wheel is all original.

3. The doll’s neck and shoulder plate have been restored but only below the chin and around the neck and upper back, and a small hole through the top of the head was also closed (here face is all original).

4. The outfit the doll is wearing came from another Goodwin Walking Doll we purchased just for the clothes. There is considerable damage to the bloomers including rust spots & holes but the dress is still pretty nice with only a bit of discoloration in a small area in the back near the bottom and a little bit of loose trim on the bodice. There is only slight soiling to the petticoat.

5. The two steel pins extending from the dolls waist that attach her to the handlebars are replacements; they are not visible when the toy is assembled.

6. The stabilizer has been replaced. It extends from the feet of the flag bearer back to a cross bar in the handle bar and attached there with a fine wire.

At the point where the spokes in both wheels are inserted into the soft metal hubs the holes have worn making the wheels a bit wobbly, but as you can see from the videos above, the toy still performs wonderfully. Included with the toy is an antique key that fits & works well. This fantastic early American toy was patented by George Brown in 1872 as an “Improvement in Mechanical Toys”. Photo copies of the patent which we obtained from the internet are included in the sale. This toy is discussed, and a sketch is shown (a copy of which is also included in the sale) in the book titled “The George Brown Sketch Book” edited by Edith F. Barenholtz and published by The Pyne Press in 1971. Please see last photo which shows both the sketch and the patent copies.  This extremely rare antique American clockwork Walking Doll, With Hoops measures approximately 12” tall to the flag top, the doll is just over 11” tall, it’s 14” from the bell to the doll’s heels and 4 ½” across to the outside of the hubs. This truly is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to own an amazing early American toy that would easily become the crown jewel of most clockwork toy collections!  PLEASE REVIEW ALL 10 PHOTOS AND USE THE ENLARGE AND ZOOM FEATURES AS WELL AS WATCH THE VIDEOS FOR THE BEST DESCRIPTION OF THIS RARE EARLY AMERICAN TOY. Please feel free to contact us with questions or for additional photos.  

We will ship outside U.S.A. to many countries. Contact us if you're interested. If you are located outside the United States and are interested in purchasing this item, please contact us for a shipping quote. We are only able to ship internationally via United Parcel Service (UPS) so that the item may be insured. Thank you!

  • Cannot ship to: Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom


Price: $7,500.00
Availability: SOLD