By Renaud Fournier
The archaeological record shows the first undisputed dog remains buried beside humans 14,700 years ago, and that dogs were the first domesticated species. Ever since then, dogs have played a key role in the evolution of human beings. The dog’s role as man’s best friend has been well documented in the antique tin toy record as well.
In this article, we’ll focus on four very desirable early twentieth century tin toys made in Germany and in pre-war Japan. We’ll start with a beautiful classic toy made in Germany, likely by Bing of Nuremberg (see picture 1). This attribution stems from the fact that a very similar boy figure holding two celluloid balls has been clearly attributed to Bing. This wonderful toy shows a boy taking his favorite pet on a walk and when wound, the toy rolls along with the dog’s head moving up and down. The dog represented appears similar to a German shorthaired Labrador, a breed which was developed in Germany in the 19th century for hunting purposes.