"Fresser" Mechanical Toy
How many of my Amana readers were told by their mothers in German when eating their dinner much too fast, "You're not eating . . . you're 'fressing'!" That's exactly where these German mechanical toys got their name . . . "Fressers," or known in English as "Eaters." Humans eat; animals "fress," or devour. The German/Thuringian mechanical Fresser toys typically show a figure with their mouth wide open. When the crank is turned, something pops up to eat . . . in this case a spun cotton carrot for the rabbit.
When looking at the toy from the front, one can then see a rather vicious-looking rabbit with his mouth wide open showing a tongue and teeth ready to devour the carrot. When the crank is turned, the carrot smoothly goes into the open mouth and continues through the papier-mache body, into the wooden box below, and after coming full circle pops up, ready to eat again.
A small cardboard drawer with a wood and paper front is a perfect place for children to store candy.
Fresser toys are being reproduced. The old pieces are rare and very hard to find. Study the obviously old paper and old paint in the photos above The reproductions will stand out when compared to this original rabbit Fresser.
Margo, I'm probably guilty of making it an "Amana" word by saying "fressing" -- the verb is actually "fressen" -- but I think our parents would have put the "ing" on it . . . typical Amana German. Because of the mohair-covered head on my Fresser, it probably dates to around 1900, but there are some fantastic ones that are all papier-mache, humans with over-sized heads, mouths wide open, that were made ca 1870 or so. Just wonderful!
Leave a Reply.
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.