By now you may be familiar with the boxes I collect painted in the Sonneberg area of Thuringia, Germany. You can't imagine my surprise (and my German collector friends as well) when I found this large (8-long) top ca. 1840-1850 in the northeast US. Up until now we had only seen the typical "house" motif on boxes from this area, and we were quite shocked when I found this beautifully painted top with lovely bands of vibrant colors of paint "topped" with the Sonneberg houses. Tops like this were a typical wooden toy produced in this area during the 1850 time period, and every Musterbuch (sample book) that the salesmen carried with them always included tops usually painted with flowers . . . but nowhere does one show painting such as this!
And if the top weren't enough, several days later I found another Sonneberg box -- this being the first one with a flat lid in my collection -- also in the northeast US. The colors are vibrant on all sides and one of the most beautiful I've found thus far. The northeast United States is rich in early German toys (early German anything really), as in the mid-1850s our German ancestors were immigrating to the United States by the tens of thousands, bringing along whatever they could in their trunks to start a new life, and the bulk of them remained in the New York/Pennsylvania/northeastern US area. That makes that region of the country #1 for antique collectors like me. My Christmas came a little early this year. These are the best gifts I can imagine!
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