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Mechanical penny toy sewing machine. Many tinplate toys were modelled on familiar domestic items. Miniature sewing machines were popular penny toys and this example was also a sweet container with a moveable drawer. Tinplate toys such as these were primarily made in Germany and distributed across the world by wholesalers. This one was made by Johann Phillip Meier, a German manufacturer. In London, such toys were often sold by street vendors and independent toy shops. Ernest King spent 25 years collecting penny toys, and he bought this one on 2 December 1905.
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