You are viewing an original Meiji period Kobe automaton toy in excellent antique condition (a small loss to the furthest left toe on the left foot) with no splits or damage to the case. The carved eyes are all original and retained.The hands have holes which may have been for matches. Size of the box excluding legs/arms 8cm x 8cm x 9cm Made at the Japanese port of Kobe, local craftsmen began producing the curious mechanical Kobe Toys, as they came to be known. By turning a knob or pushing and pulling a lever the weird figures would come to life. They would beat drums, wave fans, and kick their legs crazily whilst their carved heads may well rocket upwards on over-length necks! They were often given tiny carved eyeballs and red coloured tongues which could move in and out of their mouths. Some of them performed from boxes, others seated or lying in wheeled boats.
The Kobe Toys were never exported commercially and the majority of them were said to have been mainly offered for sale at the docks. They made wonderful souvenirs of a trip to Japan and in that way they would have been exported around the world as souvenirs of a visit to Kobe. If for some reason this is not going to be possible please let know. The item "Antique Japanese Kobe Automaton Toy.Rare Piece" is in sale since Thursday, June 27, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian/Oriental Antiques\Japanese\Other Japanese". The seller is "phius02" and is located in Ringwood. This item can be shipped worldwide.