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Unique Art ca. 1940’s Tin Lithographed Windup “Li’l Abner and his Dogpatch Band” with Box for Sale


Unique Art ca. 1940’s Tin Lithographed Windup “Li’l Abner and his Dogpatch Band” with Box

We have for you a ca. 1940’s tin, windup, lithographed “Li’l Abner and his Dogpatch Band” with restored box manufactured by Unique Art Manufacturing Company Inc. of Newark, New Jersey. 

This piece is in working condition and when wound by its dedicated key and switched on, Abner dances, Pappy plays the drums, Mammy leads the band with her baton, and Daisy Mae plays the piano. There is a working stop and start slider on the side and all pieces and connections are in secure working order. This rendition is a higher grade than our earlier video review and the colors are crisp. The box is in very good restored condition (the box has two bottom flaps restored) and it has been Cellophane wrapped to protect the box.

This piece is in great all original condition with no breaks, restorations, repairs, or touch-ups. This piece shows the usual patina, fading, dust, chips, scuffs, surface rust, scratches, missing accessories, and wear that are to be expected from age and play. This is approximately 9 ½” L x 5” W x 8 ½” H. We invite you to view the photos to further determine quality and condition.    



A brief history of Unique Art Manufacturing Company Inc. of Newark, New Jersey:  

Unique Art Manufacturing Company Inc. was an American toy company, founded in 1916, and based in Newark, New Jersey.  They made inexpensive toys, including wind-up mechanical toys out of lithographed tin. The “Rap & Tap in a Friendly Scrap” was one of its earliest products. Other toys they manufactured were, comic/character tin mechanicals including “Li`l Abner Dogpatch Band” and “Gertie, The Galloping Goose”. 

The company scored a hit in the 1940s when it acquired the rights to a popular comic strip and released the Li’l Abner Dogpatch Band for Christmas 1945. The windup toy featured Abner dancing, Pappy on drums, Mammy with a drum stick, and Daisy Mae playing the piano. Unique followed with a Howdy Doody band several years later. 

Unique’s president, Sammy Bergman, was a good friend of toy magnate Louis Marx, and the two men’s companies at times cooperated, with Marx providing tooling to Unique and sometimes acting as a distributor for Unique’s products. Unique Art’s eventual fate is unclear but the company appears to have disappeared by 1952, with some evidence of Marx picking up the line later on. 

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 2.5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 12 in
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