The man has lead weights for his feet and a wooden roller between his legs. When placed on a gentle slope the man will roll down, staying upright because of the weight of his lead feet. A partial translation of the words on the tray held by the man is ‘General distributor for shoelaces’. Made in Germany and marked D.R.G.M.

To get this man to perform, you need to hold him as you would a pair of scissors and move the legs in and out. As you do this, the man repeatedly raises his hat and smiles broadly. There is a sample label attached to the figure with the number 133/2. The style of this suggests that the item was made in Germany, a country well known for its tin toys.

This is a very cleverly designed tinplate figure. You need to hold the figure as you would a pair of scissors and move the legs in and out. As you do this the figure first picks up an egg from the basket and then lifts its arm up to its mouth. The egg is placed in the figure’s mouth as it opens its eyes. As the figure drops its now empty arm, the egg vanishes from its mouth as its eyes close again. The movements then repeat. The illustrations include one of the back of the figure, revealing that the mechanism is both clever and simple.

This well produced book contains a peep show of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation as well as an interesting and detailed account of what happens during the ceremony. Published by the Hulton Press, London in 1953. This recent addition to the collection was a generous gift from Peter Lane.

This is an excellent optical illusion. Hold the wire loosely between your thumb and first fingers, as illustrated. When you move your hands apart, allow the wire to slide through your fingers. The impression that the wire is growing longer and longer is very strong.