Tin Graf Zeppelin Windup Toy from Germany c.1930



This is an original tinplate windup toy Graf Zeppelin from Germany, made in the 1930s. It is 26" long with a clockwork motor. It is marked "Made in Germany" and is likely a TippCo toy, which produced a number of great clockwork toy zeppelins during the 1930s.The piece is in good condition showing appropriate patina for its age. The body is hand painted tin and shows some rust. One of the small propellers is missing. All parts are original including the wind up mechanism and large propeller. The wind up mechanism is working, which rotates the propeller and once hung makes the ship fly in a circle. There is a compartment for a battery operated light that opens in the passenger undercarriage, however this has not been tested.

  • CREATOR Unverified. TippCo (Germany)
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Tinplate, Handpainted.
  • CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Missing one small propeller.
  • DIMENSIONS W 26 in. x H 5 in. x D 5 in.


Unverified. TippCo toys, founded in 1912 in Nuremberg, the company was named after one of its founding directors, Miss Tipp. Another founder was Philip Ullmann, who was forced to flee to England in 1933 because he was Jewish. Together with Arthur Katz they began manufacturing toys to raise funds for other Jewish refugees.

They produced lines of  military tin toys. TippCo's military vehicles are among the finest clockwork tin toys produced before WW2 as well as other toy companies that produced high-quality tin windup toys such as Carette, Bing, Hess and Lehman.


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