You can confidently date this long-produced gypsy witch clanger to the 1950s. How? Earlier versions used wood balls for both sides. As with all tin litho manufacturers, T. Cohn had to find a way to compete in the cutthroat 1950s thanks to an onslaught of cheaply made Japanese products. One of their cost saving measures was to replace the wood balls with these unattractive flat-stamped pieces of tin. I prefer the earlier versions.
This tin litho clanger has superb graphics and is bigger than most. This item is elusive. I looked for one in this kind of condition for nearly 30 years before acquiring one. Tin has been one of the cooler genres these last 10 years although there have been recent signs of re-invigoration. The rare tin items have routinely brought strong prices - as I expect this will do.
05/21 Update: This sold for $566.56. Naturally, two determined bidders escalated this well beyond the sustainable level of ~$350.
This clanger uses the same lithography of the ever-elusive cymbals shown at the bottom of page 207. Sustainable Guide Value for the cymbals is $450. Although this noisemaker form surfaces much more often than the cymbals do, I think the opportunity to make an offer on the BIN price of $100 is good. Even with its seemingly dull patina (or is it just dirty?) I feel an offer of ~$70 is reasonable.
Although a regular reader wrote that another one of these sold last year for around the same amount, I don't recall ever seeing this particular design before. (I must have missed the listing.) I was the prevailing bidder. I like the boldness and the cartoonish quality of the graphics. It reminds me of something Bugle would have produced. I'm looking forward to receiving it.
I've not seen this tin litho noisemaker design before. (Interestingly, a rattler with the same design as this clanger ended yesterday.) Tin noisemakers as a genre have been left for dead this past decade, but when some rare design surfaces collectors are not loath to open their pocketbooks. This was a strong result for an awesome seller.
This seller has three pieces of Bugle lithographed tin up on eBay right now. As readers know, I love Bugle's tin output as their designs were quirky, quite a bit different from the not-so-memorable output by the major players. The mistakes this seller make are twofold: They don't adjust their asking prices for condition and their prices are simply too high anyway. By and large, tin items are plentiful. Most designs were made for many seasons and they last. My stance is always buy the best items in the best condition. This goes doubly so with tin.