In 1920’s Berlin, the First World War was over, but political and economical instability hung heavily over Germany as it did over much of Europe. As the population sought entertainment to escape the doom and gloom, so the popularity of cabarets rose and the model we see here is promoting a typical Berlin cabaret of this era.
As of 2010, this cabaret show still exists, but while no doubt it now has more modern ways of advertising, 80 years ago this car would have driven the streets of Berlin to promote the cabaret. Certainly, the coachbuilder who made the real car must have had some very creative sensibilities, and as Erzebirge chose to model it, it must have been a common sight of the era. According to the former owner of the model, it was only available in Berlin, which would make sense. Perhaps it was only available at the actual cabaret!
It is made of painted wood, with the decoration applied by stamp. It is about 1/60 scale. Promotional vehicles such as this are a whole theme of collecting on their own - the designers used their mischievous sense of imagination. Indeed, this model marks the end of a period of models which I would describe as being poetic, and the models of Erzgebirge and Plankt have a great deal of charm.
Soon, as society evolved into the 1930’s and the ambience of Berlin changed, the whimsicality associated with toys like this would vanish, replaced by more coldly realistic models made by companies like Marklin - faithful reproductions of vehicles which children could see every day in the streets and easily identify. And while a model Horch would look like a Horch and Caracciola’s Mercedes would be fully recognizable as such, they have a very different sort of appeal than toys like this one. Before its collapse, Erzgebirge would make several more realistic models of cars like the Hanomag and Opel, proving that the trend truly had wiped out models like the one pictured.
Isabelle and Vincent Espinasse. Autojauneparis.fr