An Extraordinary Mid-19th Century Noah's Ark with 250 Figures,and Original Document

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24" (61 cm.) l. The wooden Noah's Ark is fancifully-painted,having shaded red roof decorated with a painted bird on a branch,and painted sides to suggest shuttered windows,architectural supports and decorative borders. Included with the Ark are six wooden people with painted costumes (including Noah wearing an unusual Admiral's cap and uniform); 72 pairs of animals,44 pairs of birds and owls,and 5 pairs of insects (250 total figures). Condition: generally excellent,all original with vibrant paints,small strip of wood missing on foundation,three birds each lack one leg,and a few minor flakes. Comments: Germany,circa 1870,included with the collection is an original paper document,in German,French and English,listing 250 figures that could be obtained for the Ark. Given this document,the unusual large size,the extensive variety of rare figures and its immaculate original condition,it is probable that the Ark was used as an Exhibition model only. Value Points: exceptional in its size and number of figures,the set is also remarkable for its extraordinary detail that charmingly combines realism and fantasy; the collection includes such rare figures as peacocks,anteaters,antelopes,Rhesus and proboscic monkey,and beetles.
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