The Authentic Models collection of balance toys have been hand cut from metal sheet, and are hand painted, using a painting style known as Tole.
Tole Painting is a celebrated folk art, which decorates metal and wooden objects. Teapots, Coffeepots, tables, chairs, and chests, including hope chests, toyboxes and jewelry boxes find a new lease of life with a touch of Tole painting. According to collectors, Tole Painting became popular in the 18th century. Its birthplace is reported as New England, and it slowly gain popularity with German immigrants Pennsylvania USA, although reference can be found back to France in the 15th Century.
Using sharp chisels, craftsmen cut the steel plate into shape and hammer the edges. Others bend, cast and attach the wire hung counterweight and check balance and swing. Village painters hand paint faces and important details. Apprentices do base paint and more mundane details. The distressed finish is the result of an old and proven system of combined layers of paint of slightly different composition. The final step is a hand rub with dark colored beeswax giving it the final finish and feel. In the manner of their antique predecessors, these balance toys are true originals.