Manufacturers - It is virtually
impossible to identify ark manufacturers since it was largely a cottage
It is also hard to determine what the full complement of
animals for a set was. You would think that the number of persons would always
be eight since that was the size of Noah's family but I don't think that was
always the case. Occasionally, a list of contents is found in a toy catalog or
with an ark.
The Erzgebirge Toy Museum of
Seiffen - this museum has a very interesting
internet site devoted to toys made in the Erzgebirge mountain region of Germany, where,
for over 300 years, toys like the Noah's Arks shown here were made. See their
site at by clicking on their logo:
Noah's Arks have become very popular with toy collectors. The most
desirable are the German made, 19th century arks. The boat bottom arks are much
more desirable than the flat bottom ones. The taller the better. Originality is
very important although most arks have had, or need, some restoration. Their wood
parts shrink over time and separations occur. This is a sign of age.
Hand painting details increase value. Small amounts of
lithographed decoration that enhances beauty is desirable. Arks with all
lithographed decoration are not usually as desirable.
The more animal pairs the better - single animals don't add
very much since finding a matching mate is very improbable - but it does happen.
Nice examples sell for thousands of dollars. Particularly spectacular
sets have sold for $80,000 or more.
Auction Alert! At
Northeast Auctions' August 5-6, 2000 auction of Americana, a Noah's Ark with
about 200 animals and about 12 figures of Noah's family reached $28,750! The ark
size was 12 inches by 23 inches. The ark was a flat bottomed version. To see a
B/W image of this ark, click here.
Your Ark - Send
me photos of your old arks and I will publish them. Go to our gallery of
beautiful arks here: