Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Unusual Ives Gondola

Well, this next post came a little later than expected due to the birth of my first child (aka next in line to inherit the collection.) But now, I'm getting back to the blog. Up for discussion this week is an unusual 1880's Ives gondola I recently purchased on Ebay, unusual because it is painted bright orange rather than the usual red.

Ives manufactured a number of cast iron floor train sets in the 1880's and 1890's in both clockwork and pull-train form. In 1900 the Ives factory burned to the ground and most if not all of the casting moulds were lost (paraphrased from Louis Hertz's book "The Messrs. Ives of Bridgeport").

I'm a big fan of the 2-2-0 high smokestack locomotives of this period and have actively searched for all the elements to make a complete set. I believe that a complete set contains a locomotive and tender with two gondolas and two cast brakemen. Until recently all I had located was the locomotive pictured above, but last week I found this bright orange CP RR Ives gondola and purchased it off Ebay.

Rick Ralson's "Cast Iron Floor Trains" does not list an orange gondola. So, here's the question, is this a repaint or did Ives produce early cars in this color. The paint definitely looks original with very heavy signs of wear. In chipped areas I don't see any other tones showing through. So, any thoughts, is it original or a very early repaint? If Rick Ralston is out there and reads this I'd love to get his input as well.

Thanks to everyone who has started responding to this Blog and special thanks to Marc Kuffler for adding a link to us from his site.


At Friday, February 03, 2006, Blogger Shawn T Lippert said...

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At Monday, May 01, 2006, Blogger VictorianToys said...

Just as an update, as it turns out this orange color was used by Ives on cast iron trains of this period. Recently, I have seen a number of original locomotives retaining matching orange/red paint on the stack and wheels. Upon cleaning and inspection I discovered that the pictured locomotive is a perfect color match for the gondola. Dumb luck I guess.


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