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 LINEOL Elephant History

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: LINEOL Elephant History   Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:12 am

Lineol Elephant History
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I found an old newspaper article from April, 1989 with some interesting historical information.  Albert Caasmann was the main sculptor of the zoo series for Lineol, many of his figures were based on specific animals living in Berlin Zoo during the 1930s-1950s.  For example the hippo is Berlin's "Knautschke" (b.1943-1988), the gorilla is "Bobby"(b.1926-1935) and the black rhino is "Mtoto" (wild caught in 1927).

In 1936 a new Indian elephant was born at the zoo; Mr. Caasmann sculpted this animal from life and it became the Lineol elephant calf cat# 674.  Therefore this model represents a very young animal less than a year old.  He also sculpted the mother who was named "Aida" (adult Indian cow).  However the boss of Lineol, Oskar Wilhelm Wiederholz, was not pleased because he thought such a large elephant without impressive tusks would not sell well.  In the end tusks were added to the model and the elephant became a bull instead of a cow as was originally intended (cat# 673).

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1989 German newspaper article clipping.  Sculptor Albert Caasmann on right.
Sadly Orje died of an infection only two years later in 1938; a bronze statue was made of him which still stands in Berlin Zoo today.


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Orje and mother Aida at Berlin Zoo in 1936.  
Notice the long tail, folded over ear and spine shape are accurately captured.
The calf is nicely sculpted and has great proportions, something which is lacking with today's modern elephant figures.


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Both the new elephant models were released in 1938 (as seen in the catalogue)

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Cat# 671- Young African elephant, Cat# 674- Indian elephant calf.
I believe these are IV generation models


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With the help of forum member Susanne I was able to obtain what I believe is a Neo-Form copy of the Lineol elephant.
The copy is slightly smaller and the tail is sculpted flat against the body


Last edited by elephas_maximus on Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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Anne from Norway

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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:21 am

Thank you for this! As a passionate elephant collector I found this very interesting!
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:06 am

Thank you for this very informative topic Andrew. Very Happy

I suppose Albert Caasmann was also the African elephants sculptor because the style is the same. They are from the series IV. Lineol started the Indian "father" and calf production in 1938 and they were sold until 1960. For me they are still the best elephants toys and they are 1:20.

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widukind

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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:12 am

Interesting, thank you

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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:51 pm

Andrew, that's again a top quality topic! cheers
These Indian elephants are really very well sculpted and it is very nice to kow which real animals served as inspiration. I find very interesting the little remark about Lineol's boss. Often, the final figure, is not exactly what a sculptor plans but a compromise between his talent and marketologic interests of the company. So Aida turned in a bull that gave birth to a calf. :elehpant: Shocked It is also a market decision that the calf is too big when compared with the adult, mainly when it is clear that it represents a recently born. With correct proportions, it could end very small, thus less attractive to consumers. Though, these company decisions from Lineol, never destroyed the general appearance of an elephant sculpt as it happens with modern companies whose elehpant figures look more like cartoons with good skin details. :)

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:28 am

Thanks Anne and Andreas for the comments.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thank you for this very informative topic Andrew. Very Happy

I suppose Albert Caasmann was also the African elephants sculptor because the style is the same. They are from the series IV. Lineol started the Indian "father" and calf production in 1938 and they were sold until 1960. For me they are still the best elephants toys and they are 1:20.

Yes, I agree. I think most of the zoo animals including the Africans were by the same sculptor.  Thanks for the additional information on the years of their availability.  

Do you know what the differences are between the 1st-4th generation of the Lineol figures?  On eBay I see a lot of variation of the same figure, mainly the painting but also the clarity of the moulded details.  Some versions look bad because all the details are so soft and not clear while others are very crisp from the mould.  I assume the 4th generation figures have clearing moulding and a more elaborate painting technique that brings out the details vs. the older models which have flat single colour.

For example:

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Andrew, that's again a top quality topic! cheers
These Indian elephants are really very well sculpted and it is very nice to kow which real animals served as inspiration. I find very interesting the little remark about Lineol's boss. Often, the final figure, is not exactly what a sculptor plans but a compromise between his talent and marketologic interests of the company. So Aida turned in a bull that gave birth to a calf. :elehpant: Shocked It is also a market decision that the calf is too big when compared with the adult, mainly when it is clear that it represents a recently born. With correct proportions, it could end very small, thus less attractive to consumers. Though, these company decisions from Lineol, never destroyed the general appearance of an elephant sculpt as it happens with modern companies whose elehpant figures look more like cartoons with good skin details. :)

Thanks Roger.  I guess its the same then like now, whatever sells best gets made.  I agree that the painitng on modern figures is usually very good, Schleich does have nice texturing also but bad main body proportions.
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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:10 pm

An amazing topic ! Thankyou very, very much cheers

Btw. the baby elephant we got from Sweeden is not NeoForm. Theirs has one front leg in walking position elephant

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:08 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
An amazing topic ! Thankyou very, very much cheers

Btw. the baby elephant we got from Sweeden is not NeoForm. Theirs has one front leg in walking position elephant

Hi Susanne, I was just guessing the brand since seeing your post of the NeoForm black rhino (Lineol copy).
The painting style is similar especially the eyes and bright pink mouth, also the more simplified details overall.

Do you know if the NeoForm calf you mentioned is a copy from another brand or did they sculpt their own?  Also do NF figures have the brand labelled on them?  

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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:31 pm

You are perfectly right, Neoform did copy most of their models from Lineol, and they are smaller than the originals.
But the material is very heavy and brittle, almost like some sort of clay, and they are usually marked : NF, N.F. or DENMARK or NF where the right down-stroke of N and the down-stroke of the F are one.

The material and type of paint of this elephant reminds me of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] , but your beautyful baby is of finer quality than BERICO...perhaps another Sweedish brand that we don't know of (yet) ? scratch

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:13 am

Thanks for the additional information Susanne, I just assumed NF used composition but thats interesting to know. Smile
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tiopesao



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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Wed May 25, 2016 4:23 pm

Hello,

If anyone has doubts about lineol or other german composition animal figures can assk me. I am a collector and can give some light into it.

Best regards.
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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Sat May 28, 2016 2:49 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hello,

If anyone has doubts about lineol or other german composition animal figures can assk me. I am a collector and can give some light into it.

Best regards.
Thanks Juan Carlos, it is nice to have your knowledge here! Very Happy

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tiopesao



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PostSubject: Re: LINEOL Elephant History   Mon May 15, 2017 10:56 pm

Dear all,

Very good post! Here you can see an early versión of the elephant orje. Since it was born in april 36 and it was too young when Albert Caasmann modelled it, and that Bobby died in 1935 and was sculpted by the time he was being naturalised, it is quite clear that the fourth generation started between 1936 and 1938 (the year of the Foreign countries catalogue in which the figures appeared for the first time). The picture with both elephant calves shows figures of that early period.

Best regards.
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