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I've collected a number of variations on these over the years.  They are quite small miniature automobiles made from very fine silver wire, all hand formed.  I've been told these originated in Europe, probably France, Germany, Italy and the UK.  They were done by apprentice jewelers as projects to test their skills.  They were all hand made and come in quite a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some appear to be produced from a standard design drawing, but there are so many unique varieties I've seen in other collections that they obviously reflect the individuality of the artists who created them.  Many of them feature jewels set in place as headlamp or sidelamp lens.  Some have detailed hinged, latching doors.  I would date them to the early 1900s.  Thought you'd enjoy seeing yet another category of automobilia. 

Terry

Silver Filagree automobile.jpg

Silver Filagree car.jpg

Silver fillagreee auto another view.jpg

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When I saw this post I was thinking it was for the Franklin mint silver ingot car series they had several years ago.  The silver ingots were impressed with the image of autos from antique to modern.  Each ingot is 97% silver so at least the silver content gives the car set value based on the market price of silver.

 

The cars you posted are much more interesting with the actual shape of the auto made from the silver wire instead of a flat ingot.

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3 hours ago, Bob Barrett said:

Terry, 

These are indeed beautiful little works of art. You say that they are "quite small miniatures". I'm curious as to how small. Rough measurements would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,  Bob

These are about 1 1/2" to 2" long.  Can't imaging doing that much detail work on something that small, especially considering all of it is silver soldered.  They are real works of art, and I'd imaging when they were done back in the early 1900s, some of the artists had probably only ever seen an automobile from a distance, or a drawing.

Terry

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