In 1995, when we started collecting old toys, the collection we have now has never been the objective.
We collected old bears, tricycles, abacuses, etc. On a certain day, Peter came home with an old pedal car. We didn’t know anything about this type of toy. The brand of the car was ‘Torck’. This was the start of what became a complete collection.
We threw ourselves completely in the Torck brand. Slowly but surely we were able to lay our hands on the catalogues of almost all years, which gave us an overview of all toys Torck ever produced. Our oldest catalogue dates back to 1912. We don’t know if there are catalogues or leaflets older than this, and we couldn’t uncover this yet at present.
Due to the smaller supply back then, it is possible that the toys were presented by means of smaller leaflets or posters. We have been able to gather certain editions of these!
Intensive treasure-hunting, an unstoppable perserverance, a sound dose of luck, astounding enthusiasm and a ‘don’t stop until you get what you want’-spirit resulted in the collection we have in our possession now. A unique collection of Torck pedal cars, ranging from 1910 to 1970. We try to work to a very high standard: all pedal cars must be as original as possible, they have to be played with and at the same time well-preserved. Copies and renovations don’t have any chance to enter into our collection. This vision is not always shared by collegues-collecters from abroad, but in our view the toys must be able to ‘tell’ what they have been going through… how many times their young, previous owner has bumped into a tree, how many times the wheel came off after driving off the pavement at high speeds… this is what makes the collection so captivating!
We could only be happy when we saw that this vision, and the collecting of Torck objects was being supported by more people.
But we did not stick to Torck alone…
A good many other toy factories were located in Deinze. We have found pieces of following brands: Swan, Beeusaert, Puls-Bovie and Pericles. We were able to add a number of extraordinary objects from these manufacturers to our collection, and they are now being cherished deeply.
We own a lot of horses in carton bouilli from Beeusaert. Also a number of moules of horses as well as of soldiers are in a top spot in our collection.
This company was also responsible for manufacturing farms, soldiers in papier-maché, and the series of Tintin puppets.
And then there is also Swan and Pericles. Until now we only have very limited information about this company, but their cyclorameur in the shape of a rabbit remains ‘top of the pops’ in the collection. Like all others, this object is still in its original condition, it even has the original paint job! The very rare enamel Pericles sign was their publicity for prams, in the early 1920’s, and makes part of our collection now.
It really is a never-ending story: our collection is being upgraded all the time by adding items that are preserved better, that have more options (for the pedal-cars), etc. Even after 20 years of collecting: Our vision is one of continuous improvement, and we don’t go for less. This collection shows a good part of the cultural legacy of our city Deinze, our country Belgium, and is collected with blood, sweat and tears, but above all with a lot of passion. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the families Torck, Beeusaert, Seeuws and Rosseau for their trust, support and cooperation during this quest.
We refer to several expositions in several Museums in Belgium and abroad, in the chapter “Realisations”, or you can read more in “Press special editions” and “Press”.
In the meantime, you can enjoy this website, which also is a virtual museum.
From March 2016 on, a part of our Torck pedal car collection will be exposed continuously in the Museum of Deinze en Leiestreek, in our city of Deinze. Enjoy your visit. We are still able to organize more expositions with the other part of this Torck collection. We will keep you updated of course! There’s absolutely more to come!
Katrien en Peter