Friday, February 13, 2015

The Art of Play: German Toy Birds, 1910

Toy Birds, 1910
Based on Designs from 1850
The Victoria & Albert Museum
In the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Museum of Childhood, there are several examples of German wooden toys which demonstrate the originality of German designs for children. Here, we see one of a group of traditional German toys which were made in the 1900s.

Though they were made in the Twentieth Century, they were based on designs which dated to the previous century. The toy consists of a carved hummingbird at each end of a cross bar. Beneath each bird is a leather bellows. When the upright bar is moved from side to side the bellows are operated causing the birds to whistle.

Such clever toys were wildly popular both in Germany and in England. However, due to their delicate nature, few survive. 

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