Theme Explorer

Page 1 of 2 29 Records Found

Board Game - 'Wheeling'

This board game dates from the end of the 19th century, when cycling was very popular both with men and women. It is called 'Wheeling - a new and exciting game for cyclists.' The small box, containing ...

Car and Fire Engine

Tinplate car and fire engine.

Construction Set

Early construction toys came from Germany, where there was a tradition of producing wooden toys. During the 19th century, sophisticated sets containing a wide variety of pieces became popular. This ...

Construction Set

'Bayko' building sets were made by the Plimpton Engineering Company of Liverpool, and were very popular in the 1950's. The name 'Bayko' came from the word 'bakelite' - the name of the hard plastic ...

Construction Set

This construction set, made of coloured interlocking plastic pieces, was made by 'Lego'. The company's founder, Ole Christiansen, was born in Denmark in 1891. He made wooden toys, which he called 'Lego' ...

Cup and Ball; Top

Before the widespread use of plastics in the 20th century, toys were made of natural materials. This cup and ball, together with a small spinning top, are made of ivory.

Diabolo and Tip-Cat

Both diabolo and tip-cat were toys that children played at home, or in the street or playground. They were very cheap to buy, or could be home-made. Both involve using string to keep the reel spinning. The ...


This bag contains glass and pottery marbles from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Miniature Toy Shop

This miniature toy shop is made of painted wood, with painted wood and plaster 'toys'. They include hoops, skittles, and a church. The words 'For Obedient Children' is written at the top. This toy ...

Miniature Wooden Cabinet and 'China'

Miniature wooden cabinet with glass fronted doors, and sides, containing a tiny wooden dinner service. Mid 19th century 288mm x 343mm x 117mm deep

Moving Toy - barber and customer

This tin model of a barber and his customer operates by a clockwork mechanism. When the key is wound, the barber appears to be cutting his customer's hair (although the customer is bald!)

Moving Toy - dog

This metal figure of a dog has jointed legs. These work by means of levers, attached to wheels on the wooden base.

Moving Toy - doll in a rose

Moving toys were very popular. This toy features a white fabric rose containing the head and arms of a doll. A clockwork mechanism is hidden inside the rose. When the key is wound, the doll rises from ...

Moving Toy - drinking man

This figure has a painted papier-mache head, and wears its original clothes. The silk coat and trousers are now in poor condition, with the silk fibres shredding and breaking away. The figure holds ...

Moving Toy - hat raising doll

This wooden figure holds a wooden top hat. A black lace is attached to the figure's shoulder. When the lace is pulled, the figure lifts up its hat.

Moving Toy - tea-pouring figure

This oriental figure has a bisque head and hands, with a composition body. It holds a teapot and cup and saucer. A clockwork mechanism is hidden in the base. When the key is wound, the figure moves its ...

Noah's Ark

The Noah's Ark was a popular toy in the 19th century. It was considered a suitable toy to play with on Sundays, because it was based on a bible story. This ark is made from wood, covered with strips ...

Picture Blocks

This box contains a set of picture blocks. Each wooden cube has part of a different picture on each side. The aim is to match up the cubes so they make a complete picture. Sets like these often had ...