Children’s Christmas > Holiday Toys

Posted On October 21, 2006

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HOLIDAY TOYS > from Harper’s Bazar, December 31, 1881.
 
“Furnishing for dolls’ houses’ is carried to perfection this winter, and includes cabinets, pianos, and jardinieres in the drawing- rooms, library sets that are covered with leather, whitewood chamber sets upholstered with pale blue silk, dining-room sets, with buffet and extension table, and every article of kitchen furniture. Hammocks, statuettes, busts mounted on pedestals, transparent pictures for the tiny windows, mantels with mirrors set in them, gilded clocks, vases, lamps, and photograph albums are among the new articles of luxury, and a lady doll in full evening toilette of the present day, or else a powdered French marquise, is chosen to preside in the tiny mansion.”

“Among the walking toys is a cock that crows as it walks, an elephant that moves slowly, and an ape that clambers along most ungracefully; the musical ape and a most natural-looking cat are new this season; a pug walks around, a pig jumps out of a box, and an egg is put in at the top of a box, and a chicken comes out below. There are new musical rattles dressed as harlequins, with a music-box inside. Tambourines, lutes, mandolins, and all the musical instruments used by the aesthetes in Patience are copied in toys, and some are decorated with paintings and gay ribbons.”

“New alphabet blocks have the letters painted on squares of different sizes that are piled up one within another. The Brooklyn Bridge and the House that Jack built are new building blocks. The newest wagon is the great canopy-topped wagon of the prairies, and is labelled, Go West. New banks for savings represent all kinds of animals with open mouths for catching pennies, and ample bodies for holding them. Wooden animals, well carved and without paint, are in boxes for small children, while for larger ones are boxes of skin-covered animals. Menageries, stables, sheep, eats, dogs, show genuine skins and finely shaped creatures. New targets have four birds and a bull’s-eye that can be knocked out when struck; a cannon or a rifle is sold with these. New tops work by electricity, and the colors change as you touch them while they spin. Telephones, telescopes, printing – presses, tool-boxes with a scroll-saw added to them, rubber bar balls, drums, trumpets, sleighs with real white Angola robes, bicycles, and leaping horses are the attractive things for boys.”

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