Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 114 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TOY (an adaptation of Du. tuig, tools, implements, ,stuff, speltuig, playthings, i.e. stuff to play with, spelen, to play); a child's plaything, also a trifle, a worthless, petty ornament, a gew-gaw, a bauble. Children's toys and playthings survive from the most remote periods of man's life on the earth, though many so-called diminutive objects made and used by primitive man, sometimes classified as playthings, may have been work-men's models, votive offerings or sepulchral objects. A large number of wooden, earthenware, stone or metal dolls remain with which the children of ancient Egypt once played; thus in the British Museum collection there is a flat painted wooden doll with strings of mud-beads representing the hair, a bronze woman doll bearing a pot, on her head, an earthenware doll carrying and nursing a child; some have movable jointed arms. There are also many toy animals, such as a painted wooden calf, ' a porcelain elephant with a rider; this once had movable legs,which have disappeared. Balls are found made of leather stuffed with hair, chopped straw and other material, and also of blue porce- lain or papyrus. Jointed doll's, moved by strings, were evidently favourite play- things of the Greek and Roman chil- dren, and small modelsof furniture, chairs, tables, sets of jugs painted with scenes of children's life survive from both Greek and Roman times. Balls, tops, rattles and the implements of numerous games, still favourites in all countries and every age, remain to show how little the amusements of children have changed. See also Donn; Tor; PLAY; and for the history of toys, with their varying yet unchanging fashions, see H. R. d'Allemagne, Histoire des Jouets, and F. N. Jackson, Toys of other Days (1908).
End of Article: TOY

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