Friday, 27 May 2011

A Toy Armoury

Ethel Blount (Gifts of St Nicholas: A Study of Toys) goes on to describe the toy weapons they make at the John Ruskin School.  I am not sure that much of this armoury would be allowed in toy shops today!   There are no more pictures of the armoury, so I've included some other toy pictures instead. 
Illustration of a toy bird on wheels
by Ethel Blount, 
Gifts of St Nicholas: A Study of Toys
"Our armoury has a great array of guns, from a tiny red cannon on yellow wheels up to the long deadly rifle with tin-foil-paper barrel.  Its wooden bullet, two inches in length, is tied to it firmly by due of string, while this pistol next to it shoots forth a captive cork with a terrible pop.  Swords and daggers are equally alarming and suggestive.  The blades are of fine, fine wood, pointed.  The black scabbards have, as a rule, patterns on them in yellow, and, as I well remember, just the same taste as the heads of Dutch dolls.
"Roundabout geese" from
Ethel Blount, Gifts of St Nicholas: A Study of Toys

Here is a cross-bow and bolt.  You set it, place the bolt and whiz - who knows what you may have hit?  And this bow, too, with its arrows that travel so lightly and deviously, this links you with Robin Hood and Little John, and all good men who ever lived under the greenwood tree.  It has a long ancestory.  The cloth-yard shafts of Senlac were among its forebears, and the arrow-heads of the Stone Age man."

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