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CUP AND BALL / BILBO CATCHER
Toys of the cup & ball family had already been favorite childhood amusements for many centuries by the time of settlements in the North American colonies, and they have remained popular throughout American history. In simple cup & ball toys, the ball is tossed and caught in a cup on the end of a stick. In the more difficult bilbo catcher variation, the ball can also be caught on the tip of the opposite side of the spindle by a hole drilled in the ball. .

522. Cup and Ball Toy
Reproduced from an original silver coin, we cast this coin in lead-free pewter to represent the appearance and weight of the original Spanish Milled dollar. The coin is clearly marked “copy”, and packaged in a poly bag with history insert.


532
. Bilbo Catcher
Our solid wood spindle is 4 7/8” long, with a solid wood ball. Each toy is packaged in a poly bag with a history and instruction insert; after August 2003, each toy will be packaged in a printed box with history and instructions.

WHIRLIGIGS or BUZZERS
Simple whirling toys were mentioned in English literature as early as 1686, and would certainly have been as popular in early America as they were in Europe. Similar toys have also been found in Native American cliff ruins, indicating the toy’s antiquity in North America. A folk toy that could have been easily made with materials at hand, one can imagine this toy amusing children from colonial times right through the westward migrations, and continuing to fascinate children today.

536. Pewter Coin Whirligig
Whirling toys made of hammered lead musket balls or coins too old or thin to be of value have been excavated from early American towns, plantations, and military campsites. Our whirligig, packaged in a poly bag with a history and instruction insert, is fashioned from our lead-free pewter reproduction of a Spanish milled dollar, a silver coin widely used in North America during the 16th through early 19th centuries.



533
. Wood Buzz Saw
The sound of the whirling disk lends this folk toy its common name of “buzzer”, although it appears in English literature as early as 1686 under the general name for spinning toys, whirligig. The scalloped edge of our buzzer identifies it more particularly as a “buzz saw” toy. In past times the edge was often sharply cut into a sawtooth pattern, but a buzz saw with any shaped edge will produce an impressive loud, whizzing noise when it reaches full speed.

TOPS
Adults and children alike have been fascinated with spinning toys since antiquity, and top games are seen in all parts of the world throughout time. Although the whip top may be the most ancient member of the toy top family, at least five types of tops were known in England by the 16th century, including peg tops, whip tops, and hand spun tops; the North American Indian tribes also have a rich heritage of top games, many of which were played on the ice.

529. Peg Top
The “peg top” is the familiar turnip-shape top, set in motion by a wound string. Our solid wood peg top decorated with burned lines, and packaged in a poly bag with a history and instruction insert.


524
. Whip Top
The sound of the whirling disk lends this folk toy its common name of “buzzer”, although it appears in English literature as early as 1686 under the general name for spinning toys, whirligig. The scalloped edge of our buzzer identifies it more particularly as a “buzz saw” toy. In past times the edge was often sharply cut into a sawtooth pattern, but a buzz saw with any shaped edge will produce an impressive loud, whizzing noise when it reaches full speed.

JACOBS LADDER
The mysterious movement of this puzzling toy has fascinated generations of American children. Described in Scientific American (1889) as a “simple toy – very illusive in action”, the Jacobs Ladder still confounds us with its seemingly inexplicable motion.

540. Jacobs Ladder
Our Jacobs Ladder is constructed of 6 solid wood segments attached with colorful grosgrain ribbon, and is packaged in a poly bag with a history and instruction insert.

TABLETOP NINEPINS
Ninepins has been a popular sport in North America since the Dutch settlers brought it with them to the Hudson River Valley in the 17th century. It is one of many forms of bowling games played in Europe since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In colonial America, men and women of all ages enjoyed the popular pastime of ninepins; it remained a popular sport until tenpins became well established in the late 19th century. This tabletop version has been developed from period accounts and print sources.

531. Tabletop Ninepins
Our solid wood tabletop ninepins stand 5” tall. We package our game with 2 solid wood 2” balls, in a printed box with history and instructions.

DICE GAMES
Although the earliest games of chance were played with dice that gave simple heads or tails results, dice with dots are as old as ancient Egypt, and dice as we know them today were used in backgammon, probably the oldest game in recorded history. Dicing games such as Hazard were 18th century tavern favorites in the North American colonies and the forerunner of today’s most popular casino dice games. Although gambling may have met with disapproval from many “proper” persons during the 18th and 19th centuries, dice were nonetheless a common household item as many boardgames called for a pair of dice for play.

525. Set of Wood Dice
Dice in a variety of shapes and designs, made in materials both precious and common, were found throughout the ancient world. In early America, dice made of wood and bone and ivory would have been common. We have packaged 3 of our natural wood dice in a poly bag with a history and instruction insert.


537
. Set of Pewter Dice
While idle in the battlefield, militiamen would take lead musket balls and hammer them into crude dice for entertainment. We have packaged 3 of our lead-free pewter dice, cast to closely resemble those handmade dice, in a poly bag with a history and instruction insert.

MARBLE GAMES
Marble games have been played in all parts of the world with all manner of playing pieces for more than 2000 years. Children in colonial America played with marbles made of stone or clay, while glass marbles were highly prized among children’s playthings in the 19th century. Enclosure games, hole games, and conquering games are all traditional marble games that are still familiar today.

521. Game of Glass Marbles, in real suede pouch, assorted earth colors
Our Game of Glass Marbles contains 30 traditional glass target marbles and 2 traditional glass shooters, of assorted rainbow, cats-eye, and crystal colors. Each set of marbles is poly bagged, then pouched as described, with a hang tag with history and instructions.


532. Game of Clay Marbles, in real suede pouch, assorted earth colors
We make our own clay marbles to represent those handmade marbles that are so often found in historic area excavations – they are not perfectly round nor are they perfectly consistent in size. We package 10 target marbles and 1 shooter, all made of red-brown non-toxic clay; each set is poly bagged, then pouched as described, with a hang tag with history and instructions.

GAME OF JACKS
The game we know as jacks was played in the ancient world over 2000 years ago with small animal bones or pebbles. In early America the game was commonly known as five-stones or jack-stones. As time went on, one of the stones (the Jack) was replaced by a wooden ball, then a rubber ball; the other stones were replaced by small pointed metal pieces reminiscent of the original animal knucklebones.

520. Game of Pewter Jacks, in real suede pouch, assorted earth colors
We cast our giant jacks of lead-free pewter. A set of 10 jacks is poly bagged with one wood ball (to imitate the non-bouncing stone “jack” of the traditional game) and one rubber ball, then pouched as described with a hang tag with history and instructions..

ROLLING HOOP
Children have been rolling hoops from the time of the ancient Greeks through the hula hoop craze of the 1950’s. The early North American colonists brought this pastime with them from Europe; in the 19th century, both wood and metal hoops were favorite playthings. The hoops can be trundled along in solitary play or raced by any number of players.

526. Wood Rolling Hoop with Stick
We make our rolling hoops of solid native hardwoods, 28” in diameter x 1 1/2” wide x 1/4” thick. A dowel is included as a pushing stick; a history card is included. Due to their size, rolling hoops are most economically shipped in cases of 12 pieces; there is a small surcharge for fewer than 12 hoops in a shipping carton.

GAME OF GRACES
Opponents send gaily beribboned hoops whirling towards each other to be caught on the tips of slender wands in this exciting and elegant outdoor game. The game of Graces was considered proper and beneficial exercise for young ladies in the early 1800’s, and it was proper as well for boys to join in the game as a “lark. Judging by children’s books and store advertisements, the game of Graces remained as popular throughout the 19th century as it is today

530. Game of Graces
Our 10” diameter solid wood grace hoops are packaged with 4 tapered 22” solid wood wands and 8 lengths of colored ribbon, in a zip top poly bag, with history and instructions..

GAME OF FOX & GEESE and SOLITAIRE
Peg games such as Solitaire, Fox & Geese, and Nine Men’s Morris were favorites in early American homes and taverns, and continued to be popular throughout the 19th century. Fox & Geese, a peg game in existence as early as the 14th century, was originally played on a 33 hole board; when Solitaire was popularized in the latter part of the 18th century (tradition has it that it was invented by a prisoner in the Bastille), the Fox & Geese game was transferred to the 37 hole Solitaire board.

528. Game of Fox & Geese and Solitaire
The number of geese pitted against the fox has fluctuated over the years but the rules have remained basically unchanged: the fox, represented by a single peg, has to prevent the geese, represented by all the other pegs, from surrounding him. In the Solitaire version, all pegs but one must be removed from the board, with the final move ending in a designated hole. Our game board is hand made of solid native hardwood; the set includes a full set of game pegs, as well as a history of the game and instructions. It is currently packaged in a zip top poly bag; the packaging will be changed to a printed box at some time in the early summer of 2003.

 
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