|'Excursions on Land & Sea', panorama, c. 1880|
People don't tend to think of toys as carrying any particular meaning, perhaps apart from gendered ones, but the toys of the past record many complicated ideas, even if unintentionally.
|L'Orient or the Indian Travellers; A Geographical and|
Historical Game, c. 1847
It was seagoing ability that made global exploration and colonisation possible. The L'Orient board game shows three different sailing routes to India, with the watchful eyes of British monarchs from George I to Queen Victoria running across the top. While the rule booklet for this game has been lost, the V & A speculates that players would use a form of spinning top (teetotum) to advance around the squares, with a requirement for the player to match the situation illustrated in each square with the ruling monarch of the period.
|Telescopic panorama of the |
Great Exhibition, 1851
|'All the World at the Great Exhibition' , c. 1860|
TheAGreat Exhibition of 1851 was the first World's Fair (today known as world expositions) intended to exhibit milestones in culture and industry. The 'Crystal Palace' exhibition, as it is also known, primarily sought to show British achievements and those of its colonies such as Australia, New Zealand and India, though there were exhibits from European nations.The telescopic panorama of the Great Exhibition allows a child to peer through nine layers of card to take in a somewhat three-dimensional view of the Exhibition. The ongoing significance of the Great Exhibition in Victorian Britain is evident in the continuing production of products celebrating and recalling the event, such as this puzzle from around the 1860s. The guide picture that shows the child how the puzzle ought to look and the puzzle itself include the caption "All the World and His Wife at the Great Exhibition." The caption is a little unclear to me. Does it mean that the male figure, presumably English, represents "all the world", and his wife has no connection with the imperial realm of trade and industry? Or are the other figures represented, including those in Asian dress, being acknowledged as part of the fabric of that world?
|Junior Lecturer Series, 1900-1910|