Not currently on display at the V&A

Ando

Soft Monkey Toy
1960s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This soft monkey toy is called 'Ando' and he was made in England in the 1960s out of a pair of stockings. He is wearing a grey knitted jumper and multi-coloured striped trousers with an elasticated waist.

Ando is part of a set of toy monkeys owned by two brothers in the 1960s. The toys were homemade by a teacher who resided with the family while the boys were growing up. Accompanying the monkeys are three exercise books, written by the brothers, which contain information about an extensive imaginary monkey world that they created during their school holidays. The books have details about day to day life in monkey society, including political struggles, religious views, schooling and tests, cultural events, and the monkey justice system which featured fines and punishments for bad behaviour.

The books and the monkeys give a very unusual insight into the thoughts and concerns of teenage boys in the 1960s. The world they have created is complex in its political and moral structures, showing evidence of wider cultural influences. The books have captured the inner workings of imaginative play, something that is usually intangible and difficult to record, making the objects exciting and important records of modern childhood.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Soft Toys
  • Monkeys
  • Jumpers
  • Soft Toys
  • Trousers
  • Soft Toys
Materials and Techniques
The monkeys are made from ladies stockings.
Brief Description
'Ando', monkey toy wearing grey jumper and striped trousers, handmade, owned by Richard and Michael Jay Reddaway, British, 1960s
Physical Description
The monkey toy has four long limbs and a long tail made from brown nylon, the body is made from a lighter brown nylon. He has two ears on the side of his head, two buttons for eyes, and pink stitching to resemble a mouth.



The monkey is wearing a grey knitted jumper with a wide neck. He is also wearing a pair of multi-coloured striped trousers with an elasticated waist. The trousers have a hole in the back of them to accomodate his tail.
Dimensions
  • Monkey head to toe height: 50.5cm
  • Jumper length: 18cm
  • Trousers length: 24cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
'A.REDDAWAY' (This is located on a label sewn onto the back of the monkey's neck)
Credit line
Given by Richard Reddaway and Clare Reddaway, in memory of Michael Jay Reddaway
Object history
The toy monkeys belonged to two bothers, Richard (b.1952) and Michael Jay (b.1956) Reddaway, who played with them throughout the 1960s.

The monkeys were home-made by Andolie Luck, a live-in teacher who resided with the Reddaway family in the 1960s. The monkeys are dressed in a variety of outfits made from different fabrics, some of which could have come from Africa, as Andolie had family living there.

Accompanying the monkeys are three exercise books that contain information about the lives of the monkeys. The books are entirely written by Richard and Michael Jay and record the identity and activities of their toys, providing a detailed account of the workings of the monkey society that the children had created. Monkey life involved things like political struggles, religion, school, tests and honours, entertainment and cultural events, and a justice system with fines and punishments.

The two brothers both attended boarding school in Cambridge, which meant that when they came home in the holidays the monkeys and books took up the majority of their time.
Production
These toys were home-made
Summary
This soft monkey toy is called 'Ando' and he was made in England in the 1960s out of a pair of stockings. He is wearing a grey knitted jumper and multi-coloured striped trousers with an elasticated waist.



Ando is part of a set of toy monkeys owned by two brothers in the 1960s. The toys were homemade by a teacher who resided with the family while the boys were growing up. Accompanying the monkeys are three exercise books, written by the brothers, which contain information about an extensive imaginary monkey world that they created during their school holidays. The books have details about day to day life in monkey society, including political struggles, religious views, schooling and tests, cultural events, and the monkey justice system which featured fines and punishments for bad behaviour.



The books and the monkeys give a very unusual insight into the thoughts and concerns of teenage boys in the 1960s. The world they have created is complex in its political and moral structures, showing evidence of wider cultural influences. The books have captured the inner workings of imaginative play, something that is usually intangible and difficult to record, making the objects exciting and important records of modern childhood.

Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
B.171:1 to 3-2013

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record createdDecember 11, 2013
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