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Toy Figure

Toy Figure

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1946-1984 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wynter, Susan, born 1923 - died 2013 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted wood; felt

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Susan Murray

  • Museum number:

    B.66-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

British toymaker Susan Wynter (1923- 2013) started making objects from wood when she was eight years old. Growing up, she lived in London near a billiard table maker where she would use the wooden off-cuts and leftover green baize to create her own objects. As Susan grew older and had children, she began to design toys for the nursery, focusing on both function and education. Through this new approach to toymaking, Susan Wynter began to gain international fame, exhibiting at the London Design Centre, the Venice Biennale, and in various trade fairs in British Pavillions.

Her business, the Toy Trumpet, began as a small toy shop in St. Ives where Susan started designing and making high quality wooden toys. Through her toys Susan was keen to promote exploration through and also designed toys for children with special needs. These toys were then sold to stores like Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. In the late 1960s Susan moved the business to Essex and settled in Brightlingsea where she employed local people. The company grew exponentially, providing toys for major companies like James Galt and the Educational Supply Association.

Like many of her other toys, Susan Wynter enjoys addressing a variety of subjects, including occupations. This toy of a gardner selling plants from his cart demonstrates her unique way of approaching the function of job, while still creating a sense of fun. Children can learn about the many different roles people take on, as well as enjoy a form of entertainment.

Physical description

Wooden gardener consisting of a stylized figure with a painted red conical hat, black eyes, nose and mouth, green gloves and a felt green apron. There is a wheel attached to his base through a wooden rod which has painted brown feet that move when the wheel turns.
The gardener is pulling a stall consisting of a table flanked by a trapezoidal wall on the back and a fence-like lower wall on the front. The cart has two wooden wheels attached to it by means of a wooden rod. On the table there are two red flower-pots; one of them has a blue flower with seven petals and a white circle on the centre with white dots, and the other has a large green leaf, half of it dark green and the other half light green with three dark green lines.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1946-1984 (made)

Artist/maker

Wynter, Susan, born 1923 - died 2013 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted wood; felt

Dimensions

Width: 8 cm, Length: 15 cm, Height: 11 cm

Descriptive line

Gardener, wood, made by Susan Wynter, England, 1946-1984

Materials

Wood; Felt; Paint

Techniques

Toy making; Painting

Subjects depicted

Carts; Gardener; Flowers

Categories

Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys; Gardens & Gardening

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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