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Threading toy

  • Place of origin:

    High Wycombe (made)

  • Date:

    1960s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morgenstern, Milan (designer)
    Paul & Marjorie Abbatt Ltd. (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted plywood, bent metal

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display in Values of Design, Design Society, Shekou, China []

This object was designed in the 1930s, but was not manufactured until the late 1950s or early 1960s. It was sold as 'Abbatt Developmental Toys for Assessment & Training' in England, where designer Milan Morgenstern and his family had settled in the late 1930s. This was probably the first range of commercially produced toys designed for the disabled.

Physical description

The base is a square block of plywood with the top and sides varnished; on the base is mounted a metal upright pole which has been bent to form a spiral; the end of the pole is covered with a wooden ball painted red. To be threaded on the pole are three circles; each with the hole cut in the middle which is large enough to pass over the wooden ball; the circles have been painted: one yellow, one blue, one red..

Place of Origin

High Wycombe (made)


1960s (made)


Morgenstern, Milan (designer)
Paul & Marjorie Abbatt Ltd. (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Painted plywood, bent metal

Marks and inscriptions

MADE IN ENGLAND; stamped on the underside


Height: 232 mm, Width: 147 mm, Depth: 147 mm

Object history note

Given by the son of the designer. It had previously been displayed at the MoC as part of the exhibition 'A Tribute to Marjorie Abbatt', in 1989. See additional notes. See 'Abbatt Developmental Toys' catalogue.

Historical context note

Part of a range of toys designed for disabled children. Its design was based on Milan Morgenstern's observations of severely disabled children at the Theodor Heller Foundation in Vienna in the 1930s.

Descriptive line

Threading Toy; circles on a spiral; designed by Milan Morgenstern, made by Paul and Marjorie Abbatt Ltd., High Wycombe, 1960s

Production Note

Made by: designed by Milan Morgenstern; manufactured by Paul and Majorie Abbatt Ltd.; PO Box 57; High Wycombe; Bucks.


Plywood; Metal


Painting; Bending


Education & Learning; Children & Childhood; Toys & Games; Interiors; Household objects; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society


Museum of Childhood

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