Jack-in-the-Box thumbnail 1
Jack-in-the-Box thumbnail 2
+1
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Jack-in-the-Box

1820-1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

During the 1820s and 1830s caricatures were commonly made representing people from all walks of life. This caricature of a peasant woman with a wide grin and a fleshy face decorates a jack-in-the-box toy. A wide range of jack-in-the-box figures like this were available in the Victorian era. Despite their frightening qualities such toys were not only cheap and popular, but also helped to provide children with their first awareness of basic scientific principles. More recently jack-in-the boxes have taken on a more welcoming look.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wood, paper, metal and fabric
Brief Description
Jack-in-the-Box made in Germany between 1820-1850
Physical Description
This consists of a paper covered wooden box containing a caricature of a woman made of composition and cloth with a metal spring. The box has a wire hinged lid covered with brown, blue, cream and red marbled paper on both sides of lid, all sides and underneath. The lid is held down by a small metal hook and eye. On the outside of the lid is a light brown paper label with a scroll pattern around the edges. Printed in black script is: What wonder Miss/May be in this? Make me free and You'll see. Inside is the Jack-in-the-Box, mounted on a spring and dressed in blue and white cotton with a white cotton ruff. The head is moulded composition, showing a comic face of a woman with brown hair and a tan coloured bonnet. The hands, which are on the wrong arms are of carved wood painted pink.
Dimensions
  • Height: 8.4cm
  • Width: 7.6cm
  • Depth: 7.6cm
Summary
During the 1820s and 1830s caricatures were commonly made representing people from all walks of life. This caricature of a peasant woman with a wide grin and a fleshy face decorates a jack-in-the-box toy. A wide range of jack-in-the-box figures like this were available in the Victorian era. Despite their frightening qualities such toys were not only cheap and popular, but also helped to provide children with their first awareness of basic scientific principles. More recently jack-in-the boxes have taken on a more welcoming look.
Collection
Accession Number
MISC.606-1992

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 19, 2004
Record URL