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National Museum of Australia

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Moveable circus figure of a monkey riding an elephant


Moveable circus figure of a monkey riding an elephant

Object information

Physical description

A movable toy theatre figure of a monkey riding an elephant. The monkey, wearing a white neck ruffle, sits upon a blue and yellow rug which is placed upon the elephant's back. The limbs and torso of the figure are free moving segments, joined to one another by knots of thread. A maker's mark printed on the back of the figure reads "PRINTED IN ENGLAND / AMTTHEWS' / TOY MODELS / PATENT PENDING".

Statement of significance

The Everitt and George Family collection consists of over 800 objects including a Toy Theatre with a 'Redington' proscenium and a second back stage, play booklets and associated scenery, photographs of the Toy Theatre, and documents and working notes related to the collection. The collection is in good condition.

The Toy Theatre was invented in England around 1811, reflecting the popularity of pantomimes and plays performed in the leading theatres around London in the same period. They soon became a favourite pastime for teenage boys and adult collectors alike, with a long list of publishers producing a wealth of material. B Pollock was one of the most famous of these publishers and the earliest pieces in this collection have been attributed to Pollock. Though this was largely an English tradition the collection reflects the first owner Edward Everitt's heritage, who migrated to Australia in the 19th century bringing parts of the Toy Theatre with him.

Object information

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