Alternative Name(s): Pantin Pull Toy

Made: Mertens Kunst, circa 1979 - 1993

Donated by Pat Gardner and Jenny Jones from the Greenwich Toy Library who brought it to Melbourne for the World Play Summit, 1993. Delegates were asked to bring a traditional toy from their own country.

The Australian Children's Folklore Collection is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

The tying of cords to parts of the body is one of the oldest mehods of animating toys. The animation of wooden figures through string-pulling has its origins in Asia. This toy has been designed for manipulative use. Pantins are easy toys for very young children to use - they simply pull the string to make the doll dance.

Physical Description

Facsimile of a traditional hand-made pull-toy. Plywood cut-out figure with jointed arms and legs, painted to look like a child clown. The head and body are one piece, the arms and hands are in one piece, the legs are in two pieces, jointed at the knees. Clown costume is painted red and blue, with purple neck ruff and yellow pom-poms on hat and shoes. The back of the figure is natural wood, with a string connecting arms and legs. The string has a red bead on the end. When string is pulled, legs & arms move. The manufacturer's name and model number of the toy is on the back of the figure. There is a white Greenwich Toy Library card attached to the hat string. Acknowledgement: Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria.

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