In the book I'm writing now, there is a scene set in Hamley's Toy Shop, the original one in High Holborn, London. So I've been researching Regency toys today. Dolls and tin soldiers and spinning tops and sets of skittles--as many toys available in the Regency as I can find.
Which reminded me of a game I photographed at a museum in Nottingham in 2005. Dated 1819, it was a game called "Changeable Ladies" published by R. Ackermann in London.
The game consisted of cards which can be put together to create different ladies' faces. The images on the cards were similar to the faces on Ackermann fashion prints of the period.
I could well imagine a little girl in the Regency spending hours putting the cards together in various ways, creating new faces with new eyes, noses, mouths, and clothing. Then when she was called to her dinner, I could see her carefully putting the cards away in their little wooden box.
When I was a little girl, I loved drawing fashionable ladies or playing with paper dolls. I also loved puzzles, so I'm sure I would have adored the Changeable Ladies.
Did you play with paper dolls when you were a child? Did (or do) you like puzzles? What was your favorite toy?
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