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Call No.: MS Thr 944
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Toy theater prints of characters and scenes,
Quantity: 1 collection (1 linear foot (2 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: 19th-century English engravings of scenery and characters to be used with toy theaters.
See also HOLLIS and OASIS for additional toy theater materials held by the Houghton Library, including, but not limited to, these collections:
- Theatrical Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured Portraits, 1812-1848 (MS Thr 933).
- Theatrical Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured Additional Portraits, 1810-1848 (MS Thr 942).
Toy theaters were especially popular as English children's toys in the first half of the 19th-century. They were also called paper theaters and model theaters. By the late 19th-century popularity waned and publishing of these materials declined. Individual character portrait prints known as "penny plains" and "twopence coloureds" were collected and often used in toy theaters, as were these engraved prints of multiple characters and scenery. Performing scripts were written especially for children to be used with these materials. Also includes a photograph and a Christmas card relating to toy theaters.
Arranged into the following series:
- I. Toy theater prints of characters and scenes, by title (regular size)
- II. Toy theater prints of scenes, by publisher (regular size)
- III. Toy theater prints of characters and scenes (oversize)
Includes engravings of scenes, as well as items depicting multiple characters, from English theatrical productions. Some items are hand-colored, most published in London. Published by Dyer, J. K. Green, O. Hodgson, A. Park, B. Pollack, Skelt, W. West, and W. Webb among others.