Friday, 30 September 2011

Wise words from Swiss toy designer Antonio Vitali

"A toy made by lovingly observant parents, be it naive or unsophisticated, is preferable to mass-produced merchandise. It was created for the specific needs of that child, known by the parents." Antonio Vitali

Antonio Vitali Playforms Toy Transportation Set Creative Playthings

Currently listed on ebay, this beautiful antonio vitali playforms set comes complete with box. Other Creative playforms Vitali sculptured toy figures illustrate the perimeter of the box.
Other creative playforms Vitali vehicle sets I have seen come with a covered truck and pilot in the aeroplane.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Antonio Vitali Family , Farm Animals

These beautiful Creative Playthings toys by Antonio Vitali above, sold on ebay for a little over $3000. I am curious to know whether these toys will form part of a personal or private collection or be scattered on the floor for some fortunate child to play with.

Over $2000 was realised for the sale of the Vitali vehicles and animals in the photo below.

Below is a lovely collection of 23 vintage wooden Vitali Figures. They sold for over $2500 on ebay.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Naef Swiss Wooden Dog Puppet

Quintessentia often have beautifully designed Swiss vintage toys available on their web page.  This Naef Swiss Wooden Dog Puppet is currently for sale at $220. The paintwork may not be original but was done by someone with a strong aesthetic sense. I think it looks great.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Vntage Wooden Toy Caterpillar & Swiss Naef Juba

My kids love playing with this vintage wooden toy caterpillar. When placed in the hand carved wooden cocoon like dish it looks ready for transformation. However, when it emerges from the cocoon it is has not transformed into a butterfly but remains a beautiful caterpillar.
The contrasting light and dark woods remind me of the wooden animals of Danish Kay Bojesen or the Schooline figures from Japan . The caterpillars movement and play potential bring to mind Naef's Juba by Xavier De Clippelier.

Above my beautiful wooden vintage toy. Below Switzerland's Naef Juba. Image © Naef Spiele AG 

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Naef Spiel, Kurt Naef 1957

 This classic 1957 design by Kurt Naef is still produced by hand in Switzerland.
I love this set that shows off the natural grain. The design allows for open ended play opportunities

Monday, 25 April 2011

Schooline Poodle

Wooden Schooline poodle. Made in Japan.
The swing tag reads  - Over the years choice and finely worked woods become treasured possessions. The wood inlays and natural grain of this figure will acquire warmth and quality with handling.
Schooline Corporation, Hollywood, California
Stamped SCHOOLINE © 1958
I'd love some more information. If you have some please add a comment.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Kindergarten play

I taught at one of Australia's oldest kindergartens. This beautiful old wooden house must have been played with by 100s of children. The patina was provided by lots of little fingers.
The figure in front of the house was made in New Zealand in a no longer running sheltered workshop.
The wooden wombats [right of the figure] were made by craftsman John Elliott in Warburton from scavenged wood. [Unfortunately he is also no longer making toys].
Well designed and crafted toys live beyond the life time of their designers and makers.  

Friday, 22 April 2011

Oguru Saburo Jigsaw Puzzle

This Jigsaw puzzle was found at a school fete, we loved the design.
It appears to be the design work of Japan's Oguru Saburo who has designed for Swiss "play object" maker Naef.
Each piece of the puzzle is lovely to play with. The animals are often taken out and swam or walked across the floor. It is quite a tricky puzzle and there are times when the pieces are not placed back in their frame.
Beautifully designed wooden toys still look great when left scattered by the kids in play.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Kay Bojesen Dog Little Tim, Denmark

This is Kay Bojesen's "Little Tim". No longer in production. Each turn of his head brings a new expression. I was lucky enough to buy him whilst trawling ebay, listed only as "wood dog". The postage cost to Australia was greater than the sale! A real bargain!!! Judging by auction results he is rare [and valuable]. Tim's friend "Plet"[Spot] sold at for nearly EUR 700. Not too valuable for the kids to play with though. Kay Bojesen would want his dog to be played with.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Schooline Bears

Here is a family of Schooline Bears. These bears come in a number of sizes just like those of Bojesen. The contrasting wood detail on the pads on these bears feet are beautiful. Made in Japan they are marked SCHOOLINE © 1958. I'd love some more information on who designed for Schooline and Zoo-Line. Do you know?

Kay Bojesen Bear, Denmark

This Kay Bojesen bear was found for a few dollars at our local op shop. We loved him, googled "Kay Bojesen" and we had to find him some friends. His Danish friends have not been as cheap but hunting for Bojesen  bargains has been fun.

Zoo-line Panda Bears

Does any one have good reference material on zooline and schooline figures?

These cute wooden pandas were made in Japan for Zoo-line. Stamped COPYRIGHT  © 1957 ZOO-LINE. I love the inlaid eyes. Japanese and Danish designers were influencing each other in the 50s and 60s. Some of my favourite designs are mid century Japanese and Danish.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Antonio Vitali Family

I love this family. The way each family member fits into a space left by another is beautiful. Swiss designer Antonio Vitali made these for Creative Playthings.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Wonderful Torben Orskov & Co, Denmark, Dog

I love this dog. Clearly marked T.O & Co Denmark on his leg. Hans Bolling, Kristian Vedel, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen are some of the designers who have been doing designs for Orskov. But I have no idea who this dog's designer is. 

Do you know who designed him?

Monday, 14 March 2011

Kay Bojesen Monkey, Denmark

A design classic.
A few years ago I purchased this vintage Bojesen monkey for my wife on ebay at a good price but in pieces and without hands. I emailed Rosendahl asking if they could supply me with some new hands. Not only did they have them available, they arranged to have the hands and some spare parts delivered to my door at no cost. From Denmark to Australia. What incredible customer service!

wooden birds

Beautifully designed and made. 

Sunday, 13 March 2011


I hope you enjoy looking at these wonderful objects as much as I do.