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Transformation through imagination – British folk and their toys

FOLK TOYS Much has been written about folk art, popular art, naive art …. but where is the history of British folk toys? Whenever we think of folk toys we recognise those from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Japan, Russia and India – books have been published on the folk toys from these countries. The toys are…

The Val Gardena Dolls and the return trip to London

In our podcast ‘From the Forest to the Fantastical’ Simon uses allegories of adventures of Dutch Dolls and folk art toys. Through them, he tells the story of the toy industry and the aesthetic of ‘folk art’ and in Britain the ‘popular art’ of toy theatre, Punch and Judy and fairground art that today filters…

Jig Dolls by Zeel

Artists’ Toys and the Toy as Art

Artists and the need to play Artists often tap into their inner child to make toys. Picasso made a miniature theatre fashioned out of an empty Gauloises cigarette packet for his children Maya and Paulo, with tiny paper cut-out figures of commedia del’arte characters for them to perform on the dinky stage. Many artists made…

Why did we decide to launch the Harlequinade Club and what is it?

Why did we decide to launch the Harlequinade Club and what is it?  It’s a club for Pollocks aficionados and you will find out about here and on our social media and in our shop but not on a mailing list, it is here when you want to join in. But it doesn’t really exist,…

Annie Montgomerie at Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop

Annie Montgomerie at Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop In Christmas 2018, Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop played host to a fantastical cast of characters created by Annie Montgomerie. Anthropomorphism & Toys Her anthropomorphic storybook beings are part toy, part sculpture and each individual piece is unique, being made from 100% wool felt, up-cycled fabrics and vintage charms and jewellery….

Denise Hoyle and The Harlequinade Club

I first met Denise Hoyle in 2003 when I bought some of her decorative tinselled cards. I wanted to sell them in the shop so I sought her out, discovering that she was a near neighbour. She invited me to her house where she showed me an amazing quantity of ceramics and watercolours that she…