John and Michael’s Toy Garage

“Our father, who was from Co. Cork, met our mother while working in the City of Lincoln Hospital in England in the mid 1950s, and by the early 1960s they had settled in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, where my father was the County Hospital surgeon.  By that stage they had two small boys, myself Michael and… Continue reading John and Michael’s Toy Garage

Model Mangle Toy

A vintage toy model mangle*, made from pressed metal and wood. It is a Butler Series toy, made in England, and in working condition. ‘It’s like Mother’s’ *Mangles, also known as wringers, were a domestic item used in the home in laundry work, to squeeze or wring water out of washed clothes before drying. The… Continue reading Model Mangle Toy

Sean’s Acrobat

This energetic little gymnast on a bar belonged to Sean Doyle, who was born in 1921 in West Clare. The toy dates from the 1930s and was made in Japan. Sean was the eldest of a large family who worked a small farm and were not well off, so toys like this were precious. Sean… Continue reading Sean’s Acrobat

Berney’s Music Box Theatre

Vintage, handmade wood and Venetian paper musical theatre box in the Commedia dell’ Arte tradition, bought on the Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy, at Al Sogno* the old toyshop, in the early 1990s by Rose for her mother, Berney, who had fond memories of playing with a similar toy theatre in her childhood in Ireland the… Continue reading Berney’s Music Box Theatre