Early 20thC Mr Punch Roly Poly Toy c.1915-25


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Early 20thC Mr Punch Roly Poly Toy c.1915-25

The scarce Mr Punch roly poly toy having a composition painted head, red and green felt jester costume with matching hat and weighted self-uprighting body with audible loose bells within, surviving from the first quarter of the twentieth century in original condition.

The condition of the toy is generally good with wear and discolouration, there is a small paper label to the base reading ‘foreign’. The bells to the inside are working and provide a nice sound.

With his dastardly grin and hooked nose, Mr Punch is the most famous puppet of all time. From roots in seventeenth century Italy, Punch and his chums were first seen in England when Charles II, came to the throne and more relaxed times resumed after the rule of Oliver Cromwell. Revelry was once more in fashion and the public's taste was all for amusement and novelty, paving the way for the clowning Mr Punch to cackle all the way into the twenty first century.

A roly-poly toy has many other names such as round-bottomed doll, tilting doll, tumbler or wobbly man and is a round-bottomed toy, usually egg-shaped, that tends to right itself when pushed at an angle, and does this in seeming contradiction to how it should fall. The toy is typically hollow with a weight inside the bottom hemisphere.

A charming and scarce toy that makes for a delightful table-top piece of audible kinetic art.


  • H: 24cm (9.5in)
  • W: 24cm (9.5in)
  • D: 11cm (4.5in)



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'Doe & Hope specialise in decorative, rare and unusual antiques from around the world with a particular interest in the atmosphere that surrounds an object, taking a cinematic approach in the presentation of our inventory. Our house style is probably best described as theatrical; being a concoction of old money, dramatic decorative, and faded gentility, with common themes of both humour and the macabre running through our inventory, that includes both academic and playful objects.

We are members of LAPADA and were included in Homes & Antiques '50 Best Antique Shops' in the UK for 2016. We have had a concession in the prestigious Liberty of London department store in 2015 and have also won the Antiques Young Gun of the Year award for 2014.

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