Weird antique alphabet blocks
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12-05-2017, 07:45 AM
Weird antique alphabet blocks
I found a set of circa 1860 European alphabet blocks at a client's house. They are extremely weird. Oddities among the set include "I is for Imp" and "U is for Ugly". I'm honestly surprised that the Imp made the cut. You'd think uber religious people would push against such a thing.

[Image: rBh7lt.png]

A member of a history forum I belong to suggested that this is a representation of an East Baltid.

[Image: cNy5iV.jpg]

The reverse of the blocks features a matching game with nine different national personifications, including Russia, Britain, Italy, China, Spain, Germany, the Ottoman Empire, the US, and France. These photos are a bit blurry due to poor lighting (it's an old house).

[Image: 9AxRMT.jpg][Image: ExEKUG.jpg][Image: oAdawO.jpg]

Turning the blocks on the long edge reveals a regiment of soldiers. You can build a castle with the reverse long edge. They feature images of stacked bricks, cannon ports, drawbridges, and towers. You can see a tower on the left side of this image. I didn't get photos of other related blocks.

[Image: 8BuH65.png]
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12-05-2017, 07:48 AM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
I find them rather beautiful Smile They don't make toys like that any more...

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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12-05-2017, 07:51 AM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
(12-05-2017 07:48 AM)morondog Wrote:  I find them rather beautiful Smile They don't make toys like that any more...

Agreed. The online sale in which they appear went live this morning. I may bid on them as they are so unique. I haven't been able to find other examples of the set.
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12-05-2017, 07:53 AM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
They are fantastic! I would love to own them

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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12-05-2017, 07:54 AM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
The pseudo-religionists wouldn't let this on the market without a fight now, but you have to remember that fundamentalism (especially the xtian variety) is a relatively new concept. It's only really gained steam since the Reagan era.

Frankly, I think the blocks are pretty cool. They're probably worth a good amount (though, admittedly, I have zero expertise in such things).
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12-05-2017, 07:59 AM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
I recall seeing these somewhere when I was young. One thing I notice is the egregious stereotyping in the depictions of the different nationalities. Laugh out load
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12-05-2017, 08:40 AM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2017 08:53 AM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
(12-05-2017 07:59 AM)Fireball Wrote:  I recall seeing these somewhere when I was young. One thing I notice is the egregious stereotyping in the depictions of the different nationalities. Laugh out load

America is definitely the country bumpkin
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15-05-2017, 12:47 PM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
Don't forget that talk of the Devil and demons was fairly widespread in bygone eras. Our current culture is a mix of pearl-clutching fundamentalism *and* pearl-clutching protect-the-children-ism. I hold a more modern view of whether to traumatize children to elicit good behavior, but religious people used to take a much less "The Secret"-influenced approach to evil and, rather, talked about and depicted evil things with regularity, especially in children's books and toys, so that they would know what to fear.

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18-05-2017, 07:04 PM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
(15-05-2017 12:47 PM)kmc Wrote:  Don't forget that talk of the Devil and demons was fairly widespread in bygone eras. Our current culture is a mix of pearl-clutching fundamentalism *and* pearl-clutching protect-the-children-ism. I hold a more modern view of whether to traumatize children to elicit good behavior, but religious people used to take a much less "The Secret"-influenced approach to evil and, rather, talked about and depicted evil things with regularity, especially in children's books and toys, so that they would know what to fear.

Good point. Thanks for the reply.

I'm happy to say that I won the blocks in the online auction. They could have easily gone up into the hundreds of dollars, but I guess they didn't have the right audience. I got them for less than $80.
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18-05-2017, 09:26 PM
RE: Weird antique alphabet blocks
(18-05-2017 07:04 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  
(15-05-2017 12:47 PM)kmc Wrote:  Don't forget that talk of the Devil and demons was fairly widespread in bygone eras. Our current culture is a mix of pearl-clutching fundamentalism *and* pearl-clutching protect-the-children-ism. I hold a more modern view of whether to traumatize children to elicit good behavior, but religious people used to take a much less "The Secret"-influenced approach to evil and, rather, talked about and depicted evil things with regularity, especially in children's books and toys, so that they would know what to fear.

Good point. Thanks for the reply.

I'm happy to say that I won the blocks in the online auction. They could have easily gone up into the hundreds of dollars, but I guess they didn't have the right audience. I got them for less than $80.

Nice! I actually think they are pretty cool, previous comments notwithstanding. Thumbsup
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