Antique Toys, As Old As I Am


Above is a snapshot of our great room, minutes before we opened the doors for our Christmas Open House on November 15.  In the center of the display are some antique and vintage toys–a mint condition Mendels Playthings hobby horse, antique doll high chair, doll house, and vintage Raggedy Andy.

Vintage toys help set the tone for the holidays, as nostalgic as Nat King Cole singing “The Christmas Song” and choirs crooning “Silent Night.”  My husband and I enjoy nestling some of our own toys from childhood under our Christmas tree:  a toddler-sized red rocking chair, a painted horse on rockers, a soft yellow doll cradle decorated with 40’s pink bear decals and my name in blue.  The horse and cradle were made by our respective grandfathers, instilling in them priceless value.

It is a moral imperative that bright packages fill the cradle and a willing doll and bear occupy the chair and ride the pony.  They both prefer the pony ride, but we make them take turns.  When I glimpse them under the tree, for the breath of a moment, I’m a child at Christmas…again.

Do you have favorite toys from childhood?  If you are as old as I am, they are 50’s collectables, a charming reminder of the era of “Father Knows Best.”   Pull them out of the closet now for refurbishing or a fresh coat of paint.  Even a set of blocks or basket of Golden Books is a conversation starter.  “I had that kitten book when I was young.”  You may even catch your company stacking blocks…


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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