Set of 12 Victorian Nesting Blocks

Set of 12 Victorian Nesting Blocks
I’ve never seen a set of early wooden picture blocks with the variety of images as this one offers – everything from children at play to pictures of Native Americans and the West to igloos and arctic animals. I love the fact that these colorful pictures are still so vivid, as the photos show. They also show a level of play wear that’s to be expected with a paper and wood toy this early. But most of the wear is confined to the edges. For the most part, the images are still in lovely condition.

Six of the 12 blocks have been reinforced with colored tape around the edges, and on two blocks hand lettered alphabets replace the original printed version. The largest block is 6-1/8” X 6-1/8 and the smallest is 1-7/8” X 1-7/8. When stacked, the set measures 53-1/8.” The underside of all the blocks is a small printed inventory code – 4850 — and all are numbered one through 12 – which leads me to believe this is a complete original set.

As for the maker, it’s hard to say for sure. Even with the inclusion of animals found in the early American West and a picture of a boy wearing a sailor hat labeled US Navy, this set may have been produced in Europe for the American market. I’m posting quite a few pictures because that’s where the charm of this early toy lies. Late 1800s to early 1900s. Very good overall condition.


Click any image to enlarge it.