Children have been always inseparable from artefacts for play, be it objects purpose made as toys or found in nature. For centuries toys were to some extent copies of the adult world as a way of introducing children into their forthcoming roles: girls as mothers and housewives, boys as hunters and fighters. The best example of this is a doll, a miniature human being. Dolls were dressed as their little owners, who in turn dressed as their mothers, and in this way dolls serve as evidence of fashion. A baby doll is not documented until the first half of the 19th century. The end of the 19th century is regarded as the golden era of toys, mechanisation of production brought a greater variety and financial accessibility for all classes of society. The beginning of the 20th century saw a return to handmade toys, as a way of inculcating good taste and developing feeling for nature and art. This endeavour lasted throughout the whole century.

Walrus
Ladislav Sutnar, ca 1930