Among the precious yellowed toy-theatre sheets given to me by Bill Meilen in the 1960s, there were a couple of glorious ones from The Giant Horse or The Siege of Troy, published by Orlando Hodgson in 1833. I lost them of course, together with just about everything else from my childhood. However as luck would have it in 1985 Pollock’s Toy Theatres Ltd published a re-print from an intact copy in the V & A, and I was able to track down and purchase one of these. (I have set number 456 from a limited edition printing of 500.)
It was a beautifully produced re-print, made at a slightly larger scale than the original so that it could be used with Pollock’s Redington Theatre. It came handsomely presented in a large and sturdy pale blue envelope, complete with a bound facsimile of the play text. This is the toy-theatre in its heyday, the story wonderfully captured by an artist giving full rein to his imagination. Below are a selection of sheets from the production. I fear there are too many to reproduce it here in full.
That concludes Toy Theatre Week at the Artlog, though I will of course make further posts about the subject from time to time.