Figure | play set:Seiffen Wheel--Modern Lambs

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

By the early years of the 19th century, woodworking families of southeastern Germany had perfected the rapid production of wooden figure sets such as Noah's arks, creche sets, village sets, and similar groupings. The abundant forests in the region supplied raw materials, and woodworkers devised methods to turn blocks of wood into figures. A worker set a large block of wood on a lathe, and as it spun, he turned it with chisels into a ring of wood with intricate shapes. When the ring of wood--called a seiffen ring--was cut into sections, the shapes became the crude forms of animals figures. These crude shapes were passed on to other family members to sand into figures. The women of the family often painted the figures to a toy merchant's specifications. Toy history books vary on the number of figures that could be cut from a single ring. Numbers range from about 60 figures to 100 figures.


  • Title: Figure | play set:Seiffen Wheel--Modern Lambs
  • Location: Germany
  • Subject Keywords: lamb
  • Type: Play Sets
  • Medium: wood
  • Object ID: 111.1261

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