Lithographed Victorian Alphabet Nesting Blocks by McLoughlin American Circa 1890


American, Circa 1890 c.

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Listed is a wonderful set of colorful Victorian alphabet nesting blocks, or sometimes called stacking blocks, made by McLoughlin Bros. of New York City (see image) circa 1890; called nesting blocks because one block fits inside the other (see nesting image). The theme here is employing nursery rhyme whimsical characters in conjunction with the alphabet and playful phraseology to be used as a plaything learning tool. Some of these characters are “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Baby Bunting”, “Mr. Frog”, “Mr. Pug”, “Mr. Donkey Teacher”, and all are given life like human characteristics in lithographed color images on all four sides of each of the five blocks, while the top of each block is decorated in alphabet capital letters A through Z,
The set is complete (all five blocks) and all original, with some paper loss here and there and normal “played with” wear (see edges in images), but structurally sound, and completely clear and legible. Fanciful animals were intended to amuse as well as teach the letters of the alphabet. When stacked, the blocks are 20″ high with the largest block 4″ x 4″ x 4 1/8″ high while the smallest block (letter “A”) 2″ x 2″ x 4″ high; the rest of the blocks measuring in between. Please see all of the images to get a good idea of the thematic appeal of these blocks, and why McLoughlin Bros. made items are well sought after and collectible. McLoughlin Bros. was established in 1858 and sold to Milton Bradley in 1920.