Max Mints toys.

From 1929, former milliner Johanna Hillier began moulding hundreds of delicate waxed paper wrappers from MacRobertson's Max Mints into an astonishing array of toys for her three grandchildren.

Mrs Hillier's grand-daughter Ruth received a set of over 50 of these toys. She brought them out on rainy Sunday afternoons and always laid them on a white cloth, handling them with special care.

Except for a few, such as the Noah's Ark, most of the toys related to 'playing house'. Ruth's collection contained everything necessary to kit out a grand doll's house. Furnishings included a bed, a wardrobe full of clothes, tables, lamps, a chaise longue and even a carpet. Small touches such as candlestick holders and serviette rings, and work tools such as brooms and a washing line enhanced the sense of domestic authenticity.

The set also included a range of doll's costumes and accessories, the brightly coloured and patterned wrappers were perfect for dresses, hats, handbags and fans.

More than simply a child's play things, these unique artefacts are an innovative example of domestic craft. They tell the story of a grandmother's devotion and creativity in an era when resourcefulness was prized. In 1989 Ruth donated her Max Mint toys to the museum, where they delight new generations.

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