Alternative Name(s): Finger top, Turn-over Top, Upside-down Top

Bought in Sydney in 1982.

The Australian Children's Folklore Collection is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.
Top-spinning is an ancient activity. Tops dated at 1200-1400BC were excavated in Egypt, and they are often mentioned in classical literature. They are found throughout the world and used by adults and children, in rituals as well as for games of skill. Japan, China and Korea have a long tradition of making and using tops. The toy has persisted in Japanese culture to the present day, and the variety of tops is astonishing. Some Japanese children, usually boys, are very skilled top-spinners. The variety of tops demonstrates the importance of this toy in Japanese culture. This top is unusual because when spun on its rounded base, it gradually tips and jumps over to its opposite end, spinning upside-down on its stem. This type of top is also known in England as The Tippe Top.

Physical Description

Small wooden finger top, round with a concave upper surface and a short stem, which has been glued in place. The body of the top is coloured yellow, and it has 3 red rings around the circumference - two narrow and one broad. Acknowledgement: Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria.

More Information