Green wooden top, or 'latoo', made in India, where the donor, Robert Hart, was raised. Tops like this could be bought in the market from a wood turner. The harder the wood was, the better the top, since the aim of the game was to hit and chip an opponent's top and so prevent it from spinning properly.

As a child, Robert was a particularly skilled top player. His father worked for an engineering firm and the point of his top could be sharpened by a blacksmith every night. This was a great advantage. At over 70 years of age, Robert could still send a top spinning so fast and so accurately it could hit another and send sparks flying.

The top was obtained by curator Susan Barnett for the Springvale Historical Society's 'World of Games' exhibition, 1997.

It is part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection. The Collection documents contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. It includes a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Physical Description

Small wooden Indian peg top, with a large metal spike and winding cord. The curved surface of the top is painted green, and there is a ring of unpainted wood and a small hole in the paintwork. The body of the top is unpainted and unvarnished, with 6 tiered grooves, and a very large 4-sided metal spike in the end. The winding cord is plaited white nylon, 74.5 cms long, with a loop tied at one end.

More Information