Free Sample e-book

This category offers a free sample eBook. You will find some examples of toys published in other books. To obtain it, you will go through the traditional buying process; because this book is free, the payment part is replaced by a form intended to enter the few information necessary for any purchase.

Antique Dolls World

The doll collector will find in this category everything that concerns the world of dolls. Dolls have always occupied a privileged place in the New Year catalogues of the Parisian department stores, and a multitude of toys were linked to this little world of dolls. Each Electronic book in this category presents an aspect of the life of the doll at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

Dressing Tables and accessories for Antique Doll

La Belle Epoque was an important step in the liberation of women, attracted out of her home by the Parisian and provincial department stores. For the French woman, elegance has always been important and, like her, the French doll probably spent a lot of time in front of her dressing table.

This category includes 4 books devoted to the beauty of the dolls. You will find the services of toilette in earthenware or porcelain, the jewelry for dolls, the hairstyle necessaries as well as the dressing tables.

Links to specialized web sites
Belle Epoque Dolls

Antique Miniature World

Toys have always had an important educational side. Life learning often begins with the miniature simulation of future daily activities. This is how you learn to manage your home, organize your kitchen, do shopping, go to school, visit the farm or zoo, etc. It is a whole world in miniature that we find from all time in toys.

This miniature world representation is very large in the Parisian Department Stores New Year catalogues. There are dollhouses and rooms, kitchens, schools, grocery stores and other shops, farms, zoos, circuses, ...

Antique Dollhouses and Rooms

Dollhouses always had a privileged place in the education and heart of young girls. However, their presence in the Parisian Department Stores' New Year catalogs was not regular until the beginning of the 20th century. The same is true for the rooms, salons and bedrooms, which are also very present in the Christmas catalogues from beginning of 20th century. This does not mean that they did not exist between 1875 and 1900 but their production was probably too limited to be present in the catalogues of the Parisian department stores.

Links to specialized web sites
Belle Epoque Dolls

Antique Board Games

Board games are multi-player table games, usually based on one or more game boards and pawns. The diversity is very great and several pages of toys catalogs can be dedicated to them.

Games of Chance

In this category you will find various games of chance. Let’s mention the French Jeux de Courses, used as gambling in bars and cafes but as board games within the family. We will also have the lotteries with their display of prizes, lotto games and roulette games.

Jeux de course

The JEU DE COURSES is a French mechanical game contained in a wooden framed box, in which tin lithographed horses race around a course when a lever is drawn and released at the side. Each horse is a different color, and the players choose their horse; the horse that ends at the But (goal) is the winner. The popular French parlor game usually featured a horse race but we also have exceptionally plane, car ou cycle races.

The JEU DE BAGUE, the ring game, is very similar except that the goal is to pick a ring with a lance held by the rider.

Originally, these games were commonly used in bars and cafes as gambling. The bet was then placed in a cup in the center of the track. These bar games could have much more track, sometimes more than 10. But they are no longer toys and have no place in the Christmas catalogues. We find in the Christmas catalogues toys versions with cups, but never with more than 6 tracks.

Antique Dexterity Games

In this category, you will find various games whose objective is to arrive, usually through training, to perform actions requiring precision of gesture more than luck. So we’re going to have ball-throwing games, such as nine-pins or skittles, killing games, passe-boule games, playing billiards, and shooting games, whether it’s rifle shooting or archery.

Antique Skittles Games

There are many skittles games in the Christmas catalogues, and their topics have often addressed actuality topics. The skittles games are divided into two books. The first one takes over all the skittles representing characters while the second one takes over the other bowling games. Some games, gathering characters and animals for example, can be found in each book. Table games with pins are not included in this category.

Transport in Miniature

The means of transport have always fascinated. They are at the crossroads of technology, design and practice, not to say the indispensable. It is therefore not surprising to find them abounding in toys, and therefore in the catalogues of Etrennes of the Department stores.

Several books will be required to present them. We will have public transit, cars, trucks, trains, planes, boats, etc.

Antique Scientific Toys

Toys have always followed technological developments closely, allowing children to become familiar with the latest innovations. If today these innovations mainly concern the digital world, at the Belle Epoque, they concerned the world of applied physics with electrical experiments, optical toys, magnetic toys, factories and steam toys. There were also a few chemistry experiment toys.

Scientific toys are very present in the Etrennes catalogues of the Parisian department stores. The chronological vision of their development is a good witness of the technological evolution of the time.

Antique Optical Toys

Optical toys are numerous and varied. They have been grouped in two volumes. The first deals with projection optical toys. The second deals with other optical toys, vision, photographic and miscellaneous.

Links to specialized web sites

Antique Garden Toys

The sun is shining, all to the garden! The garden is a place of permanent discovery for children. The variety of outdoor games is important. Examples include racket plays and other sports, croquet plays, pedal cars, cycles, children’s wagons, gardening toys, etc.

Department stores offered these toys every year in their Etrennes catalogues. These catalogues were distributed near the department stores, in Paris and in the provinces, but they were also sent by mail to French campaigns. Because of their size, these toys were often priced and shipping costs could be high. The collector may have some difficulties today in developing his collection.

Note that nine-pins games, which could be played outdoors and indoors, are in the Dexterity Games category.

Antique Pedal Cars

During the Belle Epoque, manufacturers of pedal cars competed as much on aesthetic as on mechanic topics. Like scientific toys, pedal cars have followed technological innovations closely. Antique pedal cars have thus seen themselves gradually equipped with chain, steering wheel, lanterns, horn, rubberized wheels, brakes. The body was made of wicker or wood. There are also different types of cars like Duc, Phaeton or Torpedo.

Links to specialized web sites :
Voiture à pé