Model Scene

1946-1984 (made)

Susan Wynter

Width: 8.5 cm, Depth: 5 cm, Height: 12 cm

B.72-2014 MoC

Alice in Wonderland scene, wood, made by Susan Wynter, England, 1946-1984

Model scene consisting of a yellow hut-like structure on which three figures stand. The structure is formed by a rectangular base with rounded angles on the front side, a back wall and a triangular roof. On the base of the structure the stylized figures of Alice, the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter are placed. Alice is painted blue, along with white hands, sleeves and dress bottom. Her eyes and nose have been painted blue, along with a pink mouth. She has a grey felt headband as well as yellow yarn for her hair. On her right stands the rabbit, with a painted brown dress and shoes, brown eyes, mouth, teeth and head cover, and white hands. He has large white felt ears with three wood shavings between them. On Alice’s left is the Mad Hatter, with red body, white painted hands, grey hair, eyes and mouth, and a pink nose. He has a large white felt bowtie, and a large grey top hat that has grey felt as the brim. On the back of the model there is a round stamp reading: “Toy Trumpet Workshops: Handmade”

British toymaker Susan Wynter (1923- 2013) started making objects from wood when she was eight years old. Growing up, she lived in London near a billiard table maker where she would use the wooden off-cuts and leftover green baize to create her own objects. As Susan grew older and had children, she began to design toys for the nursery, focusing on both function and education. Through this new approach to toymaking, Susan Wynter began to gain international fame, exhibiting at the London Design Centre, the Venice Biennale, and in various trade fairs in British Pavillions. Her business, the Toy Trumpet, began as a small toy shop in St. Ives where Susan started designing and making high quality wooden toys. Through her toys Susan was keen to promote exploration through and also designed toys for children with special needs. These toys were then sold to stores like Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. In the late 1960s Susan moved the business to Essex and settled in Brightlingsea where she employed local people. The company grew exponentially, providing toys for major companies like James Galt and the Educational Supply Association. In this model scene, Susan Wynter takes a modern approach to the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland. She simplifies their features, allowing them to become a more relatable and fun toy. In this way the story reaches a variety of audiences, and brings out the creativity in all ages.

Given by Susan Wynter

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website