Highland Museum of Childhood
This clockwork toy is modelled on a nursemaid playing ‘Ring-a-ring of Roses’ with a young child. The nursemaid’s costume and hairstyle are typical of that worn during the nineteenth century. We know it was bought by a mother in York in 1908, but sadly not the name of either the mother or her lucky child. As with so many museum objects, we don’t have all the stories we’d like to have.
To make the toy move around in circles, the small key would have been turned to create motion of the gears and springs in the clockwork system within the metal box.
Over 100 years on, the mechanism still winds but has lost the strength to create enough friction to make the toy move around.