The definition of a toy photograph has to be slightly amended when discussing the onset of photography. Action figures didn’t exist back then. However figures and miniatures of all types have been around since ancient times, with dollhouses joining them in the 16th century.
I’ve discussed the Cottingly Fairies of 1917, and the Nymphenburg Figure of 1912 here before, paper cutouts and a decorative figure. Theres even more examples to be seen in the 1920s and 30s. But I’m certain there must be something even older than 1912, from earlier in photography’s timeline.
As I was telling my mom when I rambled on about this too long the other day, if to delevop the photographic processes seen below, it was quite helpful to take images of still objects because the exposure time was so long, you can’t convince me that they didnt just grab available figures, toys etc. That said, I’d like to subscribe to the definition that toy photography has to say something. It can’t just be a test image of a still object, but I’m keeping an open mind, and we’ll see if we can get there. Continue reading “My Ongoing Search for the Earliest Toy Photograph”