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Metal Banjo

Artist/maker unknown, American

Mid- 19th century

Mixed mediums, including wood, paper, fabric

3/4 x 2 1/4 inches (1.9 x 5.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Boyd Lee Spahr, III and C. Stewart W. Spahr in memory of their parents Elizabeth F.W. Spahr and Boyd L. Spahr, Jr., 2001

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This banjo is a furnishing for a large dollhouse. The dollhouse is built in the style of a cabinet, which is typical of the early nineteenth century, when dollhouses were made primarily for the amusement of adults. Local craftsmen generally made the houses, and the owners decorated the interiors. These pieces often contained precious "toys" or miniatures, sometimes of silver, and therefore they were commonly fitted with a lock and key. It was not until after about 1830 that toy dollhouses for children began to be manufactured and marketed by toy makers.

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