Jumpies Toys Jump with Joy
Posted by Linda Atiyeh - July 30, 2015
When you visit Gallery 30 in Gettysburg, it is impossible to ignore our oodles of Jumpies toys! The whimsical wooden figurines jump all over Gallery 30 on metal springs, enchanting kids and kids-at-heart! But you may not have realized that these silly miniature characters are actually a German toy making tradition that dates back hundreds of years.
OLD WORLD TRADITION
Germany has long been famous for its handcrafted playthings, including quality stuffed animals, model cars and beautiful dolls along with sturdy wooden toys. In fact, by the Middle Ages Germany’s Bavarian region had already cemented its reputation for toy making. Jumpies are authentic German toys known throughout Europe as “schwingfiguren,” a name that literally translates to “swinging figures.” The finely crafted wooden figures are closely related to German smokers (“rauchermann”) and nutcrackers. Long ago Bavarian farmers and their families would craft schwingfiguren in the winter months. The entire family would work together to create the finished product; some family members would carve the wood while others did the painting or fashioned miniature clothing. The schwingfiguren would then be sold at local markets as a source of extra income for the family. Over time the intricate toys gained popularity, particularly among wealthy German children.
COLLECTIBLE WORKS OF ART
The artisans who handcraft Gallery 30’s Jumpies today are preserving Bavaria’s centuries-old tradition of toy making. The Jumpies are handcrafted from solid wood and then hand painted and embellished with fabric, felt and/or straw pieces before the signature metal spring is added. These collectible works of art are perfect for decorating a nursery, playroom, bedroom or office, and they can easily be hung on your ceiling or wall--or even from a drawer knob or ceiling fan pull!
Gallery 30 is proud to announce that the Jumpies' artisans have created three very special Jumpies exclusively for us! Our Abraham Lincoln, Union Soldier and Confederate Soldier Jumpies pay tribute to our home in Gettysburg and are only available at Gallery 30. Of course there are many other Jumpies to choose! The miniature characters depict farm animals, pets, wild creatures, historical figures, professions, holiday and fantasy characters and more! Each Jumpie comes with its own metal spring, and best of all, Gallery 30’s entire collection of handcrafted wooden Jumpies is now available online in our web store!
Linda Atyeh: About the Author
The owner of Gallery 30 since 2007, Linda Atiyeh personally curates Gallery 30’s collection of American fine art and artisan crafts. Linda's inspired vision has empowered Gallery 30 to flourish, while remaining true to the beliefs central to its incredible longevity and success. Over the years, Linda has redefined Gallery 30's artisan craft collection to place a greater emphasis on Pennsylvania and Gettysburg related products, and she has personally selected Gallery 30's exquisite handcrafted jewelry collection - drawn from around the world. Under Linda Atiyeh's direction, Gallery 30 expanded from its original 3,000 square feet location to its new home, a 9,100-square-foot lovingly restored historic property at 26 York Street.
A native Pennsylvanian, Linda Atiyeh takes great pride in her community and is committed to giving back to the region. Linda is on the board of directors of the Adams County Arts Council and the Historic Gettysburg Adams County Preservation Society. She is also a member of Main Street Gettysburg, Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.