Abbatt a logo

Abbatt Toys logo by Erno Goldfinger

I did a small exhibition for Ernő Goldfinger’s 2 Willow Road in Hampstead a few years ago. On the subject of Goldfinger and toy makers Paul and Marjorie Abbatt. On my research travels, I got excited about the Abbatt logo and a seeming reference to where it came from. Such things are just the sort of dusty nonsense that gets curators excited.

I have recently been revisiting my Abbatt knowledge for an article and remembered the story.

In the towers of Osterley House, the National Trust stores Goldfinger’s bits and pieces that – when the Trust converted his house to a public building – still wouldn’t fit in. In amongst his books I found a nice but tatty copy of Ribambelles, a super Pere Castor book for teaching children to cut paper silhouettes. That chain of silhouettes of children on the cover seemed to my eye very similar to the Abbatt logo. Goldfingers copy was published in 1932, just about the time he sketched said logo.

Coincidence? Probably not. The dates tie up. And Goldfinger would have to have started somewhere for his inspiration. In his sketches for the logo (in the RIBA archive) he started with the silhouette idea straight off, no dilly-dallying. To me that suggests he had an idea from somewhere, especially as he wasn’t a graphic designer.

Well, who really knows or cares? But it’s a very nice story, I think.

Ribambelles cover

Image from the peerless Flickr set of Agence Eureka



Crispin Howell-Jones

By a strange coincidence I bought a copy of Ribambelles the other day – the images are lovely and it’s such a great title! It’s still available on Amazon

for not a lot of money

I’m not sure where I found out about it – it may have been from Agence Eureka’s photostream as by another rather spooky coincidence I’ve been following her for years, mainly because she uploads wonderful images of pre-war cutouts

The bobbed hair of the Abbatt logo is very 1930’s – you see the same sort of silhouette in book illustrations of the time

shelf appeal

I am also not collecting Pere Castor books. I only have 2. In denial again? Probably.

Sean Sims

I have a ‘zoo-zag’ wooden puzzle made by Abbat Toys. It features a wonderful illustration of a zoo (which closely resembles London Zoo) by James Gardner (who did some illustrative work for the Festival of Britain I recall. The illustrations of the animals & it’s graphic style is beautiful, a real treasured item in my collection of stuff!.. I often tried to find out anything about Abbat Toys, & what they produced, so this article was great to read. (here is a photo of a zoo-zag –


shelf appeal

I am jealous, that is a great piece. There is more to be read on the Abbatts in the forthcoming issue of Uppercase magazine.


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