This set of nested or stacking blocks, circa 1910, were made by the McLoughlin Bros. (1858-1920), who were premier lithographers of the late 1800's. They perfected the use of lithographed paper on wood and because of their great colorful illustration their blocks are highly prized today. In the 1890's McLoughlin Brothers began to produce nested ABC Picture Blocks. Their 1895 catalog shows 11 different sets of blocks; the 1914 catalog has 10 different sets. The sets of blocks vary in size from 19 inches tall to 66 inches high. The number of blocks in each set can vary from five to ten depending on the size of the set. Each set has the alphabet on the top of the block and pictures with descriptive text around the sides.
This wonderful set, entitled "Best Of Picture and ABC Blocks" is decorated with various cats, dogs, fowl, birds, bears, pigs and rabbits. The largest block measures 6" in height and 7" in width; the smallest block measures 5 1/2" in height and 3 7/8" in width. The largest is marked "Best Of Picture and ABC Blocks - McLoughlin Bros. - New York". The set originally was composed of 7 blocks; the "A" block is missing. This set of blocks show some wear to the paper on the edges, the "KLMN" paper has been recreated and one wooden side of the "OPQR" block has been replaced. With this consideration, the set is in good condition for being 100 years old. Think of the little boy or girl who would sit on the floor stacking the blocks and reciting the alphabet.
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