Laatste update: 19-02-2016
My collection of spinning tops is much larger than depicted in the book. If I have been lucky to add a special spinning top to my collection, I will share it with you through this ‘archives’. I would also like to ask your help to expand our knowledge about spinning tops . Maybe this will lead to a second edition of the book in future but at least it will help all of us to learn more about this subject! Please sent me pictures of tops you own and allow me to put them on my website as ‘archives’. Use the ‘contact & order’-form.

You can always ask my help to identify unknown spinning tops. I have more than 45 years of experience and own a very large international library. If you have a question about an appraisal, please feel free to contact me and use the ‘contact & order’-form.

archives of spinning tops


name: Lourens Bas
date: 12-04-2017
subject: A pair of Spinning Top patents
There you have it! Even after making a book about spinning tops  in 2011 and kepp on collecting since I still am surprised by discoveries of friends or myself . In the book "The Lost Art of Spinning Tops, I describe the firm Cole on pages 145-146, an English company that designed and sold spinning tops. Since last week I can add something to that information. I can of course not fail to share this with you!
This figure shows that George Cole in London applied for a patent in 1885. On the inside of the patent leaf this beautiful drawing is depicted!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 12-04-2017
subject: A pair of Spinning Top patents
Dancing sailor toll "(designed by George Cole). It is unknown to me who is the German manufacturer of this particular spinning top which the word 'Germany' on the box refers to.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 12-04-2017
subject: A pair of Spinning Top patents
Simultaneously with the first illustrated patent I came into possession of the patent from Theodor Heese (Berlin). The text of the patent describes that the spinning top may drive several toys with feathers play an important role in the mechanism! The following drawing of the inner leaf of the patent illustrates this. 
This patent drawing shows the bird's feathers as an important part of the drive mechanism! This I have never seen! Had this manufacturer maybe in his backyard a well stocked coop?

name: Lourens Bas
date: 12-03-2017
subject: Indispensable luggage for a swap meet in Paris
On this picture, Jim, a French collector of tops and practitioner of the game of spinning tops, is at an exhibition in Paris. He not only read our book "The Lost Art of Spinning Tops' but also used the illustrations from this book as essential luggage at the fair!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 19-02-2016
subject: 'Two boys with a spinning top'
Miniature watercolor with pencil, made by Charles Bestland (British painter from London 1783 - 1837).
9.7 cm x 8.5 cm. 

name: Lourens Bas
date: 31-05-2015
subject: Gyro Yo Yo Skill Top
Gyro Yo-Yo Skill Top

This wonderful top from the 1950’s is made by the American ‘The Charmore Co., Paterson, N.J.’  The patent no. is 2337334.
It is a combination of a spinning top, a yoyo and a gyroscope! The lid of the box could be used for target.
The reason for adding this special top to my collection is that I already have one like this, made pre war by the German company Schuco. And I also have a combined ‘spinning top and yo-yo’, also made by a German company named Lehmann. This top is called ‘Gaudi’ and was made between 1952 and 1966.


name: Lourens Bas
date: 31-05-2015
subject: Kluitman 'Kinderspelen'
Kluitman ‘Kinderspelen’ (The Netherlands, early 1900’s)

A very nice and colorful, thin book about games for children.
Each game is depicted and a moralistic poem is written about it.
And off course we show you the picture and poem about the game of spinning tops.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 31-05-2015
subject: Kluitman 'Kinderspelen' (2)

name: Lourens Bas
date: 31-05-2015
subject: Tolkampioen
'Tolkampioen' (Spinning Top Champion) 

Box with whiptops and whip, made in the 1920’s and for sale at Perry’s in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The tops were made in Germany by Christian Hacker. This company made also the wooden spinning tops for the famous German company Märklin. Some of the tops in this box can also be driven by a pumping stick of Märklin.
See:
The Lost Art of Spinning Tops (Lourens Bas)
Christian Hacker (Swantje Köhler)


name: Lourens Bas
date: 26-09-2014
subject: Find from the attic
I share with you a recent addition to my collection!
Found at the attic of an English house. A wooden box with spinning tops from several generations but most of them are from the 19th century.
On the lid of the box (not depicted) is written in pencil: 'tops'.
The box contains:
- a handpainted humming top from the area of Tunbridge Wells
- 2 wooden humming tops as well as 1 brass top made by Jaques and Son (London)
- a very nice gyroscope
- a very nice prisoner-of-war bone spinning top with beautiful decorations of flowers
- a spinning top driven by the palm of the hand
- a few bakelite game tops
- some bits and pieces 

So, keep on hunting and you will never know what is there to be found!


name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Wilhelm Ostwald, chemist (1853-1932)
This chemist was born in Riga. He was the winner of the Nobel-prize for chemistry in 1909. He was a passionated amateur artist painter and therefore very interested in colorschedules. He wrote a book called 'Letters to a painter' and 'The color primer'. The very famous artists Paul Klee, Theo Doesburg and Mondriaan and 'De Stijl'-group were all inspired by his work. And he did not only do his work for adults but he also tried to make it accessible for children by his spinning top.
See also the next photos for more information.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Color schedule from Ostwald (1853-1932)

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Farbe Kreisel vor Farbenlehre (box)
The spinning top is made in the 1920's by Otto Manjock  from Dresden. He was specialised in making Fröbel-items and educational items. 

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Farbe Kreisel vor Farbenlehre

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Spinning tops from John Jacques and Son, London (UK)
A long time ago I acquired the two bronze spinning tops which belong to the original box at the picture. They called the 'Blondin Top', named after the famous French tightrope walker from the 19th century.
The box label tells us that the tops came from Bell, Fleet Street City of London. Since 1 1/2 year I know that this was not the maker but it was the retailer. In that time I saw pages of an original pattern book (1795-1870) from a very famous English wood- and ivory turner Jacques and Son (London UK). There I saw all the spinning tops he made, just like the ones on my picture. In near future I will show you ivory tops, yoyos, humming tops by this unique family of craftsmen!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Disney humming tops
Three humming tops made by Lackawana Mfg Inc., Hackettstown NJ (Fritz Bueschl) . The red one in front is made for Georg Borgfeldt. All of them have the Walt Disney Enterprises license.

The small spinning top with the figure of Mickey Mouse is very special and very rare. It is made by Wells -O. London (UK). Mickey turns around the top when it spins. 

These spinning tops are collected by collectors of spinning tops as well as Disney-collectors.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-03-2014
subject: Illustration from 'De Spring in 't Veld'
This illustration is printed in a Dutch childrens book  'De Spring in 't Veld' from the 2nd part of the 19th century. The book contains gymnastic games and playing in the open air as well as inside the house. It shows different kind of games with a spinning top.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 07-09-2013
subject: Flyers bout wrestling with a gyroscope
Prof. Montraville M. Wood was not only a scientist but also known as an entertainer on stage!
He invited people from the audience on stage to wrestle with this giant gyroscope. The gyroscope had such a lot of power that it was impossible to beat it!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 07-09-2013
subject: Wresling with a gyroscope
A detail of the wresling gyroscope as an toy. Search the maker's name on the internet and you'll find interesting information about the company in Valparaiso, Ind.!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 07-09-2013
subject: Montraville Wood in aeroplane with gyroscope
This photo shows 'Montraville M. Wood in an aeroplane with gyroscope in position' behind his back.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 07-09-2013
subject: Wrestling Gyroscope
A gyroscope fitted in an 'house'. The patent is owned by Prof. Montraville M. Wood. This gyroscope is a toy-version from the real one. See other pictures. It comes with the original box and accessories. Exact date is not known but I think it was made about 1910 - 1912. There is a lot of information about the scientist Montraville M. Wood so it will be continued. Stay tuned on this website!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 10-08-2013
subject: catalogue scientific instruments
This is an original page from a German catalogue (about 1890) with scientific instruments. You see 'Foucault Pendulum' and also several gyroscopes on wooden stands. In this archive I show a picture of one of the gyroscopes (next photo).

name: Lourens Bas
date: 10-08-2013
subject: Gyroscope from German catalogue
This photo shows a turning Gyroscope ( about 1890) on a black wooden stand. It is pictured at the page from the original catalogue showed in this archive. The height of top and stand is 13.5 cm.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 10-08-2013
subject: Giant Gyroscope
This is the largest gyroscope in my collection. The diameter is 22.0 cm. The weight is 2.2 kilo! To compare it with the small gyroscope; this has a diameter of 6. 5 cm. 
Both gyroscopes are made in France, about 1900's. The question is, was the largest one made as a toy? It is to heavy for a child to handle. As it also is for an adult! 

name: Lourens Bas
date: 10-08-2013
subject: Le Gyro-Aero
Le Gyro-Aero 'Jouet Scientifique' is made in France by M.W. Paris in 1930's.
The length of gyoscope and airplane is 36 cm. The height of both the Eiffeltowers is 10 cm. The fact that a gyroscope often is produced in combination with an Eiffeltower reminds us of the design of Foucault.
The gyroscope also had and has a big influence in aeronautical developments.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 10-08-2013
subject: The Gyroplane
The Gyroplane was 'a new scientific toy' and 'a perfect imitation of an aeroplane in flight'. It is made in England by Wells in 1930's. The length of the aeroplane is 30 cm and the wings are 27 cm. (wide). The length from the gyroscope to the end of the wings is 60 cm.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 10-08-2013
subject: La Libellule-helicoplane
La Libellule-helicoplane is made in France by E.M. in 1909. The instructions are depicted in the lid of the box. The two tops are made of celluloid. In my book 'The Lost Art of Spinning Tops' (on page 27, 28, 251, 252) I wrote about 'Flying Tops'. 

name: Lourens Bas
date: 21-04-2013
subject: cast iron Stevens top catalogue
Picture of page from catalogue of J. & E. Stevens (1870, USA). It shows the handle with the whistle that came with the cast iron spinning top.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 21-04-2013
subject: cast iron Stevens top
Cast iron spinning top made by J. & E. Stevens (1870 USA). It is missing the grip with a whistle inside.
See catalogue-print.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 21-04-2013
subject: humming top 1
A wooden humming top, shaped and painted as a Scottish soldier (1790 - 1800). Possible made in or in the area of Tunbridge Wells (England). height 17,5 cm, Ø 8 cm.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 11-01-2013
subject: humming top 2
This picture shows the same humming top, shaped and painted as a Scottish soldier. Now you can see the side with the open mouth, like the soldier is shouting!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 11-01-2013
subject: humming top 3
This picture shows the same wooden humming top, shaped like a Scottish soldier. Now you see the hole which makes the soldier scream!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 11-01-2013
subject: 18th century whiptop
A wooden whiptop from the 18th century, decorated with copper alloy nails. It is made of oak. The top comes with a very unusual wooden dish, also made of oak. It was used for starting the top. I have never seen it before! I found it in a very old collection with other antique toys and spinning tops.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 11-01-2013
subject: 18th century whiptop
This picture shows the same spinning top on its dish, ready to be started!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 27-10-2012
subject: spinning top 1887
This spinning top was designed bu Alexander Harris Valda in 1887.
This photo shows the cover and the next photos show how the spinning
top works as well as the original patent application forms.
The top is made of zinc, cast iron, wood and cloths. The top is 11 cm
high when closed, the Ø is 8 cm and the top inside is 15 cm.
I do not know if this was an 'one of an kind' or that it was really
produced by a toy manufacturer.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 27-10-2012
subject: spinning top 1887 (2)
Cast iron bottom with patent number.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 27-10-2012
subject: spinning top 1887 (3)
Top with expanded figure. Jumps out of the top and turns very fast on the floor.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 27-10-2012
subject: spinning top 1887 (4)
Patent application.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 27-10-2012
subject: spinning top 1887 (5)
Patent application.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 27-10-2012
subject: spinning top 1887 (6)
Patent application.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-09-2012
subject: new use for Gyroscope
'I have bought my new Gyroscope at the lady in New Jersey and feel totally in balance now ... '.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 02-09-2012
subject: Gyroscope Complete
A wonderful post card with at the back written: 'This a sample of the way we made our start'.
See the happy customer at the picture above!

name: Lourens Bas
date: 17-06-2012
subject: Illustration for emblamatic book
Illustration by Claes Jansz. Visscher (1550-1612).

name: Lourens Bas
date: 17-06-2012
subject: Painting by Pieter Pietersz.
Portrait of Cornelis Schellinger by Pieter Pietersz. (1584?). Sizes: 71 cm x 54 cm. Oil on panel. Collection Mauritshuis, The Hague. The subject of this painting is the assassination of the Prince of Orange in Delft. In the left corner at the bottom of the painting you see the spinning tops and the text from the illustration by Claes Janssz. Visscher.

name: Lourens Bas
date: 17-06-2012
subject: Delftware Plate
Delftware plate from the same period as the illustration and the painting. Diameter: 21 cm. Archaeological find. Notice that the painter made a mistake in spelling. Private collection.