Skin-covered toys like this horse were the forerunners of the soft toys that emerged commercially in Europe in the late nineteenth century. Compared to timber, metal or plastic toy animals, those with a furry texture have long appealed to children, not only because of their feel but also because of their convincing portrayal of live animals. They closely resemble living animals yet withstand cuddling and torment without protest.
The earliest recorded toys covered with animal skin were toy hors...
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