Paris: A. M., (c. 1875). Two boxed sets of materials for two types of Froebel gifts: braiding with raffia and basket-making. Le Tressage en Raphia comes with multi-colored strands of raffia, as well as tissue papers in green, red, blue, and white, and an illustrated sheet showing the various projects the Froebel student might work toward. An instructional sheet pasted to the inside of the box's upper lid states that practicing basic and advanced braiding provides, as Froebel theorized, ample development of both practical and mental skills in children. Corbeilles aux Batonnets is a smaller assemblage of narrow wooden dowels, strips of paper, and circular strips of wood, which a child could use to create a basket for themselves. This set provides no accompanying instructions. Interestingly, both sets are here marketed toward girls ("Charmante occupation pour fillettes"), even though Froebel did not explicitly parse his gifts according to gender. Although on the instructional sheet to "Le Tressage" the publisher initially revises the subtitle to include "Garçonettes," at the sheet's conclusion are separate recommendations of other gifts offered by the same publisher. Girls might be interested in painting, card-making, or dolls, while boys might like a mechanical tramway or model planes or artillery.
Both sets housed in publisher's boxes, with decorative papers to edges and printed label to upper lid. Both appear to have most original materials present; "Le Tressage" contains two near-complete projects, and its sheet of example projects has one cut out and pasted to the lid of the box; "Corbeilles" lacks some paper strips and the circles of wood appear broken. Otherwise both sets near fine, and remarkable examples of the more three-dimensional sort of Froebel's gifts. Item #31711