‘The Bishop’

Category Crafts
Sub category Toys
Artist / Designer Sam Smith
Manufacturer Sam Smith
Material Wood
Place of origin United Kingdom
Date ca 1975 (made)

Painted and varnished wood with attachments of paper and string.

Height 16cm x Length 24cm x Width 9.50cm

‘Sam Smith, genuine, England’ painted

Ref no


“Children’s toys are mainly about pretending to be grown-up. The things I make are about what it’s like when you get there.”

Combining the comic, the grotesque and the absurd with a nostalgic sensibility, Smith’s work can be seen as belonging to the same strand of British art as Ronald Searle, Edward Bawden and Peter Blake. Smith studied at Westminster College of Art as a painter, but began making wooden toys in the 1930s. His work was initially sold through Muriel Rose’s Little Gallery and after the war, at Primavera. By the 1970s he was attracting critical acclaim in the UK and the United States, where he achieved something of a cult following.