Home made austerity toy rabbit with booties: CWA Queensland

Accession Number REL/15583.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia: Queensland
Date made 1941-1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Blue velveteen stuffed rabbit toy made for a baby girl, with pink bead eyes, red embroidered mouth, and a pocket (82 x 50mm) on its proper left side containing a pair of knitted pink bootees (95 x 45 x 50mm). The booties are sewn together and have pink ribbon ties. The rabbit has a narrow piece of Christmas ribbon in green and red with a "Christmas Greetings" repeating pattern in red tied in a bow around its neck. A paper label sewn to the pocket reads "Rabbit No Toys Queensland".

History / Summary

A display piece from an exhibition mounted in Brisbane in 1943 by the Country Women's Association of Queensland which demonstrated items which could be made from materials readily available without coupons. At the height of Australia's austerity restrictions, which banned the commercial use of material necessary for the war effort, such exhibitions were frequent. Helpful tips and examples from a trusted authority such as the CWA helped the population accept the need for these restrictions.

The field of toys and games was particularly hard hit as the war lengthened and the letter columns of newspapers and magazines were littered with plaintive cries from parents who found the shops bare of toys, especially around Christmas time. This CWA exhibition presented examples of handicraft toys which, with a little imagination and effort, could be produced from non-essential and existing household materials. In a way, this is what the CWA had been teaching for many years before the war, especially during the depression years.

This "austerity rabbit" (with enclosed bootees) was donated by the Queensland branch of the CWA.