Baby rattle

Object number

LDVAL 2006.33.1




Hallmarked silver baby rattle in the shape of an apple, attached to a vucanized rubber teething ring. Hallmarked three times: once in full on body, one partial hallmark on body, and a lion on the loop.

Physical description

Small silver rattle and teething ring. The silver rattle is made from two individual sheets of silver that are cast in the shape of an apple with four leaves. The rattle is attached to the vulcanised rubber teething ring with a silver loop which is pivoted to allow the rattle to move from side to side. The teething ring was once cream coloured, but is now very dirty. It forms a circle and bears the marks of babies teeth.




Vulcanization is the treatment of rubber, to give it certain qualities, e.g., strength, elasticity, and resistance to solvents, and to render it impervious to moderate heat and cold. Chemically, the process involves the formation of cross-linkages between the polymer chains of the rubber's molecules. Vulcanization is accomplished usually by a process invented by Charles Goodyear in 1839, involving combination with sulfur and heating. A method of cold vulcanization (treating rubber with a bath or vapors of a sulfur compound) was developed by Alexander Parkes in 1846. Rubber for almost all ordinary purposes is vulcanized; exceptions are rubber cement, crepe-rubber soles, and adhesive tape. Hard rubber is vulcanized rubber in which 30% to 50% of sulfur has been mixed before heating; soft rubber contains usually less than 5% of sulfur. After the sulfur and rubber (and usually an organic accelerator, e.g., an aniline compound, to shorten the time or lower the heat necessary for vulcanization) are mixed, the compound is usually placed in molds and subjected to heat and pressure. The heat may be applied directly by steam, by steam-heated molds, by hot air, or by hot water. Vulcanization can also be accomplished with certain peroxides, gamma radiation, and several other organic compounds. The finished product is not sticky like raw rubber, does not harden with cold or soften much except with great heat, is elastic, springing back into shape when deformed instead of remaining deformed as unvulcanized rubber does, is highly resistant to abrasion and to gasoline and most chemicals, and is a good insulator against electricity and heat. Many synthetic rubbers undergo processes of vulcanization, some of which are similar to that applied to natural rubber. The invention of vulcanization made possible the wide use of rubber and aided the development of such industries as the automobile industry.




Whole length: 90mm
Ring Diameter: 52mm
Rattle length: 50mm
width: 35mm


Ring: Rubber
Rattle: Silver

Collection type

Social history

Alternative reference

Entry Number 1668/2 (2006-11-20)

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