Spinning Tops

Be it as a toy, as a contemplative break for for mind between smartphones and monitors (or even as a reality check like in the movie Inception) - the spinning top enriches our lives and has been doing so for thousands of years. Our spinnning tops are handmade by the German artists Armin Kolb and Christoff Guttermann and the Swiss manufacturer Naef which has a long tradition.

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Spinning Tops – as old as humankind

The spinning top has been around for ages – it cannot be said more precisely. The spinning top is certainly one of the oldest toys of mankind. In today's Iraq a spinning top was found which archaeologists date back to 3500 years before Christ.

The fascination of the spinning top in antiquity is extensively documented. In those days, whip tops were particularly popular. They were turned by means of a whip string and then kept in motion by means of targeted strikes – a challenging toy that could not be mastered as a child but only in youth. In ancient Greece such toys were not simply disposed of, but were presented in a temple ritual and consecrated to the gods when the teenager entered adulthood, which is why we know of many finds of ancient spinning tops.

The mathematical fascination of the spinning top has also been documented since antiquity. Pappos of Alexandria, for example, in the 4th century B.C., described findings about the volume calculation of rotating bodies, which are still valid. To this day, the gyroscope is rich in knowledge. This is because angular momentum as a physical quantity influences just about every aspect of our lives – starting with the fact that we live on a rotating planet.

What we love about Spinning Tops

Who makes our Spinning Tops

German artist and son of a goldsmith Armin Kolb gained experience in woodworking and blacksmithing on extensive world travels before he opened a workshop for utility objects back in Germany. The range of products was soon focused on exclusive handmade wooden spinning tops, which he raised to a true art form in the course of his almost 30 years of experience. Filigree forms, meticulously turned and carved details as well as the exciting material mix of precious woods and (among others) corals, nuts, bone or plexiglass make his spinning tops unique collector's items, which will hopefully outlast many generations.

Trained as a graduate engineer, craftsman with a master's diploma as well as a scholarship holder of the Foundation for the Promotion of Gifted Talent, German artist Christoff Guttermann has been working for about 30 years between craft, design and art. His work includes commissioned works for companies and industrial producers as well as individual exhibitions in Germany and abroad and numerous museum acquisitions. His special passion, however, is the handcrafting of exclusive spinning tops made of precious woods and metal in a variety of designs. In his own words: "Whether when turning, sensing or observing the run, the spinning top can become a tool for training more mindfulness - as an impulse for new creative processes and as a prerequisite for a responsible approach to our environment".

Naef Spiele from Switzerland are primarily known for ingenious construction games manufactured to the highest standards and combine European handicraft tradition with design influences from the Bauhaus and Japanese minimalism. The history of Naef is a piece of European economic history: Founded by the busy and creative furniture salesman Kurt Naef in the 50s, established as an internationally respected toy manufacturer in the 70s, bought by investors and converted into a public limited company in the 80s, almost bankrupt in the 90s, bought back by the Naef family at the turn of the millennium and since then has been flourishing in its brand core. The small assortment of Naef spinning tops is not only impeccably manufactured but also playfully educational with exciting experiments in form and colour.