Bilbo-catchers were included in the “curious” assortment of toys advertised by colonial American merchants, and still described as a favorite in children’s books through the late 1800’s. Also known as a bilboquet (the French name; a combination of bille, meaning wooden ball, and bocquet, meaning the point of a spear), the bilbo catcher is a toy of the cup and ball family with a history going back many centuries in Europe and the Americas.
How to play: Hold the bilbo-catcher spindle with the tip facing up and the ball hanging straight down. Twirl the ball between the thumb and forefinger of your free hand. Quickly jerk the bilbo-catcher straight up, and then down, which causes the ball to move straight up in the air. As you do this, maneuver the spindle underneath the moving ball. Your goal is to capture the hole in the ball on the tip of the spindle.
Spindle measures 6 ½” long, ball is approximately 2” in diameter.