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Monday, October 25, 2021

German wooden toy soldiers (c. 1840) from Basel Historical Museum

The poor but wood-rich region of the Saxon Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) had concentrated on the production of wooden toys since the early 19th century. During the long, harsh winters, large quantities of small-format play figures were made in home-based work with the help of the entire family: farms, arks with countless animals, market stalls and sounding movement games. The figures were packed in chipboard boxes, a sure sign that there was no need to save on wood in this region. These toys were brought to Nuremberg via publishers in Sonneberg, Thuringia, and from there to large parts of Europe via retailers. These Erzgebrige wooden toy soldiers (c. 1840) are presented at Basel Historical Museum.