Toy soldier set
- Place of origin:
- Museum number:
B.67:1 to 31-2011
- Gallery location:
This group of toy soldiers, representing injured soldiers, doctors and nurses in the German army in the 1930s, was not originally sold as a set, but is made up of individual pieces, from two separate manufacturers, purchased separately and brought together. The majority of the figures were manufactured by O. M. Hausser, a leading German manufacturer of toy soldiers, but the set also includes at least one figure produced by A. G. Lineol, Hausser's main competitor. All of the figures were manufactured in Germany in the mid- 1930s.
They are made from a composite material, which includes substances such as plaster, glue, sawdust and linseed oil mixed together, which is then pressed into a mould around a wire armature, heated and dried and then hand-painted. The particular composite mixture used by Hausser was given the trade name 'Elsastolin'.
This set reflects the trend amongst toy manufacturers to mirror the real world in terms of new armies, regiments, changes in uniform and equipment and methods of warfare. The fact that the injured troops are German and were manufactured by a German company indicates that this trend towards realistic depiction can include the more disturbing aspects of war, and can show loss as well as victory.
Place of Origin
Height: 14.5 cm, Width: 57 cm, Depth: 60 cm
Object history note
This set is made up of individual figures collected together, produced by two different manufacturers - the majority of figures were produced by O M Hausser, with a small number manufactured by A G Lineol. They were purchased at auction in May 2011. Their history subsequent to manufacture before acquisition is unknown.
Historical context note
As toys, these soldiers would have originally been played with by children, although objects such as these have subsequently become popular with adult collectors. They reflect the trend amongst toy manufacturers, especially manufacturers of toy soldiers, to mirror the real world in terms of newly formed regiments, armies, changes in uniform and eqipment and methods of warfare. They were produced as accurate representation of a field hospital.
Set of toy soldiers, German Army medical service with tent, hand-painted composite (Elastolin), canvas, wire and printed tinplate, O. M. Hausser and A. G. Lineol, Germany, c.1936
Children & Childhood; Arms & Armour; Dolls & Toys
Museum of Childhood