Toys for kids and adults
The toy grocers’ shops form one of the highlights in the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum Basle). Many have rendered service in real playrooms or served exclusively as showpieces. What they all have in common is fascinating attention to detail and extensive contents.
Sailors’ or grammar schools, kitchens, pharmacies, shops selling groceries or imported food were mostly made by carpenters as one-off pieces. Children were probably not allowed to play with the valuable objects unsupervised. Rather they were used by parents to acquaint their children with adult life through play. From the beginning of the 20th century, toy grocers’ shops were manufactured industrially and offered with all the fittings.
Apart from the fascination evoked by the craftsmanship of the makers, the toy grocers’ shops from the years between 1880 and 1920 provide a good insight into the life and work in that time. The exhibits originate largely from Germany and France.
Perfection in miniature
The miniatures tell real or fictitious stories of various kinds with impressive attention to detail and are constructed in a 1:12 scale. It is with this contemporary spin on the art of the dollhouse that the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel fosters the art of modern dollhouse construction.