Toy theatre 1875-1900

Vancouver : Museum of Vancouver

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Document Record
Creator Birds of Malden Antiques
Title Toy theatre 1875-1900
Published Vancouver : Museum of Vancouver
Identifier 65547
Language English
Media Image
Contributor Museum of Vancouver
Description The Juvenile Theatre was popular in both England and Germany during the early years of the 19th century and was revived during the closing decades. Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were among the many who fondly recalled acting out dramas with the assistance of a toy theatre. At the beginning of the century, the new urban classes flocked to the theatre to enjoy exotic melodramas, extravagant spectacles, and bowdlerized Shakespearean plays. Enterprising printers sold sets of characters from popular plays which could be cut out and mounted on cardboard. These became popular with children as playthings. Eventually, sets and a script, which was a condensed version of the actual play, augmented the sets of characters and children could imaginatively partake in such productions as "Blue Beard","The Casket of Gloriana", and "The Miller and his Men", the personal favourite of Winston Churchill. Toy theatres were popular in England and Germany during the early years of the 19th century and enjoyed a revival during the closing decades. This theatre, which was made in Germany after 1885, has two backdrops, a forest and a dining hall, and includes the characters from "Robinson Crusoe", "The Mikado", and an unknown Bavarian work.
a) wood box; b) framing valance and uu) decorated wood piece for front top of stage ; c) backdrop; d) footlights; e-j) scenery props; k-l) sphinxes; m-v) cardboard characters from Robinson Crusoe; ww-hh) cardboard characters from the Mikado; ii-tt) cardboard characters from the Bavarian play
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