Bologna Toy Soldier Museum
About Toy Soldier Museum
This museum holds one of the biggest collections of toy soldiers in Europe after Kulmback in Bavaria and Compiegne near Paris.
There are 12,500 pieces here illustrating the history of children’s toy soldiers from many countries since the mid 1700s until the present time.
The exhibits showing French soldiers are actually made from paper and date to 1820, whereas the first metal ones came about in the mid 1700’s and where produced in Nuremburg by JG Hilpert.
Important here, are also the costumes and uniforms of the armies throughout the centuries which not only vary in splendour and colour but tell the story of many cultures and conflicts. They tell the histories of battle from Assiri to the recent Gulf Wars.
The exhibits are not just of soldiers but include the navy and sea-faring combatants. There were many artists who contributed to producing, painting or inspiring these pieces and from many countries around the world. Some of those include Ditta Lehmann from Germany, Marca JEP from France, Fleischmann, HC Andersen to name but a few.
There’s also a special area dedicated to Italian soldiers particularly for the Risorgimento which was the drive for political unity between 1815 and 1861. Photographs of serving Generals and leaders are shown next to the actual exhibits.
The museum also collaborates with others in order to facilitate exhibitions. It’s here too that the stories of childhood and toys through didactics are encouraged and shared.
Furthermore, this Toy Soldier Museum is known throughout Europe since visitors and delegations now arrive from everywhere such as England, Spain, Germany, Hungary and even the US.