Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Art of Play: A German Toy Kitchen, 1800

Model Kitchen
Nuremberg, 1800
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Since most of us in the U.S. have spent the last couple of days in the kitchen, I thought we might take a look at historical kitchens and kitchen-related items today. For example, here’s a model of a German kitchen made in Nuremberg about 1800. Remarkably, the model has all of its original contents. How they were not lost over the last two hundred years, I’ll never know. But, the fact that all of the miniature contents survive makes this model extremely rare.

Among the contents of the model is its collection of utensils, tools, oven and hen coop. Models such as this were a popular and attractive gift designed to introduce a child to the domestic skills that would later be needed to run a household. These kitchens also had the added advantage of being portable and much easier to carry than entire dolls' houses.

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