Miniature masterpieces on the march

Two outstanding collections due to go under the hammer at Bonham’s will appeal to the connoisseur collector with a taste for ‘‘boys’ toys’’ that require neither electricity, batteries nor a download of the latest version from the internet.

21st October, 2006

Miniature military figurines, aka toy soldiers, have been made from time immemorial.

The earliest known were found buried with the Pharaohs in Egypt. It was the exploits of Frederick the Great that kick-started the European fashion for collecting them. Materials included papier mache and wax but from the mid 18th century France and Germany led the field with tin soldiers until in 1893 William Britain came up with the idea of making them from hollowcast lead.

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