Toy Theatres

....also called  Juvenile Drama, popular 19th-century English children's toy that provides modern theatre historians with a valuable record of the plays and playhouses of its day.

Most scholars believe the juvenile drama to have originated with the engraved sheets that began to be printed in London around 1810 as souvenirs of current plays. Each sheet depicted the principal characters of the plays.

Model theater is called "Dukketeater", or doll theatre, in Denmark, and "Kindertheater", or children's theatre, in Germany. Other countries produced model theaters, but the prints from Denmark and Germany were some of the most outstanding. It is still commonly known as Toy Theater, despite the fact that it is mostly adults involved in creating and performing, rather than children.

Model or Paper Theater, is usually sold as printed paper sheets, either in black & white to be colored as desired, or as full colored images of the figures, props and scenery. The sheets are then pasted to thin cardboard, backed with another piece of paper to keep the cardboard from curling, and then left to dry well. After it is dried, it can be cut out with scissors or craft knives, and some people use special chisel-like tools.* The more precise and finer detailed the cutting, the better the sets will look. It is more time consuming, but the result is much more effective than when cut too coarsely.

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Theatre value and price guide

What's your Theatre worth? Here are some recently sold items.

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