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The precedents of toys soldiers -if it is possible to name them this way- go back to the times of the former Egypt, where there were done representations of the soldiers of those times worked in polychrome wood, with metal lances and shields covered with leather, as which they appeared in the tomb of the Prince Emsah (or Masashite), of the XI Dynasty, of approximately 2000 A.C. (situated in Museum of the Cairo), or the figure found in Rosegg's excavation (Carintia), with a datetime approached the 1000 AC., or maybe as those warriors's small effigies founded in countries of the Mediterranean littoral realized in metal or clay, representing them at foot or at ride.

Another discovery that dates back to the Roman Empire is a flat figure of 6 cm of high place representing a Roman legionary or gladiator (situated in the British Museum).

Similar vestiges have been situated in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Germany and inclusive in Abyssinia (Africa).

Though the majority of the pieces were found in funeral constructions where they might have been done in order to be used as offering to the dead people or the divinities, also they might have occupied certain affective place in the first years of its childhood, which were representing those that saw and want to emulate in the future of its time; in his book's toys soldiers "Coleccionismo de Soldados de Plomo", Don José Allende Salazar, mentions to that in some excavations in Italy, this type of figures only has been found in the tombs of the children.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance they are produced, by means of washes (system of smelting), it three-dimensional appear of metal that they might be representations of the knights and medieval warriors on foot or at ride of this time, as part of the childhood's game of tournament used by the sons of the princes or nobles, as example we can to mention the horses and riders of bronze exposed in The Kunsthistonerishes Museum to Vienne, which date back of 1550, or those of the collection of the Bayerisches Museum of Munich.

To beginnings of the 18th century (from 1730), where the development of the toy goes away increased, the first flat toys soldiers appears in productions in series, orientated to satisfy the children existing market.

In its origin they were of two dimensions, made of tin-plate and tin, fulfilled in engraved molds of slate (blackboard).

The first manufacturers were the tinsmiths of Nuremberg. This city was known from the 16th century, according to the chronicles, by the manufacture of toys; supplementary activity to the manufacture of objects of tin or jeweler's shop. The city was relyng on the abundance of mines in the zone, as well as the nourished one merchants' body that they were taking the toys across the commercial routes of Europe, existing from the Middle Ages.

The flats toys soldiers were cheap of making and easy to distribute, were not occupying very much space, resisting any damage both in the trip and in the exhibition.

Other one of the worn materials was the wood, being again the German cities, especially the region of Saxony, the cradle of the toy of wood. The soldiers was made by peasants with other toys, taking them then to the merchants, who were buying them later, taking charge of its distribution for the whole Europe.

From the century XVIII the painting of the soldiers of wood, based on natural dyes, goes on of the dark tones to more vivacious colors. Soon the production of toys soldiers expanded to England, Italy, France and inclusive Spain. The summit of this scale of toys soldiers lasted up to approached the half century XIX.

Other worn materials were the paper and the cardboard; according to Lidya Darbishire, in its "Encyclopedia of the Collector", does the explanation of which in spite of the fact that the popular belief gives its origin in the sheets of uniforms and scenes of battles printed in Germany, the real cradle of the toys' soldiers of paper is the city of Strasbourg, where in 1744 the printer Seyfried realizes rapidly the impression of military uniforms due to the interest that the inhabitants of the city showed before the presence of Luis XV's troops, going out to sell it for the streets, which was a success, which led to other printers to copy his idea.

The above mentioned sheets were representing to the mounted troops of the Regiment of Cavalry of Orleans.

Though there was impressions of military uniforms in the previous century, it is believed that Seyfried was the first one in extracting sheets designed like clipping. Among the most out-standing printers we can to mention to Nicolas Pellerin (1703-1773) and its company "Les Vosgues" and H.R.G. Silberman (1800-1876).

Again in Germany, there originate the classic ones "leads toy soldiers". The German manufacturers made half flat pieces, since they wanted that its works were more attractive or realistic, since they were done of tin and in bigger proportion lead. The body of the figures was more rounded lightly, whereas the legs continued being subject in straight line to the base or "pedestal".

These pieces were become popular in the second half of the century XIX, they were a bit thicker than the flat figures, with more out-standing details. They are to the half of way between a flat figure and the most three-dimensional figures.

Among the most out-standing craftsmen of the first time of the half flat we can to mention the first two craftsmen Allgeyer and Schweizer, being one of the last companies in them to make that of Gebruder Schneider during the decade of 1900. At present the half flat toysoldier is not the most popular among the collectors.

Regarding the origin of the massive toys soldiers of lead, the first indications are seen in France, where there was no a great interest in the flat and half flat.

A craftsman of the metal called Lucotte begins to work a series of shaped figures rounded (round- bosse). They were completely realized in an alloy of tin, lead and antimony, but they were sold already painted; the above mentioned pieces were cheap, including a wide spectrum of the public. In this period there appear Mignot's figures, which together with those of CBG (Cuberly, Blondel and Gerbaud) constitute the C.B.G. Mignot.

From the half of the 19th century the German companies, in response to the success of the French shaped figures, extract figures of the same style, being some of its manufacturers more famous: Heyde de Dresden, Haffner or Heinrichsen of Nuremberg.

In the middle of the century XIX the trade of toys soldiers was a commercial viable exit, offering an admirable variety of figures that were exported to the whole world.

We do not can ourselves to forget of the toysoldiers of hollow lead, which arise as a much more economic response to the manufacture of the flat, half flat and bulk's figures.

In 1893 William Britains, English manufacturer of toys, enters to the market of the toys soldiers with his hollow figures, which competed with the flat German soldiers and the French bulk's soldiers. The success acquired by Britain was so big that in a little time he acquired the first place in sales, being converted into the bigger manufacturer of toy s soldiers of the world.

The hollow figures (hollow cast) were made manually. An alloy was spilt it liquidates of tin, lead and antimony in a mold of metallic hinge, normally of brass, where the metal was turning for the mold, withdrawing from him rapidly, which was leaving a cap of metal cooled inside the cavity of the mold. On having separated both halves of the mold the shaped figure was appearing.

Among 1900 and 1955 the emptying was the technology most extended for the manufacture of toys soldiers.

Britain, in spite of having the best pieces of the market, had many imitators and rivals ;between them we mention to Charbens, Soldarma, Cherilea, Crescent and John Hill and Co, for example.

After the Second World war, due to the increase of the price of the metal and the development of the plastic, a fall takes place in the production of hollow figures, therefore, from 1967, Britain begins to produce pieces of plastic that were recreating the characteristics of the previous metallic toys soldiers.

Among some of the new producers of toys soldiers of postwar period in the American continent we can to mention to the United States and Argentina. The marketing of the soldaditos, in EE.UU's territories - whose production was totally European- date back of the centuries XVIII and XIX.

Newly in the first years of the century XX the first series are produced of toy soldiers of lead, being in a beginning, copy of the sets of already famous "Britains".

As precedent, at the end of the century XIX one company, the "Herd Iron Casting and Co", was using cast iron for the production of its toy soldiers, following with the same material already entered well by the '30. Among the most known companies we can to mention Marx, Barclay, Comet Metal Products.

The pioneering manufacturers of toys soldiers in Argentina, date back of 1930 and 1940. At this time, the first pieces of national origin, were based on the famous counterfoils Schneider to handcrafted scale, and generally without painting. Later there joined figures of Argentine production in diverse materials, as wood, massive lead, photolithographed tin-plate and composite , that represent with its equipments and uniforms the daily scenes of the Argentine soldiers in campaign.

Among the marks registered of argentine origin up to the date we can to mention to:

Notifix (1935 - 1924)
Viruta (1962 - 1961, 1958 - 1950)
Grafil (1954 - 1950)
Austrandia (1955 - 1950)
Falucho (1965 - 1950)
La Banda (1950 aprox.)
Metralla (1954 - 1953)
Reyco (1955 - 1952)
Terry (1957 - 1953)
Mambru (1962 - 1955)
Birmania (1988 - 1984, 1965 - 1955)
Talin (1955)
Yelmo (1959 - 1957)
Jugal (1965)
Roche (1988 - 1966)
La Huinca (1975)
Oklahoma (1975)
Pessot (1978 - 1988)

The most known marks are Mambrú and Birmania, which they were used as entertainment to the Argentine children during the decades of'50, of '60 and entered well it of '70.

The manufacturers of these old men toys soldiers (mark Mambrú and Birmania) transformed some figures or used of mold to the soldiers - hollows and clumps - of lead of British, French or German origin. In this case is the english mark Timpo (Toy Importers Co.), makers, no doubt, of the pieces bases that expose the uniforms and the characteristics of the Second World war.

Among other materials used also one finds the mixture more known as "composite".

With the term "composite" a wide scale of materials has been designated, included the paper maché, carton, thin sheet of compressed paper.

Between the first ones there is the used one for the manufacturers of Sonnenberg's toys -in Germany- at the beginning of the century XIX, named "brotteig", who was used to make the heads and bodies of the dolls. Later on, for the manufacture of toys´s soldiers, in the middle of 1850 a composite mass was used based on flour of rye, plaster, sand and glue. In spite of the difficulty of the molded one of the mixture (more that in the metal), it has acceptance between the collectors. At present they are not in great quantity, being of general enclosed interest for the museums, as integral part of the popular art.

At the end of the century XIX the mixture is used for the production of series of economic figures. Later the mixture is replaced with the lead for the manufacture of toys soldiers.

The composite's figures had a reappearance at the beginning of 1900, where a new mixture based conforms in a resistant and relatively cheap compound formed by basic elements as sawdust, caolina and tail of bone. His discoverer was Emil Pfeffer, from Vienna, who in 1895 was an owner of a company that was commercializing under Tipple-Topple's name, dedicated to the manufacture of animals of zoo, set of births of the child Jesus, railway figures, cowboys and indians, which were shaped with many skill.

The figures were obtained pressing the pulpous mass in a mold of brass of two sections; then the weakest parts were reinforced, as arms and legs, with structures of wire. Both halves or sections were closed, remaining united both parts for the viscosity of the mass, and they were cooked in an oven to low temperature. When they were ready they were extracting the curbings and the unions were levelled, the painting were applied after. Later the mixture is replaced with the lead for the manufacture of toys soldiers.

Between (among) the most famous marks in manufacture of composite's toys soldiers we can to mention to Elastolin, trade name of the company Hausser, founded by the brothers Otto and Max Hausser, who were making from 1904, though the company Hausser -according to Darbyshire-, was not Registered until 1926.

In 1925, the company Pfeiffer was sold to Hausser, which moved to Neustadt. So much the pieces Elastolin since those of Tipple-Topple were so seemed that only it is possible to differentiate them by its stamp, if they take it.

Other companies that were dedicated to the manufacture of composite's toys soldiers are: Lineol and Leyla, in Germany; Durso, in Belgium; Nardi, in Italy; and in Argentina we can to mention some attempts as that of Plombel by the years '50.

In spite of the authority of the plastic on the market of the toys soldiers, in the middle of the years '70, were reproduced again the lead's toys soldiers, or rather of an alloy of lead and tin, which are known like "new toy soldiers". Saying toys soldiers have a market moderated among the collectors, being majority no doubt that of the collectors of old figures and former figures.

To collect soldiers of lead, soft/plastic (or any another material), painting, shaping, or simply acquiring figures it is a way of filling the space of leisure of the persons, anyone is his social condition.

The collect is a way to acquire knowledges and culture in pleasant and enterteining form. And this type especially helps to know the history, the geography, the social sciences, the painting, the drawing and up to the music.

Though the warlike element to simple sight proposes the violence, this activity is a way to understand the uselessness of the War and the kindnesses of the Peace.

In this troubled world and estressed it is also a form of relax. The beauty and the accuracy of the uniform, the historical interest, the real representation of moments of the past that are interested especially, they are reasons to initiate a collection.

Catalogue Ideas to beginning a Collection

You have to think about some issues to organize your collection:

FIRST. Physical space to the collection.

SECOND. If you are going to collecting toys soldiers, war games or pieces of collection, investigate information such as year, place of procedence or determinated trade mark.

THIRD. If you are interested in the esthetical or artistical path or if you want to get national pieces or a specific time or a particular nation or determinated weapons (Infantry, Cavalry or Artillery and the Army or Area Force).

Paola and Roberto Lodoli