Tag Archives: Atlas Obscura: All Places

Mantin House

Image of Mantin House located in  | Exterior of Maison Mantin

Mantin House

French Time Capsule-19th Century home revealed to the public

Louis Mantin, a French aesthete “obsessed with death and the passage of time,” wrote in his will that he wanted to turn his home into a museum after his death. He made a very specific and seemingly odd request, though: the museum would open 100 years after his passing.
After inheriting a large fortune from his father, Mantin, a bachelor with no children, started collecting objects obsessively–Egyptian relics, medieval locks and keys, monkey skulls, and stuffed blowfish. Having inherited the money later in life, Mantin knew that his time with his newly acquired collection would be short. The solution, he thought, was to turn his home into a museum, so people would know how an artistic gentleman had lived at the turn of the century.
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Pollock’s Toy Museum

Image of Pollock's Toy Museum located in London, United Kingdom

Pollock’s Toy Museum

A toy store with a century-long history preserves the craftsmanship of playthings of the past.

In a dimly lit Victorian building with rickety staircases, the china dolls and tin soldiers sit patiently on dusty shelves awaiting their visitors. The toy theatres of the 1800’s, an all but forgotten craft that required intricate printing plates and lovingly constructed characters are displayed as if they never fell out of favor.
The Pollock’s Toy Museum is named after Benjamin Pollock, one of the last printers in the toy theatre trade. A hugely popular pastime of the 1800’s, people enjoyed assembling the craft kits that would unfold into their favorite stage plays, and allow them to reenact those performances at home with their families. In the 19th century, stage theatre began to shift into formats that didn’t lend themselves easily to the toy theatre, and they fell out of favor.
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