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Puppenhausmuseum - Vintage Dolls and Teddy Bears

Located in the center iof town on corner of the Barfusserplatz with trolleys rolling by, right across from the McDonald's, it looks like a toy store, although the toys are distinctly vintage. The Dol'sl House Museum of Basel (Puppenhausmuseum) occupies four floors of a building dating from 1867. On display are more than 6,000 examples of dolls and accessories, the largest of its kind in Europe, arranged by theme, but displayed in elegant wood and glass cases, presented in a playful style, feeling more like a child’s room than museum.

The Doll’s House Museum features doll houses and miniatures on the lower floors, while upstairs can be found the museums signature collection of over two thousand stuffed bears with the world’s largest collection of vintage pre-1950 Teddy Bears. The Teddy Bears are throughout the museum, seeming to interact with the other toys. The bears play house with porcelain doll, or go picnicking or car racing. Many of the scenes are mechanically operated with the press of a button. Each floor has an interactive information station, providing the visitor with the story of the items on display.

The dolls and bears date mostly from 1870 and 1920 during the Victorian and Edwardian age. On the fourth floor is an exhibit which features one of the museums most prized possessions, a 1904 Steiff “PGB35” Teddy Bear with its original design metal frame for articulation. Many of the bears at the Basel museum are Steiff and the innovative seamstress who overcame polio as a child to bring wonder to children the world over is honored with her own exhibit. Other changing exhibits are featured at the museum with loans from other collections.

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