Anne S K Brown Military Collection

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2015-06-26 11:14:22

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Anne S K Brown Military Collection

The Anne S K Brown Military Collection in Rhode Island, US contains one of the leading collections of toy soldiers in the world, with around 5,000 pieces on display.

The collection

Housed at Brown University’s John Hay Library, the collection was formerly owned by Anne Brown, and was granted to the university in 1981-82.

The collection, which includes around 15,000 works of art, 14,000 books and 18,000 albums and scrapbooks, depicts military and naval uniforms from the 16th century onwards.

It also contains much material on military history.

Toy soldiers

Brown’s passion for military history was stimulated by toy soldiers. She began collecting the figures while on honeymoon in Europe in 1930 with the intention of putting them on display upon her return to the US. Most of the figures were made by Britains, Heyde and Mignot.

In subsequent years Brown augmented her collection with a number of specially commissioned sets. These included a large 1830s and 1840s US militia collection. She collected approximately 5,000 lead soldiers - most are on display at the John Hay Library.

The figures are housed in 96 display cabinets, depicting scenes from ancient Egypt up to Queen Elizabeth II.

Highlights of the collection include medieval knights made by Courteney and a set of miniature highland soldiers by Howard Willetts.

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