Tartu Toy Museum Receives Rare Collection
A unique collection of wooden toys created in Tartu in the early 20th century has found its way back home after a 70-year absence.
The group of nearly 100 toys, which include plywood figures depicting animals, fruit trees and bushes as well as children and adults working in a garden, were donated to the Tartu Toy Museum by German resident Renata Varto, whose father Nikolai Viller produced them when her family lived in the town in the 1920s and 30s.
“Very few [Estonian] toys from the prewar period have been preserved, and of those that have, many are hard to identify. Viller's toys present examples of his work, and we also know the history of their manufacture,” said the museum's director, Triin Vaaro.
Viller was an architect whose most famous work in Tartu was the interior design of the Ateena theater and restaurant. In his carpentry shop, he also made toys, chess sets and decorative household items. The family moved to Lviv in 1939.
The collection will go on display next year, rus.err.ee reported.