Pomskizillious Toy Museum in Xaghra, Gozo
The Maltese Islands pride themselves with two unique toy museums. One is located on Republic Street in Valletta, just opposite the Casa Rocca Piccola. I’ve written a blog about it a few years ago. The second one, which I will be talking about in this photo blog, is hiding away in a sleepy village of Xagħra, Gozo.
This museum has a very unusual name – Pomskizillious. The name Pomskizillious comes from a world famous illustrator and writer of nonsense verse Edward Lear. He made up the word in 1866 to describe the coastal scenery of Gozo which he loved to walk through and to paint on his visit to the island in March 1866.
This small privately owned museum in Xagħra, Gozo was originally set up by Susan and Edwin Lowe in Devon, England in the 1970’s. It started with one doll and today boasts toys from all over the world.
Susan Lowe eventually ran the ‘Barum’ Toy Museum in Barnstaple. In 1992 the whole collection came on holiday to Gozo and liked it so much they decided to stay! Celebrating its 30th anniversary next year in 2022.
The first thing that you see when you enter the museum is this wooden horse on wheels. Did you know that wooden horses on wheels date back to ancient Egyptian times?
As you can see on this old photograph from 1930’s, these rocking horses were once upon a time the main attraction in hospitals, this image is from Children’s Ward in the North Devon.
There are also number of pretty large and very interesting doll houses on display in the museum.
The largest houses were built for the richest, made by the carpenter on the estate. In the 1880-1890s the houses became lighter in weight with a use of different materials and more commercially produced.
Most doll’s house furniture was made of wood or metal many other materials were used us as cardboard, bakelite and more.
The first of the two houses was built around 1880 and it still has the original wallpapers and furniture.
This house is a late Victorian well made Gothic style with battlemented bays, front door with glass panel, skirting-boards, fireplaces, staircase, kitchen range and dresser.
Much of the original furniture from the doll’s house has been sold off separately. For me, the most interesting part about this house is the fact that some of the shown furniture was made out of chicken bones!
Set of soldiers made and beautifully painted by Jan Ohlsson of Kalmar Sweden in 1970’s. Soldiers are dressed in the uniform of the Swedish Army in the 1756.
Olly is admiring the Clockwork ‘Hornby’ train set from 1930’s and Edwin’s collection of ‘Dinky’ Toys from late 1940’s.
There is also a display with dozens and dozens of dolls including the smallest doll in the World dating to 1880.
Here you can see all kind of different toys. If you ask the owner he is more than happy to take them out of the display and show you. There are toys that more than 100 years old and still fully functioning! Can’t imagine this happening today, everything breaks two days after the warranty expires..
Be aware of the dog! This English bulldog barks! The owner also showed us how this dog made out of papier-mache dating back to 1910 barks when his leas is pulled!
We could not leave without Olly riding the rocking horse. No animals were harmed while this photo was taken. 🙂
As usual, ending the blog with the pin of the exact location: