Cooking range (Marklin)

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Star Exhibit

Cooking range (Marklin)

Märklin spirit-fired stove, detail.jpg Märklin spirit-fired stove, detail (i)

BTMM map 011.gif
Arch Two , Area 11
Play Kitchen (display)

An ornate toy cooking range with bread oven (fixed on top).

The toy was made by Märklin, Germany, circa 1902-1906, and is displayed with its Märklin kitchen set.


The Märklin company started out as a small specialist husband-and-wife team making and selling dolls kitchens.

Theodor and Caroline Märklin started their company in 1859, the same year that they married, with Theodor opening his metalworking workshop and making the toys and Caroline travelling around the country as a travelling salesperson. The combination of Theodor's craftsmanship and Caroline's salesmanship worked business into a success, and Caroline kept the business going after Theodor's death, before handing it down to her sons.

After absorbing the toymaker Lutz, the business grew and grew, developing the first proper gauge standards for model railway track and creating a massive catalogue of products. Nowadays Märklin is best known for their model railways.

The cooker dates from the period after the Lutz takeover and the first standardised model railways in the 1890s, from the period when Märklin's larger-gauge model railway range was being aggressively expanded.


The cooking range is a "working model" in the sense that it is spirit-fired, with three door hatches for the fuel.

The fact that the model burned alcohol probably added a sense of excitement (and danger!) missing from modern kitchen toys, and it seems unlikely that any current manufacturer would countenance selling a model like this to children.