On display in Pickfords House, Derby. The toy theatre developed from the art of the caricaturist which flourished in England during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
These miniature theatres show an entire theatre including stage, scenery, characters and audience with boxes occupied by elegant ladies in beautiful gowns, accompanied by escorts in splendid uniforms or evening dress. Even the orchestra was shown.
The toy theatre became one of the most popular pastimes, not only in England, but also in most European countries.
In 1895, a skeleton of a hippopotamus was dug up in Allenton in Derby. Local geologist H.H. Arnold Bemrose and the Crown Inn at Allenton, Derby both play a part in the fascinating story of how it got there.
In March 1895 a well was being dug in the yard of the Crown Inn. Very soon several large bones were discovered. Two local geologists, H. H. Arnold Bemrose and R. M. Deeley, organised an excavation nearly ten feet deep, to gather more bone which were later identified as hippopotamus, elephant and rhinoceros.
The remains have since been dated to 120 thousand years ago - a time long before Derby existed and when these huge animals roamed along the wetlands.