Netsuke

Netsuke are artistic toggles that originated in Japan in the 17th century. These little figures of people and animals became a Japanese import to the states as early as the 1860s. They were made of many different materials such as ivory, wood, iron, or gold. Easily imported because of their small size, this factor contributed to their status as a very collectible object in America. In Japan, people used them to hang on the ends of their medicine boxes or on their kimonos.

Museum Street Clock

It wasn't long ago that clocks decorated the streets of Milwaukee. As the city grew, buildings became modernized and development continued; the street clocks were greatly reduced in number. Most clocks were removed as they were an obstruction to urban development. Milwaukee mayor, Sherman M. Becker, known as the "Boy Mayor," found the clocks to be particularly bothersome and took matters into his own hands by ordering their destruction. One morning in 1907, he and a team of firemen destroyed most of the city street clocks.

T'ang Horse

This horse is made of pinkish buff clay and with a painted white slip. Its "cold pigment" colors include rust, orange, pinkish and traces of black. The horse dates to the T'ang dynasty in China which lasted from 618-907 A.D. The horse was extensively restored before it came to the Museum.

Blaschka Glass Works

Known for their precise detail and distinguishing color, the Blaschka glass models are accurate representations of biological specimens. Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolph, Blaschkas were Bohemian, or Czech, by birth but worked in Germany. The MPM purchased 70 invertebrate glass models which were offered for sale through Ward's Natural Science Establishment, Inc.

Tiffany Lamp

This lamp from "Tiffany Studios New York" dates back to the early 1900s. The four-light lamp contains a glass shade decorated with a grapevine pattern and an antiqued wisteria bronze base. Tiffany lamps were first created in the late 1800s from the design of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany originally created stained glass for windows, and then transitioned to staining glass for lamps. Tiffany glass lamps are traditionally made by hand, not mass produced by machinery, making them an exceptional and unique piece of glass art.

Marklin Armored Toy Train

This toy train, modeled after an engine car, is equipped with a key wind top, 4 wheels, and the removable top is painted gray with black trim. The Marklin Company, founded in Germany in 1859, once specialized in doll house design, but is now recognized for its toy train craftsmanship. In the late 1800s when Marklin began producing trains, the company created international standards for different gauges and scales for model trains that are still used today.

Cobb Decoy Canada Goose

This decoy, obtained in 1967, was carved and painted to resemble a Canada Goose in a feeding position. Decoys are designed to attract birds from the sky and are often the products of expert craftsmen who are able to carve realistic ducks and geese from wood. This goose decoy is the work of Nathan Cobb Jr., a well-known artist in decoy carving from Virginia.

Napoleon and Josephine portraits

These ivory miniatures are the work of Jacques Louis David, a French neoclassic painter. The Josephine miniature contains an ivory oval signed by David in 1816, the year after Napoleon's last defeat at Waterloo. The Napoleon miniature is set in a brass frame that is decorated with fleur de lis and scrolls. These items are a contribution of I.A. Dinerstein, a Milwaukee lawyer and avid collector of art and decorative art.

Connecticut Cherry Highboy

In the history of American cabinetmaking, highboys are particularly valuable and important because they show advanced craftsmanship and artistry. This Connecticut highboy, dating back to the 18th century, is cherry wood with a double block front with bonnet top. The top has spiral (flame) finials and the highboy is supported by ball and claw feet. This particular highboy was once owned by a governor of Connecticut.

Jeweled Ivory Elephant

This rare carved ivory elephant was decorated with 428 precious stones set in gold trappings and dates to the late 18th century. It originated in India and is believed to be a gift to a raja. The piece was donated to the museum in 1964 from a couple in Chicago who found it a beautiful piece of art. It is currently on exhibit in the museum's India area.