Belgian Wood War Toys the Oeuvre Belge du Jouet or UPFB for Sale
Belgian Wood War Toys – the Oeuvre Belge du Jouet or UPFB for sale
We have enjoyed this set of incredibly historic toys in our shop and it is time to adopt them out– UPFB is the “Patriotic Union of Belgian Women” and these were their toys, their cause. The come from dark historic times from around the World Wars. Yet you would not know this, until reading their history.
Our war toys come from occupied Belgium and are true war toys. They took advantage of no metal, few resources, and broken spirits (in theory). They were made to inspire hope and give happiness to children at a time were the Belgian country was occupied. They had a symbolic meaning too as a bit of passive resistance. Toy factories were taken, but this was a way to make Christmas happen still.
One 1915 description of the UPFB is “To provide destitute women with work, the UPFB (Patriotic Union of Belgian Women) will open lace manufacturing workshops at various places throughout the country. But very soon, the CNSA provides support and, in March 1915, opens a section called “Aid and protection for lacemakers” that will cooperate with the UPFB in its two aims: supporting the production of national know-how that is already known around the world, and providing work for women who, without it, would depend on charity. Some of the workshops are created from scratch, whereas in others, lacemakers involved in this activity long before the war will be hired.”
The UPFB recognized that children needed to play and unemployment was a bad thing for the country. Wounded soldiers and “invalids” were employed, as well as former soldiers that could not take up the war during occupation. The UPFB had a specific section known as the Belgian Toy Charity )Oeuvre Belge du Jouet). The organization would look after distributing toys in parts of the country and pull from the toy manufacturing regions. Liege had the “Jouet Liegeois” company, in Brussels, “Le Jouet Belge” and in Louvain the “Remedo” company of Jean Merode.
Toys would be produced in these workshops and go to orphans and needy children. They would be distributed for the holidays such as Saint Nicholas Day, aka Christmas.
So enjoy these primitive toys for what they were- War Toys to bring hope. Each one is hand made, one of a kind, and likely made from humble artists; given to destitute children for joy.
Price is negotiable, especially for historic organizations.
1 in stock