The Toy Horse Museum is the one and only museums in the world dedicated to toy horses. The Museum is hosted in what used to be the stables of Tornese, a famous, several time world-champion trotter in the 1950s.
In 1969, Pietro Catelli, founder of Artsana Group and “Cavaliere del Lavoro” for his merits as an enterpreneur, purchased the building and surrounding land to establish the Artsana headquarters. On 14 April 2000, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, he decided to leave a unique gift to his company and local community by inaugurating the Museum, which hosts his collection of toy horses in the historical stables that once belonged to Tornese.
“Pietro Catelli turned 80 in 2000. The cake wouldn’t be big enough for all the candles. And he couldn’t eat any sweets. So he chose a different way to celebrate. Since he didn’t have many toys as a child, he decided to make a present to himself and to all those who wished to be close to him: a toy horse. Not one, but a dozen, a hundred, a thousand: a toy horse museum to teach children to switch off their PCs and use their imagination to create things.”
The Museum covers 400 m2 and hosts a collection that is unique in its kind in the entire world: more than 650 toy horses dating from the sixteenth century to present from all over the world. Rocking horses, tricycle horses, stick horses or spring horses, made of wood, papier mache, tin or fabric. Each toy horse is a unique work of genius and imagination.
The original core of the collection was donated by Pietro Catelli to the Museum, but the collection is growing continuously thanks to the frequent donations made to the Museum. Many people bring us the toys from their childhood to the Museum so that it can take care of them and save them from the dust in the attic or basement.
In 2004, the Museum’s collection was expanded with the Lehmann collection, 41 silkscreened tin spring horses made in Germany around the end of the nineteenth century. These pieces offered a glimpse of adult life to children living at the turn of the century.
The Toy Horse Museum is the Corporate Museum of Artsana Group and since 2001 it is a member of Museimpresa, an association sponsored by Assolombarda and Confindustria. Its goal is to bring together and promote companies that have chosen to focus their communication strategies on culture and to leverage it as an instrument of economic growth and a means to add value, while allowing them to create a network.
The Museum has received the Guggenheim Enterprise and Culture Award for the choice of its theme, which matches perfectly with the mission of the Chicco brand.