This uniqe handmade collection of Nürnberg type flat tin soldies (hight of a full size standing figure is 30mm) represents an Austrian Imperial Army regiment from the time of the Seven Years' War (1756 - 1763) comanded by Count Josip Kazimir Drašković von Trakošćan. Regimental structure was reconstructed acording to the paintings exhibited in the next room of Trakošćan Castle.
The maker of this exceptional collection is Mr. Branimir Richter. By his profession Mr. Richter was a medical doctor and university professor, and he is also one of the founders, and a longtime president of the 'Croatian Catholic Medical Association'. Apart from his professional engagement, in his private life Mr. Richter has yet another passion, and that is research of military history and making of various tin soldiers collections.
Several years ago, I had an oportunity of visiting him at his home, and spending an exciting evening in conversation and learning about his tin soldiers collections. Mr. Richter used to play with tin soldies while he was a child. In those days of his childhood tin soldiers were one of most common toys for boys. So, in his mature age, inspired by memories of his childhood games, Mr. Richter started to make tin soldiers of his own. He has developed his own technique of making plaster molds and also mastered the art of casting.
Collection consists of 822 individual figures, carefully reconstructed according to the paintings exhibited in the next room of Trakošćan Castle. Regiment has three battalions of infantry composed of fusiliers, grenadiers and pioneers, regimental music band and five cavalry detachments, both husars and dragoons.
I have recorded my visit to Mr. Branimir Richter with an VHS camera I was using back then, and eventually I have digitized the tape and published the two video clipps at YouTube.
Video recording is of poor quality, conversation is in Croatian language, but it is nonetheless watchable...
On 16th January 2010. Mr. Branimir Richter had celebrated his 90th birthday.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.