One of Goethe’s childhood stories revolves around the kind of dishes on the shelf. In Poetry and Truth he recounts how he was once playing with his doll’s dishes in the geräms – the wooden structure in front of the house. Having nothing better to do, he began throwing his doll’s dishes on the paving stones in front of the house. The neighbours egged him on, encouraging the young Johann Wolfgang to throw more on the street. But as the young Goethe wrote in his recollections:
[M]y supply was exhausted […]. So I ran straight into the kitchen and fetched some earthenware dishes, which of course made an even merrier spectacle as they broke; and I ran back and forth taking one dish after the other from the crockery shelf, where I could reach them in succession. And because those men would not be satisfied, all the tableware I could drag out was smashed to pieces in the same way.
Goethe: From My Life. Poetry and Truth, part 1 , book 1