Small is Big Business

I have always been fascinated by miniatures. They have always appealed to the kid in me, but of course being me, they had to be, or at least have, antique styling.

Collecting miniatures is big business. You only have to look at this catalogue that is imbedded below to see how far reaching such collecting passion can be. (I was going to add the link only but lo and behold, my WordPress program imbedded it – I hope it works.)

A Sale catalogue of a previous auction that was one couple’s collection of miniatures.

Collectors generally choose a particular scale to collect their miniatures – just as dollhouses come in different scales. 1:12 scale (1 inch for every foot) gained widespread acceptance amongst collectors of miniatures when it was chosen as the scale for Queen Mary’s Dolls House at Buckingham Palace. (See a video of this wonderful doll house from Royal Trust at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGMY8NNdeNA

At a time when rulers were marked in 1/12 of an inch, the 1:12 scale was, and continues to be, a popular size, which allows for the creation of very detailed miniatures. It does not work so well for miniatures of other objects like cars, buildings, etc but for the sake of this blog let’s stick to furniture and interiors.

The furniture you see in the first two images are from photographs I took at an appraisal I did in St Albert a few years ago. This gilt metal furniture with hand-painted scenes was exquisite. High quality miniatures such as these antique pieces have fully functioning doors, drawers, and sometimes even locks! (Can you imagine the size of the skeleton key?)

There are miniature shows all over the world – including in Edmonton. I used to take my nephew to these shows when he was young. If you go online you will indeed see how popular collecting miniatures truly is.

I used to have a sizeable collection of miniatures but I sold most of them prior to moving out of our 1912 house. I kept a few pieces, both antique and non antique, and some of these I put into shadow boxes as shown below.

Shadow boxes are a good way to display miniatures and they fit into bookcases.

Miniatures can be quite pricey. For example, I paid $45 for the ‘floral’ arrangement you see in the picture above. It sounds expensive until you realize that the ‘stems’ are thread and that each individual leaf is glued on to the thread. The leaves themselves are made by using a heart – shaped paper puncher. Once the “leaves” are punched out, each leaf is painted with green watercolor. The water makes the ‘leaf’ curl like a real one as it dries. Here is a closeup of the arrangement.

Amazing floral arrangement and faux-painted marble vase.

We can’t leave out our furry friends either:

Victorian style ‘wicker’ furniture complete with dog, needlepoint rug and brass candlesticks.

The final image in this blog post shows a picture of the piece of miniature furniture piece that started all of this. It’s called a commode and it is decorated in the ostentatious Baroque style. The drawers do not open because it was primarily a decoration. I bought it at, of all places, the Ukranian Village gift shop! The Rococo style chair is a Christmas decoration and the topiary was purchased at a miniature show as were the accessories and the rug. This little vignette is sitting in a shadow box as well.

Collecting miniatures doesn’t take a lot of room but display is the key. Now that I’ve left behind a heritage house full of antiques I have to live vicariously through my miniatures – not a bad deal actually.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s