Thursday, March 30, 2006

Corners of my Home: Week 8 (mini version)

1/12th Bachelor pad

I find it constantly surprising how miniaturists in the late 20th and early 21st century seem to have suddenly reverted to creating Victorian country dolls houses. I'm not sure if it is because those pieces are easier to obtain commercially (and here's where I start asking chicken and egg questions) or if it a "dumbing down" of a hobby (can I be so arrogant as to use the phrase "art form"?) that has been round since the 15th century at least.

If you are interested in some of the famous dolls houses through history you might want to look at
Mon Plaisir (1704-1751), the Dutch cabinet houses of the 17th century and, more recently The Thorne Rooms in Chicago and (of course) Queen Mary's Dolls House at Windsor Castle.

Each of these collections gives us a very clear idea of how people actually lived in the times they were constructed and are a very useful social history tool.

So why oh why aren't we doing this any more? Are future generations going to have to look to TV to see how people lived in our times? And will that mean they'll get some completely unrealistic idea (eg: how do the people in Friends actually afford to live in a flat like they have?!)

As a child I remember being blown away by a picture in the Venus and Martin Dodge book The dolls house do-it-yourself book which showed a modern kitchen complete with (I now know) Caroline's Home cupboards, swing bin, vacuum cleaner and coffee maker. I had been reading a book on Queen Mary's Dolls House at the time (I was never a child to do things by halves) and I was entranced by the concept that a dolls house could look like a real house. (Perhaps that's where my ongoing interest in social history started?)

Since then I've made a point to do modern minis. Sometimes it has been hard to find suitable items and depressing when they are discontinued very quickly after hitting the market.

Anyway, lecture over. Here are some pictures of the sort of miniatures I create:

1/12th white bedroom

3/4 inch scale 1970s Lundby lounge
Original 3/4 inch scale 1947 Lundby house and furniture
3/4 inch scale 1970s Lundby house dining room with Jean West Germany furniture


Anonymous said...

thank you for this original piece of thought - well original to me! quite a vastly different morning to me - i was at woy woy station from 5am! so i am currently sitting down to lunch! having founding the new crewel for my friend! aka shopping sherpa which will now allow her to do wonderous things! Priness of Libraria

Nicole said...

Oh my amazing!

Maize said...

WOW! You make those little things?! AWESOME! JUST AWESOME!


Anonymous said...

I came across this site by accident, but you solved a question that has been bothering me for years! I have most of that Lundby 3/4 entertainment system set, but until this very day, I didn't know who made it! Thanks for knowing, so that I can research my items now!

The Shopping Sherpa said...

*h - sorry to send you off in the wrong direction but both the coffee table and entertainment unit are actually Tomy Smaller Homes and Gardens. Hope this helps...