Sunday, 25 September 2016

Vintage Style Miniature Greenhouse For Sale

Occasionally I acquire not so old miniature items to sell which equally intrigue me as much as genuinely old miniatures, and here is one of them.
This is an unusual 1/12th scale vintage style greenhouse, of stained wood and perspex construction, and it is now up for sale on KT Miniatures' website. The lower side exterior walls have been given a commercial imitation brick effect, which was readily available in the 1990s. The base at the front has been given a grey paving effect, with card I think, and there is a standby tap fixed to the front wall, left of the door.
The previous owner purchased it from the old Key Miniatures dolls house shop (Thame - Oxfordshire) during the late 1990s so it is at least 17 years old, and she has treasured it greatly. She tells me that it was made by the late husband of the original proprietor of the shop and it was a one off.
 The door opens to reveal shelves running down each side, plus slightly aged terracotta floor tiles running down the central aisle.
The roof comes off for easy access to the interior. 
The interior lower walls are covered in some kind of textured layer and the floor has a realistic dirt finish either side of the tiles. 
On each side of the greenhouse the central hinged windows open, which adds to the quirkiness.  
This would look amazing filled with a mixture of antique/vintage plants and garden artefacts, as well as new ones. As this greenhouse has been created in a vintage style it would lend itself to be given an aged paint effect to make it look older still, such as both walls and woodwork painted in off white colour perhaps? 

This greenhouse is now up for sale on the following page:

Monday, 19 September 2016

Have Been AWOL But Back Now!

After the past couple of difficult months...I decided  it was definitely time to take up some of the wonderful invitations received from family and friends. Hence, over the last couple of weeks or so, although I had intended to get stuck into KT Miniatures with great gusto, I have been absent from my computer for much of the time.

There have been day trips....such as a walk down the Oxford towpath (never done before) where one can see some truly gloriously coloured canal boats with quirky paraphernalia and even miniature gardens. The natural fauna too in places is stunning.We wove our way back into the centre via Jericho, past some very interesting old buildings,  and ended up at the Oxford Antique Market. Great fun!
Then another day there was a tour around Oxford's Christ Church University which is steeped in history and where visitors amongst other parts, can visit the dining hall that was replicated and constructed in the film studio for the Harry Potter films. The steps leading up to the dining hall were used as a Harry Potter film location too...sorry I just couldn't get a good enough shot as there were just too many people around! History seems to ooze out of every nook and cranny in the is fascinating.
Another day I visited the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum (where incedently they have a stunning Edwardian Tea Room that does rather nice food) and amongst the  many fascinating artefacts and glorious paintings, one of my favourite items just has to be a dolls house....of course!
This dolls house was made in 1938 and was said to have been based on a type of suburban house that was being built in Handsworth (Birmingham - UK) at that time. Apparently the dolls house and all its contents were designed by Pat Conolly whilst he was working for Frederick Restall Ltd (Birmingham), a furniture and soft furnishings store. After WW2 he went onto to design the interior of the ocean liner QE11. Jack Restall, of Frederick Restall Ltd., gave the dolls house to his daughter when she was little. It was also used for advertising the Restall company.
Unfortunately the dolls house is encased in a glass cabinet so photographing it proved rather tricky due to reflection of all the lighting....but at least from the photos you can get the gist of what some of it looked like.

And then finally the other day, with an army of volunteers on hand to feed my lovely cats, I went away for a few days. My first stop was the Midlands. The September weather was barmy, it was sooo hot! But during that time I spent a lovely afternoon at David Austen Roses at Albrighton in Wolverhampton.

 If you like roses, then this is most definitely worth a visit!!!!
Their rose gardens are stunning and the perfume is a delight.
 Another day was spent at Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton, a National Trust property. It is a glorious Victorian manor house built and furnished very much in the Arts and Crafts style. My battery was running low on my phone so I couldn't take many photos....

But one of my favourite parts of the manor is the night nursery with the wall frieze painted by the artist and illustrator - Cecil Aldin. It was redecorated in the 1930s and is simply gorgeous!

And then I made my way on up to Liverpool visiting more relatives. I have been to Liverpool many times now and just love it up there. This time I was taken to the old Cains Brewery in Stanhope Street. The brewery closed down a few years ago and there is an antique and vintage warehouse in one part of the building....absolutely fabulous. The ambience of the amazing architecture of the building, both inside and outside, just adds to experience. And although I didn't buy anything on that occasion...I was so very nearly tempted!! (If only I had £1,500 to buy a magnificent Victorian pine dresser with dozens of drawers). There is also a vintage clothing shop within the old brewery reception area plus a quirky cycle coffee house for bikers. Ok...I'm not a biker but we were thirsty so popped in for a nosey around, and of course just had to have a coffee and cake. What a whacky place it is.There are all sorts of bits and pieces for bikers to purchase. We sat in the window on what appeared to be old sacks - not sure what the sacks were filled with but they were surprisingly comfortable.  The table appeared to be some sort of old giant cable reel...haha, not your ordinary coffee shop then.
Later that same day we were treated to "Afternoon Tea" at Liverpool's Cuthberts. As you can see it was a rather nice way to spend an afternoon!! The scrumptious food was stacked onto the vintage china cake stands and our tea was served in exquisite vintage china cups. None of us could finish everything so had to take our leftovers home in a box!

So if I have not answered your emails quite so promptly of late and my website has appeared a little static,  this is why.

So now...I am back from my travels and need to knuckle down to some serious KT Miniatures work!

For Vintage Miniature Shop/Store Collectors....
Today I have listed a set of six vintage toy cans, all miniature replicas of the real thing from the 1950s, suitable more for a vintage miniature shop or store, rather than a dolls house, as the scale is quite large. Those seen above were made by Kiddicraft, constructed from card with tin lids and bases. Originally the cans were filled with sugar sweets but thankfully they are long gone. Overall each can measures 1 1/2" high.
The second set consists of various packaging, cans and glass bottles,  all believed to be from the 1950s.
There is a green Stergene bottle with original label and a clear glass Sunfresh bottle. Also included is a Bisto Gravy box, a Lux packet and an Atora Shredded Beef Suet.
Amongst the cans, the Ovaltine, Red Heart Dog Food and Shippams Cornish Pilchards are by Kiddicraft and would also have been filled with sugar sweets. The Nestle tin label appears to be in French and the Sifta Salt can is taller than all the others. All the cans are of card construction with tin lids and bases, with the exception of the Sifta can that just has a tin lid and a card base. 
The Cadbury's Dairy Milk bar has a wooden insert and the printed outer wrapper.
All these can be found on the General Page.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

This Little Creation Has Just Embarked On A Journey To The USA

It has been a while since I've been able to undertake any creating, so the few random handmade pieces that are currently up for sale on KT Miniatures website alongside the many antique and vintage miniatures, were actually made earlier this year. Amazingly business has been brisk these past few days since I re-opened after such a prolonged absence, and some of my handmade pieces have been sold too.  After having spent so many hours creating something I often find it hard to let it go. 
This particular creation was just one of those pieces. I kid you not...I'd actually been in two minds whether to take it off my website before I opened for business again and keep it.  But when the order suddenly came through, well there we are...the decision was made for me! Hence, it was sent off earlier this week to the USA.
The table I made out of pieces of obeche, the legs being some commercially turned spindles that had been tucked away in my workroom unused for many years. It was then given a heavily aged paint effect, the last coat of paint being a burgundy colour (a real favourite of mine). I had decided to give it an opening drawer just for extra interest and added a brass handle.
The dolls house is an accurate scaled down version from plans found in a circa 1933 Handicrafts Annual. All roof, brick and floor papers are scaled down versions of the genuine c1933 papers. It was great fun to do and instead of using all wood, I used a combination of both wood and card. And yes, the table top is very messy but this is exactly how my real life size workbench looks.....I may permanently work in a mess but I always know where everything is!! Amongst accessories fixed to the table top is a scaled down version of actual plans from the Handicrafts book, plus a carefully researched paint tin with a 1930s label, a '30s printed paper bag, metal handsaw, an imperial tape measure and a few other bits and bobs. Oh yes...and a lot of sawdust too!
It was tricky to get the correct patina when replicating the roof and brick papers...I wanted to capture that glorious rich colour that the old papers had. And it took a lot of trial and error I can tell you,  but finally got there in the end.
Also on the table top are actual remnants of the floor, brick and roof papers, it would have been a shame to simply dispose of them so included them too, along with a tiny pair of scissors. The house is meant to be in mid construction so I intentionally gave the interior and edges a bit of a rough unfinished appearance, with simply primed inside walls and ceiling, but I did fix replicated floor papers in place.
Underneath the table is a fixed arrangement of spare replica papers and other plans, books, newspapers, printed cardboard box, etc., plus a replica of a box of nails based on a real life size one from my workroom.
I enjoyed making this set piece very much and hope that it finds its way over "the pond" safely to its new owner. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

An Amazing Antique Bone Bottle Complete With The Tiniest Dice I Have Ever Seen!

It's so good to be back at the helm after almost two months completely off the scene! Thanks again for all your messages...they are still coming in and I am extremely grateful.

In order to try and get back into the swing of things, I have been busy listing more antique and vintage stock to KT Miniatures website these past few days. I am delighted to say that business has been brisk and many of the new additions have already been sold, including this tiny antique turned bone bottle and the weeniest bone dice I have ever seen! So before they are despatched to the customer, I thought I would show you them on here. 
 I believe this to be of Japanese origin and it is some sort of turned animal bone in the shape of a bottle. The exterior has been decorated in a floral design, not dissimilar to some found on antique Japanese made dolls house furniture. Is difficult to know exactly how old this is but I suspect it is pretty old, probably early 1900s but the previous owner thought it could even be late 1800s. To be honest, I am not sure we will ever know?

Anyway, the bottle unscrews in half and inside there is the weeniest pair of dice  I think I have ever seen! This is truly exquisite. 
 In order to try to demonstrate how tiny the dice are, I have endeavoured to photograph them standing on the end of my forefinger!! How on earth did these not get mislaid over the years?!  The dots on the dice are either in black or red ink, and are a little random ie. not precise in places, but I think they can be forgiven...I cannot even see the dots at all without my glasses on, they are so small! The bottle stands at a height of 1 1/8" and each dice measures approx 1/16" cubed. 

The new owner is a big fan of Japanese items and these will certainly be going to a good home.

I am hoping to continue listing more antique and vintage items as and when I can, just as I used to before recent events.