Thursday, 29 November 2018

How To Breathe New Life Into Some Broken Miniature Treasures...

What do you do when you have a gorgeous antique German (or could be French) metal chair with a missing metal leg?  

I mentioned this back on here in May, when I sold it's sister chair that was in far better condition with four legs! CLICK HERE TO VIEW.   This chair still has some of the remaining gilt and black colour on the metal frame. Plus the seat pad is original and believed to be silk, but as you can see it is highly worn and has a stain. But you know, I just think this all adds to the character of the chair now...and is fabulous!
Meanwhile, does this broken chair sit in a box for ever more or worse, chucked away? Or does one do something with it so that it can be loved once again. Well I chose the latter...of course!

Ok, this is not going to appeal to the purists out there and that is fine,  I fully understand that. 
But as like my beautiful massive real life size squidgy sofa in my real life size lounge that has a broken foot which is currently propped up by several books (I kid you not - long story involving me and my cat Mollie very late one night)....I have created some of my old looking imitation books to prop the metal chair up so that it actually stands now. 

Maybe it could sit in an old dolls house attic, drawing room or library room? I am so chuffed with the result that I have been so very tempted to keep it. At the moment it is up for sale, but if it doesn't sell very soon...I think temptation may get the better of me:) Can be seen for sale on the LIVING & DINING ROOM PAGE.

And similarly....what do you do when you have a  gorgeous rare soft metal bed that is in several  pieces and obviously missing two legs, at the very least? Does this stay in a box for evermore too or chucked? Like the chair, this was just too beautiful for either of those outcomes so I decided I had to act now and bring it back to life. As you can see, it still has the original fabric stuffed mattress, albeit rather grubby. 

So, after a little bit of research I discovered that this most probably would have started out life as an ornate and very valuable half tester bed, with four long spindly decorative legs and a headboard that extended  upwards into a decorative gilt coronet with drapes! has taken me a while to figure out what to do with it. I wanted to do it justice, as it is rather old, probably late 1800s, very early 1900s and believed to be of German origin? 

My first task was to bend back all soft metal bits where possible, with fine pliers and glue the bedhead and side panels back into place, so too some of the metal struts on the mattress base.
Once all glued together I realised that the remaining stumps down the left side of the bed from the original long ornate legs, would actually suffice as tiny legs in their own right. However, the other side of the bed was a different matter and was in desperate need of some sort of support.  

After much pondering and head scratching, I decided that the best course of action was to use my miniature handmade books again, as with the chair.

The footboard support ended up being a lot trickier than anticipated and needed more support, hence I ended up using an additional pile of books glued in front of the footboard. Am rather pleased with the result. 
As with the chair, I am so very tempted to keep this but I really do not have a big enough space at this moment of time in any of my dolls for the moment it is up for sale and hope that someone somewhere can give this a new loving home.  Can be seen for sale on the BEDROOM PAGE.


Elizabeth S said...

I ADORE your chair and your solution regarding the missing leg! I also like the means in which you have repaired the bed too!
Are they both 12th scale Celia?

KT Miniatures said...

Hi Elizabeth. Glad you like them. As is so often the case with some of these old pieces, they are kind of an in between scale, not quite 1/16th but not quite 1/12th scale either. In cases with scale like this, I would say they would suit an old dolls house where scale does not matter.In the case of a 1/12th scale dolls house, they would be small but could possibly be used. For instance the bed is 5" long which for 1/12th scale is more like a child's bed. Although the sitting height of the chair is 1 1/2", it is still a bit on the small side in realistic terms but could be used in a 1/12th scale dolls house as a small nursing chair or a child's chair perhaps? Celia

Elizabeth S said...

Thanks for the clarification Celia!
I DO love how Perfectly Imperfect they are especially with those books for legs, but the chair still a bit too small for where I would want it.
Even so, I really hope that they both find the right home, because after all of the hard knocks they've experienced; they deserve it! :D

Robin said...

Oh I love what you have done with these precious pieces to give them life. Well done matie!