Further to my recent post on an edition of the Victorian-era Illustrated London News, Mark from over at Man of Tin blog has done a little research (nice work, Mark!). After reading through this 1863 newspaper, I had drawn attention to a classified advertisement for “The Little Modeller”, which promoted a ready-to-make model cricket field / model village with coloured engravings.
I was intrigued about the existence of Victorian miniatures and model making, so was delighted when Mark subsequently found a pristine example of this very set (H.G. Clarke and Co’s Saxton Model Village) on a New Zealand museum’s website. The quality of the museum’s photograph is tremendous and the page allows for extreme close-up zooming to see the fine details. It’s a thing of beauty and I urge visitors to go and have a look at the illustrations and composition.
The model’s dimensions are 55cm wide x 25cm high, x 23cm deep. All photography reproduced below is courtesy the Museum of New Zealand / Te Papa Tongarewa reproduced here under a creative commons license – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
It seems to be a kind of early forerunner to the paper soldiers which have been produced with great success recently by Peter Dennis’ Paperboys range of paper soldiers and landscapes.
The publisher even manages a little miniature self-advertisement “H.G. Clarke Magic Toymaker, 232 The Strand.” Clarke’s old headquarters address today is a c.1900 building called Thanet House situated opposite The Royal Courts of Justice in London.