Smallsea is a museum of miniatures. When I first saw the description included miniatures, I thought war-game miniatures. But no, these miniatures are from dollhouses. But this is not just any dollhouse, but a collection of dollhouses and miniatures from the Edwardian period (1900-1905) of England.
There are 40 doll houses, and some 1500 miniatures, all in 1/12 scale.
This collection represents a fantasy city in England, with individual buildings and establishments.
The front of the dollhouses are hinged, so that visitors can see inside the structures, and examine the contents. These include furniture, rugs, sitting rooms, dining rooms of residences, pubs and restaurants, and other commercial establishments of the era.
The miniatures include men, women and children, all dressed in the attire of the time. There are at least two cats, and several horses, and even automobiles of the era. A lot of research must have gone into recreating these replicas, to ensure that they are correct down to the smallest detail, and comparable to items worn during that period.
My favorite is the replica of 221 B Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes. Other buildings include the Salon Marche (hairstylist?) , the Flying Inn Pub, Fishmongers, a butcher shop, an auto repair shop, and a grocery store.
Why three stars, instead of five stars? The walls are blank. There are no historical pictures or artifacts from the period, no documentation on how the dollhouses were constructed, nothing to put things into perspective, that one would normally see in a museum.
My late mother-in-law constructed and collected dolls, and would have been enthralled with this exhibit. Some of the miniatures are available for purchase.
The store is located in the southwest corner of the Barnyard shopping center in Carmel, with hours 12-5pm Wed-Saturday. A $1 donation is suggested. The web site is www.smallseamini.com
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