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  ENGLISH MINIATURE CHINA BY SUZY BENDER

DOLLHOUSE MINIATURES, SEPTEMBER 1998
Reproduced with permission from Dollhouse Miniatures magazine (c) 2001 Waukesha WI


  Page 1
Source guide
1" SCALE CHINA
For a mail order catalog of the full range, contact: Stokesay Ware
37 Sandbrook Road
London N16 OSH
England
44-020-7254 5242

DISPLAY CABINET CHINA
For details of their current stock of antique miniature china by mail order, contact:
Gary Sirett at 5 & G Antiques
Stouts Arcade
144 Portobello Road
London W11 2DZ
England
44-020-8907 7140
44-020-8909 3277 (fax)

For a mail order catalog of the new Royal Crown Derby and Royal Worcester miniatures, contact:
Govier's of Sidmouth
55 High Street
Sidmouth
Devon EX10 SLN
England
44-1395-513419
44-1395-577888 (fax)


Stokesay Ware's Sovereign Blue and Willow pattern, displayed on a dresser back by Karen
  Toy china, always highly collectible and still in great demand today, is available to American collectors.

Think of traditional English tea services and delicate dinner services and the names of famous fine china manufacturers like Wedgwood, Spode, Coalport, Royal Doulton, Crown Derby, Royal Worcester and Minton are likely come to mind.

Over the last 200 years, these same English china manufacturers also made small versions of their fine china. This 'toy china', so valued by collectors today, is increasingly hard to find. Few of the manufacturers still produce miniature-size china, so antique dealers specializing in this field find their tiny cups and saucers, jugs, coffee and tea pots in great demand.

One such dealer, Gary Sirett, sells these types of miniature china on Saturdays in Portobello Road, home of London's vast antiques market. The shelves in his shop windows display row upon row of tiny cups (1 Inch high) with their saucers. Like most early English toy china, these pieces are not quite as small as 1 " scale. Why, then, were they made?

Were they samples for travelling salesmen to carry? Or, were they perhaps used by young girls playing with dolls at pretend tea parties? The curator of the Spode Museum, at the factory in Stoke-on-Trent in the northwest of England, believes that these pieces, so treasured by today's collectors, always were intended for collectors to display in cabinets.

With the high demand and limited availability of fine English miniature china, where do dealers like Gary find this china that brings him prices ranging from £20 to £1,200 ($32 to $1,900)? While he regularly travels to the United States on buying trips to bring back previously exported English miniatures, sometimes he is still lucky back home in England. Recently Gary had a call from an English collector who was moving and wanted to sell his collection. This rather fortuitous collection turned out to contain 250 superb pieces of antique miniature china collected over many years.

While dealers like Gary are constantly searching for more examples of original miniature china, other people like Karen Griffiths are hard at work producing dollhouse-scale china based on the early designs. Karen and her partner, Peter Armstrong, run Stokesay Ware of London. Their dollhouse range of miniature china includes dinner services in fine bone china, vases and decorative plates, kitchenware in terra-cotta, stoneware and white earthenware and a bedroom service including jug with basin, foot bath, bidet and potty (an essential item prior to the invention of flushing toilets).

  Paris toy china on a tray by Spode
SPODE DEJEUNER Paris Toy China on a tray are pieces treasured by today's collectors. Larger than dollhouse scale, they were originally intended for display.
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STOKESAY WARE
37 Sandbrook Road, Stoke Newington
London N16 0SH, UK
Telephone 020 7254 5242
International +44 20 7254 5242

email peter@stokesayware.com
   
   


Content, design & graphics copyright © Karen Griffiths 2000