A Miniature Obsessive's Maximum Overload

If you have been reading The Daily Heller for a while, you’ll know I am obsessed with miniature things—food, people, furniture, mannequins, and even caged domestic animals (but that’s another story).

Just one of the many booths selling crèche curios, including teeny weeny jugs, logs, sacks of grain, and baskets of fruit.

You can see the various articles and posts here:

1. Just folks

2. Japanese food

3. Miniature Modernist furniture

4. Especially miniature chairs

5. Even more miniature chairs (and here)

6. And mini mannequins

The miniature figures came in small, medium, and large.

This week I entered a miniature overload zone at Rome’s Piazza Navona Christmas market where, to my great thrill, I found miniature heaven (or hell). At least ten of the vendors sell small pieces for the DIY Christmas-crèche maker. Thousands of baby Jesuses, Josephs, Marys, Wise Men, and Roman soldiers, as well as mangers galore, farm animals, and more. But the crèche is not the only outcome. The vendors are stocked with tiny old furniture, milk cans and water buckets, cages for ducks and rabbits, coal wagons, wicker baskets with veggies, oil and electric lamps, and still more. Entire earthen houses, fountains, bridges, gates—complete scenes from life in Europe and the Middle East are also available—a wealth of everyday things reduced to fit in the palm of your hand.

Everything from angels and puppies to miniature clay jugs

What is this overwhwelming passion for miniature things? At the very least it is an opportunity to control one’s environment. But mostly, the details are awesome and fun to look at, play with, and display.

Here for your edification (and miniaturization) are some photos I took on my miniature iPhone.

Want a nice old manger, farm house, villa, or a mountain town?

You’ll never run out of Roman Soldiers, goats and sheep, sacks of flour, or garland arches.

One of the many vendors selling miniatures and holiday ornaments

This is not a miniature.

The Main Claus was on hand, though his reindeer were not happy about the rain.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Apologies if this is a double post!

    Here is a a massive collection of souvenir miniatures from this year’s Venice Architectural Biennale. I am very covetous of it: http://www.steveingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/5-Biennale-model-1.jpg
    The picture does not really give a good idea of the quantity. There were a lot.

    When you are in Rome (or in Italy in general), try to go to a thrift shop – mercato del’usato. They usually have lots of vintage tourist souvenirs, including miniatures. We scored a St. Peter’s Cathedral (also a lamp) and a great replica of Palladio’s Ponte degli Alpini in Bassano del Grappa.

    I really love the presepe gear, too – you see it everywhere. Most churches have one set up Advent until after Epiphany – some are super elaborate, real dioramas with moving parts and waterfalls.

    Buon viaggio!