“Of all romances in miniature… perhaps this is the best shape in which Romance can appear” so said the fabulous Lord Byron in one of his many journal scribblings and as artist AND a passionate devotee of Regency History who loves to create a scene and not only of the hysterical kind – it is perhaps only to be expected that I would create a Regency inspired miniature!
In 2009, I began the creation of ’13 Piccadilly Terrace’ – a Regency house with grand rooms, a basement kitchen and garrets which reflect the architecture, interior design, furniture and life-style of the Regency inspired by the poet Lord Byron and his household as he lived in Piccadilly in the year 1815.
Although my idea for the design of Number 13 began several years ago, I’m forever busy with research and the hoarding of materials, fabrics, pictures and the buying of lots of delightful miniatures – which is always the fun part!
Self-taught and armed with plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage, clay, glue and lots of imagination, I am rather proud of my unique painting techniques, woodworking skills and electrifying abilities BUT I have a horror of anything requiring the use of a needle and thread!
And one of my many grand plans for this 12th scale abode is the creation of the ‘Byron Screen’ for the library and which he used in his Albany apartment until it was bought at auction in April 1816 by his faithful publisher John Murray.
After extensive restoration work, the ‘Byron Screen’ has since been loaned by the present John Murray for display at Newstead Abbey and which I was delighted to see on my visit there last January.
Another plan for this 12th scale abode is a wedding with inspiration drawn from the Byron betrothal at Seaham Hall in January 1815 – even though I shall have to rely on plenty of artistic license with the decor and furnishing of this room as the accounts of this infamous union are very sketchy!
However, as I have studied and photographed the gown worn by Annabella on that cold January day during a visit to the Fashion Museum in Bath, I can boast of one item of authenticity even if it is 12th scale!
Although I’m happy with fabrics I can glue, the art of the needle remains a mystery to me and as such it is fortunate that I have made the acquaintance of Louise from Angelique Miniatures who having positively embraced the art of miniature couture on my behalf has created this wedding gown and the silk pelisse in exquisite form!
And so as the world inside Number 13 continues to unfold – I will share the unfolding tale, triumphs and tears for even though I have been creating ‘Small Worlds’ for many years now – the passion for design remains just as intoxicating, rather like my love of cake!
And on that note, I’m off for a wander into the kitchen here at Number 13 in the hope that a slice or three of this delicious cake remains mine for the taking!