Storing and Displaying Miniatures: My Antique Shop
by Wendy Stephen
One of the main problems I have had with my collecting is storing individual miniatures which do not have a place in one of my houses. I have often reluctantly passed them on, regretting it at a later date.
I have also managed to break a few very old valuable pieces, which has left me feeling upset and distraught to think that these items have survived all of these years then I clumsily break them through poor storage.
For miniatures in boxed as new condition, the only way to store them if you wish to keep them in this condition has to be away from direct sunlight and in a place which is at constant room temperature. Attics are normally thought of as the ideal storage places, but they can be damp and a haven for insects and rodents, and by the time the problem is realised it is too late. In the past they were an excellent place for woodmites/ woodworm but I am pleased to say that the majority of homes have now been treated or built with treated wood.
I used to have boxes and boxes of miniatures sitting on top of my wardrobe in case a Dolls House came up that I could use them in! I began to think that really these lovely items should be on display and being enjoyed by others rather than just by me on the odd occasion when I would look.
I decided to buy a cheap vintage house and turn it into an "Antique Shop". I could then put in any odd items from different eras and they would all complement each other and not look out of place.
The house I chose was a good low priced house on ebay. It had white painted wooden windows and lovely oldish wallpaper in some of the rooms. I decided to paint the roof and the main opening doors as the house was painted as if for a younger child. I didn't mind repainting these parts of the house as the paint finish wasn't the original to the house.
I saw a lovely old tin cash till with opening drawer on ebay which I snapped up on a "buy it now". I could now buy any items without having to plan, it was quite liberating!
I have pretty much filled my Antique Shop now, so am planning to do either a Department Store, Curiosity Shop or a Reclamation Shop next.