Taiwan Fun Magazine, September 2002

Alt Feature:

The Magic of Miniatures

By Priscilla Chen

       Taiwan's Miniatures Museum transports you in time and space. You can visit the fairy tale worlds of Snow White and Jack and the Beanstalk, stroll along romantic river ways of Venice and Shanghai, or experience ancient wonders of the Roman Empire.

       Miniatures originated within German palaces of the 16th century as tools for teaching aristocratic children, but appreciation for the art form did not pass to other parts of the world until much later during the 19th century. Today, miniature masterpieces are found throughout Europe and North America covering a wide range of subjects, from complete settings to intricate accessories of tableware and wall paintings. Reproductions tend to follow a 1:12 standard scale of accuracy, or half scale at 1:24.

       Taiwan's Museum is the first to specialize in contemporary miniatures and features two basic formats: "doll house" and room box with cut away views. It is ranked second in the world, boasting a collection of nearly 200 items. Founder Lin WenRen and his wife traveled tirelessly through Europe and the United States to source each item at great expense.

       The miniature Rose Mansion, based on a 19th century Victorian residence in Los Angeles lost to urban renewal, was constructed by Reginald Twigg to preserve a memory. It is regarded as a hallmark piece because of its precise detail and surreal beauty. The miniature Buckingham Palace is the most valuable. It was created by the renowned British miniaturist team of Kevin and Susan Mulvany and took three years to finish. The grand Palace setting is a faithful rendering complete with regal interiors, royal guards, peasant dwellings and the King's treasure box.

       Each miniature masterpiece combines old world artistry and contemporary craftsmanship for a feel of days gone by. But, a glimpse inside these tiny castles and mansions can spark the imagination and prompt your own fairy tale dreams and desires.

Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
96, Jian Guo N Rd., Sec.1, B1
Tel: (02)2515-0583 Fax: (02) 2515-2713
Hours: Tues-Sat 10 am -6 pm; Mon closed
Tickets: Adult NT$180, Special NT$150, Children NT$100