Emily from the Architecture of TinyDistinction blog has posted some reviews of her own collection of dollshouse related books. When I was commenting on her post, I realised that I only use a few books about miniatures and I use books about RL furniture and architecture much more to get a realistic result.
Please have a look at her blog as her reviews include such wonderful books as Magnificent Miniatures by Mulvany & Rogers.
As we're sort of snowed in, expecting a lot more snow for tomorrow, this seemed a really good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. So here are a few of my books with a review-of sorts.
Build a Doll's House by Michal Morse – 1992 ISBN 071346695 2
This is the book I found at 'de Slegte', a second hand book shop in the Hague. I thought it was a second hand book, but as I started the build in March 1992 that seems unlikely now. It details a scratch build of a four room house, a six room house and a roombox with a facade for a shop. There are four different versions of the four room house. All drawings and layout plans are included and windows/doors/chimneys etc are sketched in great detail. All sizes are both in inches and cm. Except for the lighting, the order in which to build is intuitive and although you can work ahead on, for instance making the windows, doors or architraves (yes, everything is scratch built!), it is quite easy to get back on track. The only criticism I have of the book is that the lighting should be discussed before you put the walls and floors together. Also the only method discussed is a tape system inside the house, which then has wires on the back of the house.
Making Miniature Furniture by John Davenport - 1988 ISBN 071348310 5
This book is all about how John made his furniture. It is full of information on (now quite basic) tools, how to modify them, which are essential (no sign of a table saw, which I now think is absolutely essential) and lots and lots of drawings. About two thirds of the book is about tools, wood and wood working skills, such as different types of dovetail joints, mortice and tenon joint. About one third is left for projects, such as a basic cabinet with a door and drawer, a collectors cabinet, a chest of drawers, which includes instructions for veneering/inlay and a davenport desk. In short anything you would need to make fine furniture if you were so inclined!
Furniture in Holland's Golden Age by Reinier Baarsen / Rijksmuseum Amsterdam – 2007
ISBN 978 90 8689 014 9
This is part of a collection of lavishly illustrated publications by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. There are quite a few more including books on painters Vermeer, Jan Steen, Rembrandt's etchings, 17th century cabinets, and lots of other things the museum has a collection of.
The photos are great and there are lots of close-ups. Ideal for figuring out how to miniaturise something. It also includes the history of the furniture and it's makers and buyers.
Useful as a reference for individual pieces.
Period Style by Judith and Martin Miller - paperback 1993 - ISBN 1 85732 301 7
Period Details by Judith and Martin Miller - paperback 1993 - ISBN 1 85732 043 3
The Style book ranges from Medieval, through to Georgian, Colonial and American Empire to Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. About 90% of the books consists of stunning photographs. The Style books concentrates on how to create a period interior can be made within a modern home. The Details book also includes exteriors, everthing from fire surrounds, doors and door frames, leaded light windows to light fittings, to flooring and wallpapers.
A true reference book.
There are two other books I must mention even though they are only available in Dutch:
Het Nederlands interieur in Beeld van 1600 – 1900 by C. Willemijn Fock, Titus M. Eliëns, Eloy F. Koldeweij and Jet Pijzel-Dommisse – 2001 ISBN 90 400 9588 4
Het Hollandse pronkpoppenhuis by Jet Pijzel-Dommisse – 2001 ISBN 90 400 9481 0
The first book has absolutely everything there is to tell about interiors in the Netherlands from 1600 -1900, often based on paintings and drawings both from museums and private collections, but also books and diaries and previous publications. It was created by an academic collaboration between the University of Leiden (Kunsthistorisch Instituut) and the Rijksdienst voor de Monumentenzorg.
In Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis book by Jet Pijzel-Dommisse every individual item in four of the Dutch 17th century dollshouses, has been photographed and described. It must have taken years to produce books like these.
If you can read Dutch and can lift the books (they weigh a ton) they are a must in the period miniaturists library!
Five stars for both
Other useful books:
Great little things to make on a small lathe by David Regester – 1995 ISBN 071347613 3
This little book is only for a beginner trying to master turning without taking classes in my view. It isn't really about miniatures, but does discuss the different types of lathes (back then) and the basic skills you need to get going in a few pages. I suppose practice makes perfect, not reading the book...
Making period Doll's House Furniture by Derek and Sheila Rowbottom - 1992 ISBN0946819 36
This book is still useful for the drawings and variety of furniture. Some of it is quite crude and not the best of woods have been used. It helped me to make sure that the furniture I made was of the right size, but I haven't used it since the first 2 years 1992-1994 trying to find my feet. As I progressed in furniture making, it just wasn't precise enough for me.
Well, that's not really all of them, but I suppose I'll find out if you agree or not...
Maybe you have some other books you would like to review for all of us?