A love affair with miniatures which all began in a gift shop in the beautiful and historic city of Bath sees me these days travelling from my Wiltshire home around the Globe.
Formerly a Financial Director for an International Construction products business, I gave up my high pressure career to run my own gift shop, I did not have a clue that this would be the start of my obsession with all things miniature! A visiting customer, who later transpired to be a collector, noticed a tiny cabinet tucked away at the back of the store one day filled with small objects and pieces of furniture. This started my fascination and education with what was to become my career.
It's such a fascinating topic! I had always thought of Dolls house miniatures as toys for children. Not true! Right from the 18th Century they were created as curios for adults, progressing into being used as a learning tool to teach aspiring and privileged housewives how to manage a big house by having it in miniature! I am delighted to say that today there are still many adults around the World that are still fascinated with the Idea of Miniatures, both men and woman from many countries.
It may be art, it may be craft, probably both add to this incredible skills and attention to detail. There are pieces of furniture that we would love to have in full size which in today’s modern houses we could not accommodate, or afford! But you can do this in miniature! A Chippendale dining table, a Hepplewhite desk? No problem. Exquisitely made using the finest raw materials and the historic skills of the original creator, they are a true joy to behold. It is fascinating to see the maker’s appreciation of the subject, the research and adherence to the spirit of the piece and the intention of the original artists idea are remarkable. Each piece has a fascinating story behind it.
I now run Karon Cunningham Miniatures and spend my life buying and selling the best miniatures that I can! I travel the World and seek out the best each country has to offer, I have met so many really “Like minded” friends and acquaintances all around the World, friends in the USA, Canada, Spain. Portugal, Japan, Holland, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, France, and more! And because of my web site, these relationships are ongoing, I love it! I really do, it’s really social and I have a massive appreciation and respect for what the makers and artists do.
My personal taste is very traditional, Georgian and Victorian in the main, perhaps it is something to do with my time in Bath, but I am very open minded with regard to style, the most important thing being the degree of thought and skill that has gone into the piece.
So, what does my family think of my obsession which regularly sees me packing my cases of miniatures and flying all over the Globe several times a year? They are in fact very supportive of what I do and my husband will occasionally drive me to one of the European shows which is a massive help, the down side of travelling with two enormous cases and other baggage is definitely the Airport experience.
My garden studio at home contains an impressive collection of many thousands of pieces from all over the World, a constantly changing showcase of some of the best examples of hand-made miniatures. I like to think of myself as an ambassador for UK miniature artisanship, I am certainly not your archetypal miniatures dealer, rather a unique combination of appreciation of the art form and a preparedness to travel.
I want to give credit where credit is due, acknowledging the efforts and skill of the maker, so I always attribute each piece to its maker. One collector commented that if you were looking for something different then you must visit Karon Cunningham’s table and her website. I take that as a huge compliment, it makes all the hours of travelling and searching for the finest pieces so much more worthwhile.
The Miniatures World is made up of two very separate industries, there is the Artisan made high end, which is the market I serve, and the entry level, which is very accessible and is mostly mass produced in the far East and then Imported by distribution companies. The two are very different, but it is evident that many people start at one end and over time develop an appreciation for the higher end art and craft.
I am a general member of the IGMA ‘International Guild of Miniature Artisans’.
A non-profit organisation that has been active since the late 1970’s promoting and encouraging makers of fine art miniatures around the world.
I am also honoured to be on the ‘Board of Trustees’ as a volunteer helping to spread the word of their wonderful work.
I attend their annual Guild School in June learning skills taught by some of the leading artists in their field.
Also the Guild Show is a showcase for the work from people who have been recognised for their incredible talents through the Guild’s Artisan and Fellow programs.
To find out more about this amazing community of makers, collectors and enthusiastic miniaturists visit their website at: http://igma.org
I attend as many of the top national and international miniature shows around the world as I can, not only as an exhibitor but also as a collector.
Please see my show listing for full details of the one nearest you.
Each miniature item is attributed to its maker where possible. You can search through the categories or by a specific artist.
There are many well known and collected makers featured here.
All my current stock is on display at my home and I would be delighted to invite you to come and browse. Please either give me a ring or e-mail to ensure I am available. If you are a doll house miniature collector who is interested in the ‘one of a kind’ high quality nature of my artists work, then this is the web site for you.
E-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on what I can offer.
I offer the ability to pay for miniature items in instalments.
Desired pieces can be taken offline and held for up to 4months while payments are made in stages. Once payment is received in full the miniatures will be posted out.
Please contact me directly to discuss your individual requirements.