Friday, July 26, 2013

Saturday Night in Miniature

For those who love dollhouses and miniatures, this unique automaton case with miniature figures is something very special. Richard Wilson, who was known in the Sacramento, CA area as the Master of Miniatures, created this saloon scene called "Saturday Night", possibly in the 1980s, and it has now become an acquisition of Ron Curtis at Antique and Collectibles Marketplace. Ron sent us this description:
The "wood shadow box" is 33 inches wide, 25 inches height and 20 inches deep with a lift up glass front.  Towards the back left corner is an enclosure for the motor, a tape recorder and speaker outlet that measures 13 x 5 inches. 

You plug it in and throw the switch. It will initially play saloon type dancing music from a tape player with 30 minutes of music.  Push another button and the three dancers on the stage begin doing the Can-Can, the piano player begins playing the piano, and the bartender begins raising a bottle. Five wall lights interspersed, along with five lights over the dancers on stage light up the case.

Buried on the second floor balcony to the left of the lady in the green dress is a lighted bathroom with wash basin, mirror and dry sink. At the tables you see a "show girl" on a man's lap, a poker game in progress and four men surrounding the bar.  I believe the Madame is guarding the lower level door to the right. Also, of note is the exquisite balcony and railing to the second floor as well as wood doors.   And, finally added to the attractions is the reclining nude print behind the bartender.

You are probably looking at a one of a kind "house" with miniature dolls and mechanical features by a gentlemen who has since passed away. He was truly a "master."

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