Wednesday 23 December 2009

Bluebell Farm, 1996

This is L2013, Bluebell Farm, in the Lilliput Lane collection of country cottages which was available from 1996-99. Lilliput Lane Ltd was the creation of David Tate (1945-) who combined his natural artistic talents with practical production skills picked up in the army and a passion for vernacular architecture to launch in 1982 a company devoted to making detailed models of country cottages for general sale.

It started as a small family business based in the outbuildings of a Georgian mansion just outside Penrith. Fourteen models were initially on offer but thereafter the number rapidly increased as the popularity of the range grew.

Each one was very carefully researched and packed with detail to reflect the vernacular style and materials traditonally used in different parts of the country. Often, the models are based on a real building, in this case Tang House Farm at High Birstwith in North Yorkshire (photo below by Claire Scott)

Using moulds made from a hand-crafted master, the models are cast in Amorphite plaster and then painted by hand. The Lilliput range has been highly successful worldwide with its most ardent followers to be found amongst the 50,000 strong Collectors Club. It has turned the rural heritage into marketable form with mass appeal.

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