A Tale of Little Cities

How many items of a certain object does one need to own to call it a "collection"?  I will say 4 items or more, that is exactly how many Architectural Models made in plaster by Mr. Timothy Richards of Bath, England I have in my possession, and I go around saying that I "collect" 'Timothy Richards Models'.  If this does not mean anything to you, I will explain:

Mr. Richards follows a centuries old tradition of illustrating Architecture's greatest examples in three-dimensional form for the purpose of instruction and decoration.  This tradition can be seen in Sir Herbert Oakley's collection of Cathedral Models - based on the book by Sir Bannister Fletcher "A History of Architecture"; or in the casts taken from Italian and Greek buildings during the Grand Tour to L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris to continue the study of antiquities while away from its source; or more famously, in the casts and models owned by Sir John Soane R.A., architect, for private enjoyment and learning at his residence at No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields (appropriately enough Mr. Richards has made a model of No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, among many other of Soane's buildings).

I think the last two examples is what draws me to Mr. Richards' work: the idea of "owning" pieces of great architecture to admire and study...from my nightstand, because did I mention?  Mr. Richards' work is diminutive!

The Queen's Doorway at Kensington Palace, by Sir Christopher Wren.  Doorway Bookend Series.

What makes Mr. Richards' work truly amazing is not only the accuracy of the architectural detail, but the DETAIL itself.  The small models are lovingly made by hand by Mr. Richards and his team, with great care to depict the most minute carving as you can see in the picture above and below:

Bond Hall.  University of Notre Dame.  Doorway Bookend Series.

Following tradition, the models can also be instructive (you can see that the names of the elements that compose each order have been etched on the side):

The Doric Order.  The Orders Bookend Series.

The Ionic Order.  The Orders Bookend Series.
The pen is mightier than the column...in scale, I mean.

If I had my way I would fill my house and Studio with a few more of these:

Ca D'Oro Palace.  Limited Edition and Collectors Pieces.  This piece is exquisite in person, so delicately crafted.
Image by Timothy Richards.

Villa Rotonda by Palladio.  Palladio and his Legacy Series.  This model was part of the exhibit "Palladio and his Legacy - a Transatlantic journey" at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, and the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.
Image by Timothy Richards.

 And for some American flavor:

The Flat Iron by Daniel H. Burnham.  Limited Edition and Collector Pieces.
Image by Timothy Richards.

Mr. Richards' models can be purchased in many "to the trade" places and also at his UK and USA website.  For more eye candy visit: http://www.timothyrichards.co.uk/

Images by NPL unless otherwise noted.


Jennifer said...

How beautiful! I love your collection - and I support its expansion. :)

Dear Polia said...

Thanks Jennifer! I think every architecture enthusiast should have one!

pranogajec said...

I want the Ca d'Oro and the Flatiron! Such great eye candy.

topSpot | Find your top spot here said...

Great collection..i like this blog..! :)

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