Miniature Antique and Reproduction Stoves
There’s something about a cast iron stove that just feels homey. It’s easy to look at one, even if it’s not presently operating, and feel warm all over. I can’t pass by a full-sized cast iron stove without a second look. This includes the 1903 Magic Hub that has been in my family for 6 generations and has graced my home for over fifteen years now. I see that old range several times a day, each time I pass through my kitchen in fact. And every time, it makes me smile.
Throughout my childhood a doll-sized Crescent range sat on my Grandmother’s kitchen counter and fascinated me. When I visited, I was allowed to (carefully) play with it. Having never outgrown my childhood love of dolls, dollhouses and all things miniature, I can’t pass a miniature stove without a second look. I now have my Grandmother’s little Crescent range. It holds a place of honor among my treasures. It may have originally been a salesman’s sample or simply a toy from my Grandmother’s childhood. I’m sure she’d had it since she was a girl but beyond that, I don’t know its history…
Creating a Vignette Around a Stove
A few years back, my mother found a smaller version of a cast iron cook stove, on one of her road trips and presented it to me as a gift. I wanted to do something special to showcase it.It was a bit small for my larger dolls and a bit large for my dollhouse dolls. A bit of a Goldilocks dilemma. As it happened, I also had a 10-inch Santa doll with an apron on and a some Christmas baking in his hands. These 2 items were approximately the same ‘scale’. Hmmmm…. My thoughts began to race.
I built a one-room gingerbread cottage to house the 2 items and created Santa’s kitchen around them. Each Christmas season I enjoy setting up this vignette for the duration.
A Collection Evolves
My dolls share my passion for old stoves and as such, are positively spoiled, if not in reality inundated, with cook stoves and pot belly models. They also have some really nice pots, pans, bed warmers and other related accessories. If this is not enough of an obsession, my interest has now extended to my dollhouse dolls as well. I confess it actually extends beyond that even. I have more wood burning cook stoves, coal ranges and heating stoves than the dollhouse dolls have kitchens. This has naturally led to a collection of the ‘extras’ on a display shelf. I think it would be fair, at this point; to say I have a miniature stove collection in progress.
Miniature Stoves Come in a Variety of Sizes and Materials
Miniature stoves are made from a variety of materials. Some are various types of metal including authentic cast iron; one seems to be a combination of nickel and brass. One is made from copper predominantly.
Some little stoves are made of a very convincing-looking resin material. Some small stoves are made from wood, painted realistically to look like metal; one is even made of plastic. Some actually ‘work’, that is, if small pieces of wood are set inside and lit, the smoke will draw up the chimneys. I think each stove is very charming in its own way.This Stove is of a Cast Metal, Possibly Nickel, it’s About 3 Inches High
Diversity in the Collection
The collection includes a few miniature ‘big’ old kitchen ranges, some in traditional black, one in blue and white, resembling the porcelain enamel variety.
One is actually a trinket box with the entire top lifting off to reveal some treasures inside. One little stove is a pewter salt shaker. I gave the pepper component to a friend with a similar stove addiction.
I have a plastic pot belly model, originally meant to be used as a piggy bank and a little handmade wooden one in a Shaker style.
Some of my stoves are foreign made, for instance, a gloriously detailed high quality tin variety, made in Germany and a cast aluminum British version of a gas stove.
I have AGAs made in China and a few other models that appear to be home made.
Unfinished Delft Kitchen and is about 5 Inches High
One setting I especially enjoy, is to outfit a wood burning range with pans and kettles full of yummy looking food and breads in the oven and more foods on the warming shelf. A pot of coffee and a pie fill up the top surface, it looks so inviting, I want to shrink down and pull up a rocking chair!
Assortment of Stove Top Accessories in a variety of Materials, Pans in
Foreground are Slightly Smaller Around than a Dime, Minus the Handles
The Maine Special
The Emerald Maine Special Stove I Built and Painted to Resemble Enamel
I created this stove from a detailed plastic kit, which I assembled and painted. Then I completed the scene with ‘Maine foods’, items that Maine is known for; steamed lobster and clams in the pot, hot crossed buns, blueberry pie, hot coffee, corn on the cob and drawn butter. It’s a wee bit of a tribute to one of our Great New England Coastal states.
This is the Built-In ‘Raven’ in my British Tudor Home, Briar Rose, the Mantel is About 6 Inches High to Put it into Perspective
This is Mrs. Claus Doing her Christmas Baking with the Help of Her Granddaughter who has Just Dumped the Sugar on the Floor. The Hardworking Range in the Background is Another I Built from a Kit and Painted to Resemble Enamel
I have found this hobby to be very heartwarming, no pun intended. Beware however, it is also, apparently, quite contagious!