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Show Report - Arnhem Dolls House Fair

Karon Cunningham
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Posted on 16 Jul 2012

Arnhem inside the Church
Arnhem inside the ChurchEnlarge image

The weather was heavenly for the last show to be held at the church in the centre of this quaint little Dutch town. As most of you will know, the venue moves in October to nearby Appeldoorn in the Americahal. According to Rika van Nellestijn, the show organiser, the new venue has the added benefit of free parking and lots more catering facilities, both of which will be a huge benefit to all concerned.

As is usually the case with this show, it iwas quite an international event with 135 exhibitors in total. Reina Mab Miniatures from Argentina were the furthest from home. Many old friends were present and it was a great opportunity for us all to catch up. The  Dutch collectors were very enthusiastic with a big opening rush on the Saturday morning - always the busiest time in any show, as the serious collectors flood the venue to find the best and most unusual pieces.

                                                              Reina Mab Miniatures

Arnhem is a different kind of show in the scheme of things and is quite laid back in comparison to its competitiors, but there is always so much to choose from. Visitors from France, Germany and Belgium are there in large numbers and the variety of exhibitors means that pretty much everyone is satisfied from the top end serious collector, to those just starting to develop their taste for miniatures.

The show always has a guest artist and this year it was the Dutch artist Sylvia de Groot whose work was on display in the corner Chapel. Her work is stunning and drew a lot of attention. I really thought the prison scene (below left) was fantastic and so unusual - not an everyday topic for a miniature subject, it was quite thought provoking and full of exquisite detail. I loved the pin-ups on the wall and the really quite intimate details of the few basic items owned by inmates.


The work of Sylvia de Groot

I always love to see an artist actually making someting at a show, and Herman Straeten from Germany was entertaining many of the visitors with his lathe, making traditional children's spinning tops, standard lamps, and old fashioned pipes - very hands on and satisfying to watch.

Hermann Straeten at his lathe

When in Arnhem, do as the Dutch do! Cocky Wildschut's porcelain is a Dutch as it gets - a magnificent collection of the most gorgeous Dutch porcelain. His collection includes Delft tiles set out in feature panels, and fish and meat dishes. Absolutely charming.

Just some of the Dutch miniature porcelain by Cocky Wildschut

Of course the Brits were well represented too. And I was there with my long suffering and even longer driving husband. Placed beside Frederic and Evelyn of Blondie Creations - a lovely couple from Brussels who seemed to be highly articulate in so many languages. Their speciality is vintage style French/Belgian furniture.

The stall of Blondie Creations

The new venue, Americahal in Appledoorn with its catering, parking and modern conveniences will be a more comfortable place for all concerned I am sure, but the charm and intimacy of the lovely old church in the centre of Arnhem has been a pleasure to attend.

The next show is in October 2012 - see you there!

This show report was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.


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