Dollhouse Miniature Artisan Alex Rothwell
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Catherine Ronan

I have tried to find information about Alex Rothwell on Google but I have only found three photos of his miniature metal work. Can anyone tell me about him. I assume he is no longer making miniatures.

I won the bid (on eBay) of this lamp that the seller thinks was made by him.

Rothwell # 1.jpg

Rothwell # 2.jpg

Rothwell # 3.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

Hi Catherine, I have purchased an Alex Rothwell (UK) lamp too.  I purchased mine many years ago from Jim Ison (US).  (This is from memory.) I believe Jim Ison was an artisan in the field of Pewter accessories; Jim indicated that he and Alex would sell the others work in their respective countries.  My lamp is very similar.

Jim Ison used to live in our area, and he attended one of our last local miniature shows and that is when I purchased my lamp.  At that time he was living in Michigan and he shipped the lamp to me.

I will see Geoff Wonacott next week in class, perhaps he will know about Alex, and I can ask him if you wish, just let me know your questions. 

I also think Karon Cunningham (UK) may have some knowledge about Alex as she represents many UK artists.  Has she joined the forum?

 

Tamra

 

 

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Catherine Ronan

Tamra,

Thank you I would appreciate knowing anything you can find out. The only pieces i found attributed to him were in sterling silver copper and brass.

I always find it curious when I feel someone did such nice work and there is so little to be seen of it online. I also wonder what happened to them. Did they retire from making miniatures or pass away.

I would love to see your lamp if you have any photos of it. I assume it too is a non- working lamp. That doesn't bother me if I really like something. I think is looks a bit odd frankly when every lamp, sconce and chandelier is on in a dollhouse. I usually don't have every light on in a room I'm in in my RL house.

 

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

I will post a picture of the lamp for you, just as soon as I find it; it is upstairs - somewhere... It is also a non-working lamp.   He just does such beautiful work.

I do agree with you regarding having all the lights on in a dollshouse, so I installed switches in my wiring in my earlier years; now I would control with a panel.  I only light my stuff when I'm finished, and you have that sweet feeling of contentment when something is finished, or when you are showing the structure to the non-miniaturists who are wondering WHY would someone do this?

Tamra

 

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Catherine Ronan

Oh don't get me started about the old question about why someone would do this sort of thing. I have learned! If they don't get it on sight they never will.

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Peter Jensen

Catherine - Is the green shade of your lamp glass or metal.  It is a beautiful lamp.

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Catherine Ronan

I think it is painted metal. The hurricane is glass.

I am really interested in this artisan. It seems so sad to me that someone that did such fine work has seemly been forgotten.

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Mesouth

I do not know of this artisan, but you are correct in that his work is lovely! I think Lee and Allie Frank did a book on a variety of artisans. It was some years ago and I wish I had purchased a copy. Used copies are still available on Amazon, but a little expensive.  I know it includes "maker's marks," but I think it may include a little info about the makers as well.

Martha 

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Catherine Ronan

Thank you Martha. Sadly, the lamp doesn't have a makers mark on it.

It seems Lee and Allie Frank wrote several books.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Hello Catherine, I did ask Karon Cunningham about Alex, but she was not familiar with his name or his work, so unfortunately I have not been able to find a source.  I think Jim Ison, of Traverse City, Michigan may be your best resource. I think he used to live in Elkhart, Indiana, and a few of of my club members was also in club with him perhaps in the range of 20- 25 years ago. If my internet white pages searches are correct he is close to age 90...

http://www.record-eagle.com/community/miniatures-a-little-piece-of-the-past/article_f8d2e375-47be-5332-96e0-64aced5957d9.html

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/dh-mini-12-jim-isons-treasures-1622472941

Here are a couple of links that I used to confirm that he was in the Traverse City, MI area.

I was quite focused on my class project with Mr. Wonnacott, so I completely forgot to ask him...

Tamra

 

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

Try an internet search for Alec Rothwell.

Tamra

 

 

 

 

 

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Catherine Ronan

Thank you Tamra,

I really appreciate your effort.

Glad you enjoyed your class with Mr. Wonnacott. I look forward to seeing what you made and bought at the show.

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

Here is a photo of Alec's lamp and a pair of Candlesticks that I purchased from Jim Ison for your reference.  The lamp, candlesticks and lovely table are all unsigned.

DSCN6101[1].JPG

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Catherine Ronan

Thank you for posting that photo. They are lovely pieces.

There isn't anything much in the internet about Alex. I assume that is because he stopped making miniatures before we have an internet.

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Catherine Ronan

Well I finally got an answer about who Alex Rothwell is. It came from an eBay seller I sent a message to. I was told was very knowledgeable about miniature artisans. I was also sent two photos of him. Which I was very happy to receive, even though they are rather blurry. Here is the info I got.

 

I've been told he is alive but retired. He's from England, lived in London when he first made a dollhouse for his daughter Victoria, then made a few more dollhouses he sold there (60's-70's I think). The first retail outlet for his work was the Singing Tree at New King's Road. He only worked in 1:12 scale. After he got tired of carrying dollhouses around, he started making furnishings only & after making many wooden things including corner cupboards, found it too imprecise & so started working with metal exclusively, using "Sheffield" silver plate making mostly lighting but some desk items & fireplace equipment, some lamps were electrified, all was in the style of the Georgian & Victorian period. For 35 years or so at least, he worked full or part time in miniatures & most of that was in metal. Originally trained as a physicist, he worked in aerodynamics, was a research engineer, a research scientist, a corporate planner, an investment analyst in stock broking & also did plumbing, wiring, & carpentry for himself. He sold his items to America, France, Sweden, & the Netherlands through dollhouse shops etc.. priced sometime in the 1990-2000 period from 5GBP to 100GBP each but did not sell to the public or directly by catalog. He lived in the Northwest of England in that 1990-2000 period. His work is in the American Museum in Bath & several of the room settings shown in The Dollhouse Sourcebook by Caroline Clifton-Mogg feature his work. I am attaching two photos of him, but they aren't good. I sincerely hope this is helpful, but I do want to say that I don't appraise DH items, as I have no license to do so & I won't authenticate items as his, as I do not have enough knowledge of him to do so, plus I actively buy them myself. I am new to the DH world, but I do a lot of research.
 
Regards, Chris Wood

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis
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miraclechicken

That quote at the end is a doozie....

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cloudbound

I too think I have an Alec Rothwell lamp - the double with red shades.  What a beautiful piece too.  I'm not positive its an Alec Rothwell because there's no inscription to tell me for sure.  But this page from Nutshell News was with it when I bought it.  How nice to have found all this background information about Alec.  

DSCF0187 - Copy.JPG

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WeekendMiniaturist

Welcome to the Forum cloudbound! 

Thanks for contributing to our study of this fine miniaturist from the U.K.

Does your page from Nutshell News indicate an issue date of the magazine?  

 

 

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cloudbound

  Yes it does.  Its December 1985 (7).  The lamps seem to have been priced very reasonably at the time.  It says the Library lamp was $27.50, Single Reading Lamp was $23.00 and the Double was $28.00.  They're surprisingly heavy, aren't they.   

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