Category Archives: Chinoiserie

Posted on 11 February, 2016


Tim Sitford (Sweetington) – Regency ‘Chinese’ Room Box















The Mysterious Sweetington

As I searched the Internet for images of Victorian or Edwardian dollhouses, I kept finding the photo credit “Sweetington.” I was offered links to Sweetington on Flickr, a photo streaming website. When I clicked on thumbnail pictures, gorgeous images of apparent miniatures filled the screen. Click again to expand the image and I usually found myself on a Pinterest board or someone’s blog. And the source was usually back at Flickr. Not once was I transported to the website of the artisan/photographer named Sweetington. I wondered if there such a person.

Great Photoshop Work?

My confusion continued when, after I searched the Internet for this image and got the following message, “Best guess of this image: Brighton Pavilion interior. Then a friend sent me an email with a photo of the real hand placing the chair in the supposed Regency Chinoiserie room box. The subject line of the email was, “Great Photoshop Work”


Tim Sidford Recency Chinese Room Box

The Jane Austin Connection

That did it. I marked Sweetington off as a talented architectural/interiors photographer, until one day I stumbled upon the blog, “All Things Jane Austen”. It caught my eye because a few years before, Patrick had a business trip to London. Over a weekend, we were guests at Godmersham Park in Kent, a manor house that his client had turned into a conference center. (It’s now the home of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians College).

The story goes that Jane Austen spent a summer of 1813 at Godmersham Park, writing Pride And Prejudice in the “folly,” a small garden pavilion styled after a Greek temple. The blog page that opened had Google’s “Best guess” picture smack in the middle, with the name of a miniature artisan — Tim Sidford.


Regency ‘Chinese’, 1825 – Work In Progress


Tim Sidford

Wow! Maybe Sweetington is miniaturist! I got serious about tracking down the elusive Tim Sidford, who turned out to be not so elusive after all. If I had read more carefully, I would have noticed that at least a few of the Pinterest boards mentioned his name.

Tim Sidford a.k.a. Sweetington, is a classical musician, painter, interior designer, piano teacher, who also happens to make wonderful miniatures.

“My most popular items,” Tim explains, “are quirky miniature dollhouses designed to sit on a shelf or side table.”



Tim Sidford shelf house

Tim Sidford a.k.a. Sweetington, is a classical musician, painter, interior designer, piano teacher, who also happens to make wonderful miniatures. “My most popular items”, Tim explains, “are quirky miniature dollhouses designed to sit on a shelf or side table.”

This very Renaissance man goes on to explain, My bonkers hobby is creating miniature interiors. I love the drama of many historic interiors. Creating these models allows me to indulge my inner designer.  The rooms are constructed of wood and card and wooden molded decorative trim, as well as bits of old cereal packets, drinking straws, balsa wood, beads, plastic food packaging etc. The most enjoyable bit is painting the floors, walls, and ceilings. Most of the furniture is by Playmobil, although I will often customize it.

Tim Sidford at work

Tim Sidford at work

Miniature enthusiasts applaud Tim Sidford’s work, but his reach goes beyond our universe. There is this mention on the BookPatrol blog. ?We all know good things come in small packages, but British artist Tim Sidford takes the cake with his meticulous miniature interiors. Bordering on unbelievable, Sidford recreates the stuff that dreams are made of within the smallest of structures.?

And from TheInFill: They are all [Tim’s miniatures][/Tim’s] so mind-blowing beautiful and precise, I think they’ve filled me up for the day.

So there it is. My search for the artisan behind the pseudonym Sweetington is over. Now I can just enjoy Tim Sidford’s work.

You might enjoy my article, “Mythical Sweetington Castle.


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where I offer many accessories and pieces of furniture in 1:12 scale. Subscribers to this blog receive a discount on all Featured Products. Click here for details.



Posted by Susan Downing

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Posted on 26 January, 2016


An ecstatic Mulvaney & Rogers customer taking possession of her commissioned dollhouse.

Mulvany & Rogers

This is one of my favorite images, an ecstatic customer taking possession of her commissioned dollhouse. Mulvany & Rogers have lots of satisfied customers, but getting such photographic proof is a rare thing.

Susan Rogers and Kevin Mulvany are amazing artisans. They have been commissioned to create such 1:12 scale marvels as the Brighton Pavilion, Spencer House, and Buckingham Palace. One thing I treasure the most is a BBC interview featuring their Parisienne 17th-century “hotel particulere,”  now a very classy apartment above an haute couture shop. When the commercial side of my 1:12 scale life – making accessories and getting them shipped on time – begins to dull the magic of the miniature world, watching two minutes of lovely images and a calming soundtrack remind me what is truly possible with the dollhouse miniature craft I love. Click on the photos for links to other articles.


Posted by Susan Downing

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Posted on 25 January, 2016


Front of the Doll’s House at Nostell Priory in Yorkshire, furniture attributed to Thomas Chippendale

Thomas Chippendale Dolls House

Thomas Chippendale was born in Yorkshire early in 1718. His family had long been in the wood working trades and he probably received his basic training from his father. When his apprenticeship was completed, he moved to London and worked as a journeyman cabinet maker.


Posted by Susan Downing

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Posted on 07 January, 2016


Rococo In Miniature – Sitting Room in one of the mythical Castles of the Vaunted Island

The Rococo Style

Historical Context

There is no ambiguity about the rococo style. You love it! It’s elegant, witty, playful florid, graceful. Or you might find Rococo grotesque, over-blown, frivolous, a hodge-podge of swirls and bulges. It all began in 1715 when the five-year-old Louis XV ascended to the throne in France, with the Duc d’Orléans appointed as Regent. The Duke had no hopes of becoming King and spent the 8 years of his Regency thoroughly enjoying himself. The aristocracy followed his lead in a passion for beautiful things, and an imagination that often veered to the bizarre. The French upper-class of the mid-18th century is entirely responsible for the outrageous style of art and design known as Rococo.


Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: Baroque, Chinoiserie, Rococo

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