Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Rare German Museum in Munich

This unusual building was recently sold on eBay from Germany, but missing any information or knowledge about which building it represented. With the help of friends in Germany, I can confidently identify it as the German Museum in Munich. The older metal souvenir building measures 5.5 x 4.25 x 3 inches tall.

The real Deutsches Museum (German Museum, officially Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik (or in English: German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology) is located in Munich, Germany. The idea of the museum was founded on 28 June 1903, at a meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) as an initiative of Oskar von Miller. Gabriel von Seidl from Munich produced the winning design, but he died in 1913 and did not live to see the opening. The First World War and the inflation that followed caused delays, and during this time the project as a whole was at risk. However, thanks to his good contacts in the construction industry, von Miller managed to continue the construction of Seidl's design with some minor amendments. Instead of the 2 towers originally planned by Seidl as shown here, only one was built: the rear one on the west side, which was also a slightly different shape. The museum finally opened its doors in 1925.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Oropa Sanctuary Italy Souvenir Building

This rare metal replica of the Sanctuary of Oropa is also an inkwell. The real building, Italian: santuario di Oropa, is part of a group of Roman Catholic buildings and structures in the northern municipality of Biella, Italy. This seems to be a replica of the museum building at the complex. According to legend, a black wooden statue of the Virgin Mary carved by Saint Luke was found in Jerusalem by Saint Eusebius of Vercelli and carried to Oropa in the 4th century AD and placed into a small niche in a big boulder. The Sanctuary grew and has been developed through the years into a spectacular architectural ensemble of important monumental buildings. The complex is made up of three large courtyards built on three levels and was designed by the great Savoyard architects Arduzzi, Gallo, Beltramo, Juvarra, Guarini, Galletti and Bonora between the mid 17th and 18th centuries finishing with the Upper Basilica which was consecrated in 1960. The first courtyard, faced by restaurants, bars, and several shops for the visitors, is followed by the wide square containing the Ancient Basilica. It can be reached by the monumental staircase and the Royal Door. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

St. Michael's Church Biloxi Mississippi Souvenir Building

This rare metal souvenir building is a replica of St. Michael's Church. Not much is known about the replica. Thanks to Steven C. for the photos! The “Fisherman’s Church” as St. Michael’s Catholic Church is best know, has served the people of Biloxi, Mississippi since it was established as a mission in 1907. This unique cylindrical church has scalloped shell roofs and is noted for its tall stained glass windows and quaint baptistery. The real building was constructed in 1964 and designed by Jackson architect James T. Canizaro.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Tale of Two City Buildings – The Flatiron

These two souvenir building replicas of the famous Flatiron building in New York City may look the same, but they are miles apart. One was made by Microcosms of California during the 1990s. The other was made by Cornell Creations about the same time. Can you tell which is which? At first glance, you might not be able to tell them apart, but when you look closer you realize the quality is in the details. Size of both are approximately the same - 5 inches tall. Text on both sides of each base say about the same thing but one text is larger than the other. Microcosms replica, on the right, says New York, N.Y.  If you also look closely at the details the microcosms replica as much crisper. Most telling aspect is the weight - if you had them both in your hand. The Microcosms' quality replica is much, much heavier and solid feeling than the cheaply made Cornell Creations version. Do you have one or both of these replicas?  Do you have other miniature buildings which were made by two different manufacturers?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Breaking Building News!

It’s not often we have breaking news for building collectors. Arrests, police, and seized miniature Eiffel towers. According to reports…

"French police have seized 20 tons of miniature Eiffel Towers as part of a crackdown on the souvenirs which are offered illegally to tourists at visitor hotspots around Paris, security sources told AFP. The small metal trinkets are sold for as little as five for one euro at places such as the Louvre museum or outside the real Eiffel Tower, usually by African migrants who play a game of cat-and-mouse with police. A joint investigation involving French immigration authorities led to raids on three Chinese wholesalers who are suspected of importing the towers and supplying a network of vendors in Paris. More than 1,000 boxes, containing in total 20 tons of miniature Eiffel Towers, were seized from two depots and three shops in the Paris region on Monday and Tuesday, a security source told AFP, confirming a report in Le Parisien newspaper. Nine people have been arrested."

Thanks to David W. who alerted me to this news. Twenty tons of souvenirs buildings may be headed to the trash compactor. You might think that’s a lot, but after doing some digging I discovered in the year 2013, over 60 tons were confiscated and back in 2011 it was 270 tons! Have you ever purchased a souvenir from a street seller? 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Prague National Theater Souvenir Building

This metal replica of the National Theater in Prague, Czech Republic stands 3.5 inches tall and 6 inches long, including the black stone base. It's thin, but has details on both sides. Words on the base are:  “Prague: Theatre National, Praha Nar Divadlo, Zak. Chraneno” Through internet research, I found some antique swards which also had the maker’s mark of “Zak. Chraneno” The National Theatre (Czech: Národní divadlo) in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art. The National Theatre opened for the first time in 1881 and designed by Architect Josef Zitek. The idea of building a stately edifice to serve as a theatre was first mooted in the autumn of 1844 at meetings of patriots in Prague. It began to materialize through a request for “the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing” an independent Czech theatre, which was submitted to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly by František Palacký on 29 January 1845. The privilege was granted in April 1845. Yet it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague (founded in the meantime) made its first public appeal to start collections. A year later the proceeds of the first collections allowed for the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works with the area of less than 28 acres, which predetermined the magnificent location of the theatre on the bank of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, yet at the same time the cramped area and trapezoidal shape posed challenging problems for the building’s designers. Today, the National Theatre consists of three artistic ensembles: opera, ballet and drama.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Knute Rockne Statue Notre Dame Stadium Souvenir Building

A very stately souvenir tribute to the iconic Notre Dame coach, this metal ashtray is a replica the famous Notre Dame stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Like some colossal guardian, Knute Rockne’s a full-body statue rises above the stadium in this souvenir, but not in the real stadium. Rockne is regarded as one of college football's greatest coaches, with an unmatched .881 winning percentage. He played football for Notre Dame, graduated magna cum laude in 1914, and as their head coach, won six national championships. He was known for motivational speeches such as "Win one for the Gipper" and "Anything worth doing is worth doing well" and the famous motto "For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost but how you play the game." The ashtray was manufactured by D.Gottlieb & Co. of Chicago, Illinois, who primarily produced arcade games. The company was established by David Gottlieb in 1927, initially producing pinball machines while later expanding into various other games including pitch-and-bats, bowling games, and eventually video arcade games. Check out this video of the company's offices


Friday, March 2, 2018

Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas Banthrico Coin Bank Souvenir Building

This difficult-to-find coin bank is a replica of the "old" Federal Reserve Bank made by Banthrico. Text on the base of the bank reads, “Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas 1921.” Constructed in 1921, the real building is located at 400 South Akard Street, in downtown Dallas, Texas. Built in the Beaux-arts style, with large limestone structure with massive carved eagles, it is a City of Dallas Designated Landmark structure. A new Federal Reserve Bank building was built in 1992 and the old building was purchased by Digital Realty Trust in 2012 and currently operates as a data center and is now known as “The Databank Building.”

I collect 3D metal souvenir building replica of architecture from around the world. If you have any to sell or trade, contact me via my email address in the “complete profile” link at the top right of this blog.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Buy Souvenir of the 'Devil’s Tower’

Miniature replicas of the Devil’s Tower are available from the National Monument’s website.  They are made in either sandstone for $30 or a small version in pewter for $13.  Thanks to Loren C. for alerting me to this availability. Devils Tower, also Bear Lodge Butte, is a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains (part of the Black Hills) in Wyoming. It rises dramatically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet (265 m) from summit to base. Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument in 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. The name Devil's Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, when his interpreter reportedly misinterpreted a native name to mean "Bad God's Tower.”  Native American names for the monolith include: "Bear's House" or "Bear's Lodge" (or "Bear's Tipi", "Home of the Bear", "Bear's Lair"; Cheyenne, Lakota Matȟó Thípila, Crow Daxpitcheeaasáao "Home of Bears), "Aloft on a Rock" (Kiowa), "Tree Rock", "Great Gray Horn,” and "Brown Buffalo Horn" (Lakota Ptehé Ǧí). Check out my previous post about 'natural souvenirs’ with other variations including and S&P shakers.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Buy a “micro” apartment in NYC for $100?

New York City real estate is competitive and has some legendarily small apartments.  Micro living is one thing, but would you pay for space you can’t occupy?  The Queens Museum is selling ‘apartments’ in their Panorama of the City of New York starting at $100.  The miniature building model of the city is a Panorama commissioned by Robert Moses for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. A team of over 100 people working for three years created the city at a scale of 1:1200. Money from the Museum’s 'Adopt-A-Building Program' provides for the care of the aging Panorama. With ‘ownership,’ donors receive a title deed for their adopted property. Interesting, I wonder how many souvenir building collects will follow suit and sell space in their miniatures? Money could fund new accusations or even labor for dusting. What do you think?
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