Do you collect souvenir buildings made of alabaster? I’m going to explore some non-metal ‘other materials’ in a series of posts Some alabaster architectural miniatures are grand antiques like this model of the Cathedral at Pisa and other Grand Tour souvenirs, while others are still being made and simple, like Egyptian pyramids. First question: What is alabaster? In simple terms, It’s a fine-grained, translucent form of gypsum, typically white or yellow, that is often carved. In lengthy terms, alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material: gypsum (a hydrous sulfate of calcium) and calcite, a carbonate of calcium, also known as onyx-marble, Egyptian alabaster or Oriental alabaster. In geological terms alabaster is "a stalagmitic limestone marked with patterns of swirling bands of cream and brown.” In general, but not always, ancient alabaster in Egypt and the Near & Middle East is calcite. Alabaster in medieval Europe is gypsum. Modern alabaster is probably calcite, but may be either. Both are easy to 'work’ and carve and as both are slightly water-soluble, have been used for making a variety of indoor artworks and carvings, as they will not survive long outdoors. TIP: don’t wash alabaster with soap. If alabaster with a smooth, polished surface is washed with dishwashing liquid, it will become rough, dull and whiter, losing most of its translucency and luster. Here are some tips on how to clean alabaster. I collect 3D metal souvenir buildings of all places and ages. 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.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
I recently noticed some new Souvenir Building replicas of the new One World Trade Center in New York City. Both are rather expensive and made by Franklin Mint. One is made of metal stands over 9 inches tall with the tower. Another miniature of the building is made of ‘crystal’ which is most-likely clear acrylic. I’ve written before about the old and new World Trade Centers.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
It’s funny where you might catch a glimpse of a souvenir building. Today, I was watching a local NBC news affiliate story about Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. My eyes zeroed in on what was unmistakably a replica of the Little Brown Church over his left shoulder as he sat in this office on Capital Hill. Seems to makes sense as the Senator and Church are both from Iowa - Nashua and Butler County, respectively. And both places are close to each other. During some research, I also discovered you can now buy on The Little Brown Church in the Vale cast aluminum bank directly from the church’s online store. I’ve also noticed souvenir buildings on TV shows like Mad Men, Heroes, and Cold Case. Movie sightings include the Lavender Hill Mob.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Inspired by the movie Inception, Cyprus designer Stelios Mousarris created the ‘Wave Coffee Table.’ The sweeping curved table and cityscapeis made of wood & steel andthe structure of the table was 3D printing.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Along the Atlantic Ocean in Margate, N.J., stands an enormous pachyderm named, Lucy The Elephant. The six-story elephant-shaped novelty architecture building was constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by James V. Lafferty, a real estate developer with an eye on promoting his projects. Standing six stories tall and weighing 90 tons, she is covered with 12,000 square feet of sheet tin. Her first life was as a real estate office, then as a summer home, even briefly as a tavern. She became an attraction of Margate City, while Lafferty gave his real estate pitch. Lafferty went on to build other elephants in Cape May and Coney Island. Today, only Lucy has survived, but she nearly didn't. By the late 1960s, Lucy was abandoned and on the verge of collapse. Coming to her rescue, the citizens of Margate raised money to restore the proud pachyderm to her former glory. You can tour Lucy's inside, entering via a spiral staircase in one of her hind legs. The tour climaxes with a stop in the open-air howdah on top Lucy's back. A pewter souvenir of Lucy is about 1-3/4" long by 1-1/2" tall. Made by ‘Gish,” the base has the words, “Lucy The Elephant” and the other side says “Margate – NJ.” The gift shop currently only sells a resin replica and plush toy in the shape of Lucy.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Illustrated with various building facades, this gift wrapping paper will bring a smile to any recipient. They look great grouped together. Why not just wrap some empty boxes and keep them displayed all year? You can buy the skyline gift wrap at Suck UK.