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Grand Miniatures 19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects San Francisco Airport, International Terminal December, 2010 - May, 2011


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This page and cover: 19th century souvenir buildings as installed in the Collection of Ace Architects


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19th century souvenir buildings as installed in the Collection of Ace Architects


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Grand Miniatures

Grand Miniatur

19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects San Francisco Airport, International Terminal 19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace A December, 2010 - May, 2011

Catalogue

San Francisco Airport, International T December, 2010 - Jun

Lucia Howard & David Weingarten Piraneseum www.piraneseum.com


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Concourse Monument to Dante Trento, Italy

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Rheims Cathedral Rheims

Eiffel Tower Paris

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Roman Forum Group Italy

Bank of England London

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Arc de Triomphe Paris

Rouen Cathedral Rouen

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Colonne du Congres Brussels

Cleopatra’s Needle London

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July Column Paris

Arch of Janus, Pantheon, Arch of Constantine, Rome

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Pantheon Rome

Austerlitz Column Paris

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Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Baptistry Pisa

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Tomb of Scipio Rome

Octogon zu Wilhelmshohe Kassel, Germany

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Luxor Obelisk Paris

Arch of Constantine Rome

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Colonna dell’Immacolata Rome

Exhibition Plan


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Contents I.

Exhibition Plan

facing page

II.

The Grand Tour and Its Souvenirs

pp. 8-19

III.

19th Century Souvenir Buildings 20 Vitrines

pp. 20-45

IV.

About the Collection

p. 46

V.

Bibliography

p. 47


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Hall at Hamilton Palace, Scotland, with souvenirs of the Grand Tour, including a patinated bronze miniature of Paris’ Colonne d’Austerlitz (Photograph c. 1870)


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The Grand Tour and Its Souvenirs Most visitors to this Exhibition, in the International Terminal of San Francisco Airport, are on their way somewhere else – often to places far away and provocatively unfamiliar; places perhaps exotic, ancient, and out-of-the-way; for purposes diverting, instructive, commercial. These travelers continue a tradition begun more than 400 years ago. Beginning in the late 16th century, a very few, often English tourists began to write about their almost unimaginably adventurous visits to the Continent. With these accounts developed new understandings of travel, especially the idea that it might be both educational and entertaining. Before then, only war and religion (often the two together, e.g. The Crusades), as well as commerce (e.g. Marco Polo) propelled people to distant places. Voyage of Italy, or a Compleat Journey through Italy, the first English guidebook to that country, appeared in 1670, written by Richard Lassels, a Catholic priest and “bearleader” – a tour guide and chaperone of sorts to those young, aristocratic Englishmen, and occasionally women, who were the period’s typical tourists. Very often, this journey, which might occupy a year or more, replaced students’ final terms at college; and in addition to other duties, bearleaders acted as teachers, seeing to their charges’ formal education. By the early part of the 18th century, the English traveler’s route was well-established – across the Channel to France; several weeks in Paris, slow progress south across the Alps to Italy and eventually, after stops in Florence and, perhaps, Venice, on to Rome, the ultimate destination. This trip, which became known as the Grand Tour, could be difficult and perilous. Grand Tourists perished en route and in Italy from disease; and journeys were often interrupted by quarantines for plague; wars and civil insurrections; highwaymen, ‘banditti’, and, for those few choosing passage by ship, pirates. And yet, still the travelers came. The attractions, of course, were multiple and substantial. Historic accounts of the Grand Tour focus on its cultural and, especially, artistic aspects – the opportunity to visit the great, ancient monuments and sculptures of Classical Rome; to see the famous canvases and palaces of the Renaissance, etc., etc.. This passion for antique Classicism both mirrored and fed parallel enthusiasms in England. In this period, leading British architects and artists worked largely in the Classical idioms. The most important buildings were patterned


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(above) “Canova in his Studio with Henry Tresham” (1788), by Hugh Douglas Hamilton. The famed sculptor, mallet and chisel in hand, leaning against his “Cupid and Psyche”, speaks with Tresham, a London historical painter, pictured here on his Grand Tour .

(left) “Portrait of John Talbot” (1773) by Pompeo Batoni. This life-sized canvas of the future 1st Earl Talbot features antique Roman statues and architectural artifacts.


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on those of Andrea Palladio, the Classicizing Italian Renaissance architect whose work interpreted the majestic structures of ancient Rome. Why were the British held in such thrall by Rome? The cultural parallels were, of course, unmistakable. Ancient Rome had been the civilized center of empire for a thousand years. In the mid-18th century, a pinnacle of the British Empire, the new center was London. And yet, as the ancient city dramatically highlighted, Rome, its civilization and empire, had foundered. Modern Romans lived among the ruins. In ways profound, and hardly subtle, Rome offered the British a riveting, cautionary tale; a glimpse, perhaps, of their own future. Isn’t part of Rome’s hold on us today something very similar? Cultural pre-occupations with Classicism occasioned neglect of other historic periods, including the achievements of the Gothic. The Grand Tour souvenirs exhibited here reflect travelers’ skewed interests, with Classical buildings and monuments abundantly represented, while their Gothic counterparts are almost, though not entirely, overlooked. Recent Grand Tour studies highlight the pleasures of this travel beyond the academic. Freed of stifling social conventions at home, young English aristocrats took to the variety of novel cultural freedoms enjoyed in Italy. If not quite Spring Break in Daytona Beach, it was very unlike London. Liberties extended to the predictable vices of drink and gaming, but in other directions as well. The Italian custom of ‘ciciebeship’, for example, entertained older, married noblewomen’s liaisons with young English travelers. Additionally, in this period, largely at Papal direction, Rome had become a center of forward, enlightened thinking; and the city attracted leading intellectuals, scientists, artists, and writers. Especially in the latter part of the 18th century in Italy, Grand Tourism occasioned a large trade in antiquities and art. In addition to ancient statues, architectural artifacts, and Italian Old Master pictures, there was now substantial commerce in new sculpture, including work by Antonio Canova and new paintings, especially much-esteemed portraits of Grand Tourists, by artists such as Pompeo Batoni.


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“A Capriccio of Roman Ruins” (1737), Gian Paolo Panini. An imaginary grouping of ancient Roman monuments, including the Colosseum, Arch of Titus, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, etc.

“The Colosseum and Arch of Constantine” (c. 1650), Viviano Codazzi. This Baroque veduta realistically pictures the adjacent ancient Roman structures .


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Additionally, a new genre of painting, the capriccio, picturing novel, imagined arrangements of ancient Classical architectural ruins, was widely produced, and enthusiastically purchased for export to England. These pictures’ origins lie in 17th century Baroque Italian vedute – view paintings – of Classical ruins, often made as decoration for palazzi and apartments. The central subject of these was, of course, Rome. The most famous capriccio painter, Gian Paolo Panini, maintained a studio of artists capable of working in his distinctive style. The French Revolution, in 1792, soon led to that country’s occupation of substantial areas of the Kingdom of Italy, and very sharply curtailed Grand Tourism, though the especially adventurous still set out for Rome. Yet, by the first part of the 19th century, encouraged by English travel companies such as Thomas Cook, which arranged all aspects of visitors’ itineraries; and, especially, by the later completion of railroad routes to Italy, tourism revived, and at a scale previously unknown. In the mid-19th century, the Grand Tour, formerly an aristocratic privilege, became something of a mass phenomenon, the precursor to today’s democratized, international travel industry, with which San Francisco Airport plays an integral role.


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Models fashioned from cork were the earliest Italian architectural miniatures made for Grand Tourists; and were often commissioned, rather than made in multiples. This 1787 cork miniature of Rome’s Arch of Titus was made by Antonio Chichi.

This pair of Italian red marble architectural miniatures, protraying the Roman Forum’s Temple of Vespasian and Column of Phocas, is marked as made by Giuseppe Locatelli, via della Groce no. 6, in Rome in 1855.

This 33” tall, fire-gilded bronze replica of Trajan’s Column in Rome is included with “Grand Miniatures” (Vitrine #11). A very similar pair of Roman miniatures - Columns of Antoninus Pius and Trajan - are pictured in Ottomeyer’s “Vergoldete Bronzen” (1986) and dated to ca.1815.


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Architectural Models Grand Miniatures: 19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects surveys the range of miniature architectural travel souvenirs available to Grand Tourists along their usual route – from London, through France to Paris, then south to the Alps, into northern Italy and, eventually, to Rome. These miniatures also reflect the changing nature of European travel in the 19th century. For example, the exhibit’s large, very finely made, gilt bronze timepiece replicas of the facades of cathedrals in Paris, Rheims, and Rouen, were all made ca. 1820, for very well-heeled clientele, including aristocratic Grand Tourists. By century’s end, and at the other end of the spectrum, the mass-produced cast zinc and iron replicas of the Eiffel Tower were made to be much less costly, available to travelers of much more modest means. If the quality of architectural souvenirs changed much over the course of the 19th century, their subject matter – Classicism and the antique – varied hardly at all. Even in prosperous, up-to-date cities, these miniatures focus on ancient monuments. Grand Miniatures includes two vitrines featuring London souvenirs. Among these are the so-called Cleopatra’s Needle, a 15th century BC Egyptian obelisk, brought from Alexandria; as well as the classicizing Nelson’s Column and Bank of England, their designs reliant on antique Rome. Only a late 19th century replica of Big Ben touches on the City’s much longer and more profound history with Gothic. Likewise, among Parisian souvenirs featured here are the Arc de Triomphe (patterned on Rome’s Arch of Constantine); the Luxor Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde (another ancient Egyptian obelisk removed to Europe); and the Colonne d’Austerlitz in the Place Vendome, made in nearly literal imitation of Rome’s Trajan’s Column, though crowned by a different Emperor - Napoleon. It is, then, little surprise that the Eternal City is the place most abundantly represented in Grand Miniatures, or that each of this City’s monumental miniatures are modeled on ancient structures. These are of all types – ruined and intact temples, triumphal arches and columns, and a pair of the great marvels of antique Rome – the Colosseum and Pantheon. Among these Roman souvenirs is a marble replica of the Flaminian Obelisk, in the Piazza del Popolo, yet another ancient Egyptian monument brought to the then new center of empire. There are, remarkably, more ancient Egyptian obelisks in Rome than in Egypt. The materials of these 19th century Roman architectural souvenirs – Italian marbles, alabaster, and bronze – mirror their subject matter. This Exhibition’s miniatures of the


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This third quarter of the 19th century bronze, double inkwell replica of Rome’s Pantheon is included in “Grand Miniatures” (Vitrine #6); and is very similar to the model mentioned in Edith Wharton’s 1901 short story “The Angel at the Grave”.

A c. 1875 bronze inkwell in the form of Rome’s Temple of Hercules is supported on a stepped base made of two different Italian marbles.

This set of alabaster miniatures of Pisa’s monuments - (left to right) Leaning Tower, Basilica, and Baptistry is listed in an 1892 household inventory for Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England.


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ruined Temples of Vespasian and Castor and Pollux, in the Forum, are fashioned from marble, like the buildings they represent. It is much more than possible that these souvenirs are made from antique Italian giallo antico, a marble commonly available in mid-19th century Rome. Along the same lines, it is worth remembering that when Pope Julius II was in need of travertine for St. Peters, in the early 16th century, he sent his stonemasons to the Colosseum, which for centuries was employed as a quarry. Similarly, bronze ceiling cladding removed from Rome’s Pantheon on order of Pope Urban VIII were melted down and re-used, in part, for St. Peter’s Baldachino, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Might some portion of the bronze, not employed by Bernini, have eventually found its way to this Exhibition’s bronze model of the Pantheon? Late 19th century Italian architectural souvenirs, including this Exhibition’s Pisa miniatures – the Leaning Tower, Cathedral, and Baptistry – were often machine carved from alabaster, rather than more expensive marble. This less precious stone, sometimes combined with marble, was the material of choice for these models from the last decades of the 19th century into the first decade of the 20th century. By 1900, Grand Tourists had collected travel souvenirs of Italy and other European destinations for more than 200 years. These included pictures, sculptures, antiquities, and the architectural miniatures which are the subject of this Exhibition. In their new settings, these objects provoked fresh associations: The House, by the time Paulina came to live in it, had already acquired the publicity of a place of worship; not the perfumed chapel of a romantic idolatry but the cold clean empty meeting-house of ethical enthusiasms. The ladies lived on its outskirts, as it were, in cells that left the central fane undisturbed. The very position of the furniture had come to have a ritual significance: the sparse ornaments were the offerings of kindred intellects, the steel engravings by Raphael Morghen marked the Via Sacra of a European tour, and the black-walnut desk with its bronze inkstand modelled on the Pantheon was the altar of this bleak temple of thought. From Edith Wharton’s “The Angel at the Grave”, 1901 The Great War, like conflicts before it, brought European tourism to a halt. By the time widespread travel resumed, tourists’ priorities and the sorts of souvenirs they sought were very much changed. Previous, single-minded passions for Classicism and ancient civilization faded, crowded by a range of other travel attractions. With this, the need of returning home with souvenir models of Europe’s antique monuments became less urgent.


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The British were not the only northern Europeans in the 17th through 19th centuries focussed on antique Classicism and the ancient world. After the French Revolution, Napoleon financed expeditions to Egypt, whose purposes were both to document the great monuments, and return with artifacts. For this, the new Emperor engaged the assistance of Dominique Vivant, who in the late 18th century worked for the government, studying and collecting ancient art in Italy, and producing two important architectural volumes concerning ancient Egypt. In 1804 Napoleon appointed him Director-General of Museums, in which capacity he personally brought to France artwork from defeated nations, especially Italy. Benjamin Zix’s “Portrait Allegorique de Vivant Denom” shows him surrounded by Classicizing sculpture, models of ancient monuments, and antique texts.


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There’s a certain poignance, then, with Grand Miniatures, an exhibition of architectural tourists’ mementos from an antique period of travel; a period whose focus and leisurely pace was supplanted by more modern, diverse interests, abetted by the ability to move around the planet quickly, easily, in airplanes. Yet, Grand Miniatures also points to travel’s constants – our ongoing desires to see and experience first hand memorable, unfamiliar places and cultures; learn about the world beyond the everyday and take pleasure in this, just as the Grand Tourists did, beginning in the 17th century.

Notes from this Exhibition Grand Miniatures is arranged in twenty vitrines towards the south end of San Francisco Airport’s International Terminal. Each case focuses on a single city along the route of the Grand Tour, and includes one or more of each place’s architectural souvenirs. This catalogue sharpens the focus still further, considering either individual objects or, less frequently, small groups of related miniatures. In this, our purpose is to examine in greater depth the circumstances and histories of the souvenirs themselves, rather than the buildings and monuments they model. For example, this catalogue attempts to provide the dates of manufacture for each object, and, where possible, the name of the manufacturer. This Exhibition’s miniatures were made for a variety of purposes, from a variety of materials, employing a variety of methods; and a further goal of the following is to describe something of these ranges. Interestingly enough, several of the miniatures in this exhibition pre-date the places they represent, providing new meanings for the word “souvenir”. Several other of these replicas have outlived the monuments they model. A final purpose of this catalogue, in common with the Exhibition, is to underscore both the historical changes in the ways we recall memorable places, as well as the absolute continuity of our passions for this species of memory. We’re grateful to SFO Museum, lead by Director Blake Summers, and including Abe Garfield, Tim O’Brien, and Megan Callan, for the compelling, handsome curation, design, and installation of “Grand Miniatures: 19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects”. This is the third exhibition with which we’ve collaborated with SFO Museum, over the last 17 years. We much appreciate their enthusiasm and commitment to exhibitions at once popular, and beyond the reach of more conventional institutions.


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Rheims Cathedral, France c. 1820; F. Villemsens, Paris; gilded bronze; 24� high

In the first part of the 19th century, several French clockmakers undertook elaborately detailed models of a group of French gothic cathedrals, including Rheims, Notre Dame de Paris, and Rouen. F. Villemsens, a Parisian maker, fabricated this miniature of Grand Tour MiniaturesRheims Cathedral, c.1820, in fire-gilded bronze, or ormulu, in which a fine layer of gold Case Plan


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(above) Maker’s plaque is located below clockface. (this page) Highly detailed, gilded bronze clock case is typical of French cathedral clocks of this period.

is applied to the underlying metal surface. This process involved application and burning off of mercury, and was outlawed for health reasons after 1830. This clock was furnished with an inlaid rosewood base, which supported a removeable glass dome. At the base’s interior is a coiled wire gong, struck at the hour and half hour.


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Roman Forum Group, Italy

c. 1850; Italy; marble; 17-1/2“ high These Italian giallo antico marble models of the ruins of the Temples of Castor and Pollux, and Vespasian, and the Column of Phocus, all in the Roman Forum, date to the middle of the 19th century. Often encountered singly, this is an unusual, matched set of miniatures Grand Tour Miniaturestheir capitals, columns, bases, and other details all the work of the same expert carver. Case Plan


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(this page) Detail of high relief carving at entablature and column capitals.

Despite the Forum’s profusion of ruins, these three monuments were souvenir makers’ subjects of choice.


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(above) The LeBlanc Freres mark is cast into the underside of the box lid.

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Arc de Triomphe, Paris

1870’s: LeBlanc Freres, Paris; patinated bronze box; 15“ high

This large, highly detailed, patinated bronze model of the Arc de Triomphe is mounted to a French slate base. Maker LeBlanc Freres produced a profusion of good quality Parisian souvenir architectural minatures, in a variety of sizes, in the 2nd half of the 19th century.

Grand Tour Miniatures Case Plan


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Colonne de Congres, Belgium

1860; Belgium; patinated bronze; 36“ high A tour de force of mid-19th century bronze casting, this extravagantly detailed model of the Colonne de Congres includes extracts from the Belgian constitution, names of the country’s martyrs, etc., readable only under magnification. This miniature’s several parts are fitted together with a precision and exacting tolerance unseen in other architectural replicas.

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Case Plan

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(left) Detail of July Column capital, and Le Genie de la Liberte

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July Column, Paris

1870’s; LeBlanc Freres, Paris; patinated bronze; 25-1/2” high In the second half of the 19th century, before completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889, Parisian souvenir monuments were generally limited to the Arc de Triomphe, Colonne d’Austerlitz, Obelisqe du Luxor, and this, the Colonne de Juillet. All, it appears, were cast, at Grand Tour Miniatures one time or another, by the LeBlanc Freres foundry. Case Plan


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Pantheon, Rome

c. 1870: Italy; double inkwell; bronze /marble; 6“ high In 1626, Roman Baroque architect Carlo Maderno added a pair of bell towers to the facade of the ancient Pantheon. They were not popular and, almost immediately, were called the “ass’s ears”. In 1882, they were removed. This bronze model of the Pantheon pictures the ancient temple absent Maderna’s scorned ‘ears’.

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Case Plan

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Notre Dame, Paris

c. 1820; F. DuMouchel a Paris; gilded bronze; 18“ high Another in the impressive group of early 19th century miniatures of French gothic cathedrals, this model was made by F. DuMouchel of Paris. Perhaps the best known maker of these clocks is Barozet Freres. Ottomeyer and Proschel’s volume Vergoldete

Grand Tour Miniatures Case Plan


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(far left) Detail of windows and openings adjacent to the clockface.

(left) Maker’s stamp at back of clock.

(below) Detail of gallery at base of towers.

Bronzen pictures the firm’s Rheims Cathedral, and notes their advertisement for the range of the cathedral clocks in an 1837 issue of the French magazine Commerce Almanac.


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(left) Detail of carving at lid and top of box. Latin inscription is red pigment pressed into carved letters.

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Tomb of Scipio, Rome

c. 1850 ; Italy; marble; 8� high Located along the Appian Way, the Tomb of Scipio contained the remains of one of Imperial Rome’s greatest military leaders. In the 19th century, this was a popular subject for souvenir architectural miniatures. This large example, fashioned from red marble, is purposed, almost Grand Tour Miniaturesof course, as a box with a removable lid. Case Plan


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(right) The obelisk’s base, designed by the French, portrays the erection of the monument in Paris.

Luxor Obelisk, Paris

1870’s: LeBlanc Freres, Paris: Brass/marble; 16-1/2“high This ancient Egyptian obelisk, originally erected at the Temple in Luxor, arrived in Paris in 1883 after an unusually harrowing journey, and was installed on a new base in the Place de la Concorde. This replica, which may have been cast by LeBlanc Freres, is highlty realized, and includes the pictorial diagram showing how the monument was re-erected.

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Case Plan

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(this page) The monument’s base with various marbles, alabaster, cast bronze Papal crest, and terra cotta statue. (opposite above) Terra cottra figure of the Virgin. (opposite below) Cast silver bas relief, one of four set into the base.

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Colonna dell’Immacolata, Rome

c. 1853; Italy; marble/ alabaster/ silver/ terracotta/ bronze; 80“ high Extraordinarily tall and lavishly turned out, this model of the Colonna dell’Imacolata, near the Piazza de Spagna, at the foot of the Spanish Steps, is fashioned from a remarkable variety of materials. The piece includes seven different marbles, alabaster, cast silver panels, terra Grand Tour Miniaturescotta figures, and bronze miniatures of the Papal seal. Differences in proportiona and detail Case Plan


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between the model and the monument it represents suggest this impressive miniature was fabricated in advance of the Colonna’s construction in 1857. Pope Pius IX anounced the project, celebrating the Virgin’s own virgin birth, in 1854, and this model likely served to rally enthusiasm for the monument.


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Arch of Constantine, Rome

c. 1850; Italy; bronze/travertine; 12“ high This large, unusual, highly detailed bronze miniature is set atop a block of possibly antique travertine. Later 19th century replicas of this monument were carved in both marble and alabaster.

Grand Tour Miniatures Case Plan


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(above) Unidentified maker’s or inventory mark.

(above) Inkwell and sander covers are hinged or pivot to the side.

Octogon zu Wilhelmshohe, Kassel, Germany ca. 1860; Germany; triple inkwell; brass; 12“ high The remarkable, early 18th century, Classically-inspired landscape and waterworks at Kassel is the subject of this perspectivally-enhanced, brass, triple inkwell and sander. Closer architectural elements are rendered large, while those in the distance, including a statue of Hercules atop an attenuated pyramid, are smaller.

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Case Plan

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Baptistry, Pisa

c. 1890; Italy; alabaster/marble; 9“ high Towards the end of the 19th century, Italian architectural souvenirs were inreasingly made in alabaster, a less costly stone than marble; and were, in part, carved with machine tools, rather than wholly by hand. This large model, which includes marble at its base, demonstrates the Grand Tour Miniatures very delicate detail possible in this material. Case Plan


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The souvenirs pictured here, produced over the length of the 19th century, record three successive changes to the figure of Napoleon atop the column: (l to r) c. 1810, c. 1850, c. 1880. Note that, with the earliest miniature, the spiral ornament runs the opposite direction from the monument it models; reflecting the design of the Column as published prior to 1810.

Austerlitz Column, Paris

1800s (see below); Paris; bronze and silver; all 3 are 7-1/2“ high Built in 1810, this monument, patterned on Trajan’s Column in Rome, has undergone a succession of changes over the course of its 200 year history. Originally the Column was surmounted by a figure of Napoleon dressed as a Roman emperor. In 1833, this statue was exchanged for the familiar ‘Little Corporal’ which, in 1863, was itself replaced by a different, Roman-inspired statue very similar to the original statue of 1810.

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Case Plan

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Arch of Janus, Arch of Constantine, Pantheon, Rome

c. 1880; Italy; marble/alabaster; two arches are 5“ high, Pantheon 6”high These three models, all made at about the same time, feature carved, yellow marble Grand Tour Miniaturesminiature set atop white stone bases, into the side of which is engraved the monument’s Case Plan


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name. Other Roman subjects rendered this way at about this time, include the Colosseum, Arches of Constantine and Titus, and Temples of Sibyl and Hercules.


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(left) Accurate representation of the monument’s hieroglyphics is etched into the polished surface of this English serpentine miniature.

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Cleopatra’s Needle, London

c. 1880; England; serpentine; 33-1/2“ high In 1878, after a long sea journey from Alexandria, the ancient Egyptian obelisk from Helopolis arrived in London. A remarkable mania for things Egyptian, including miniatures of ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’, ensued. This large model is made of English Serpentine, its Grand Tour Miniaturesheiroglyphics, which accurately reflect the obelisk’s, etched into the stone’s lustrous surfaces. Case Plan


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(above) Unidentified maker’s stamp at reverse side of case.

Rouen Cathedral, France

c. 1820; France; gilded bronze; 18“ high Like this Exhibition’s early 19th century, gilded bronze clock models of Rheims and Notre Dame, this miniature of a facade of Rouen Cathedral is elaborately and accurately detailed.

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Case Plan

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(below) Hallmarks show, from left, the maker -Frederick Edwards; standard .925 Sterling; city - London; and date - 1897.

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Bank of England, London

1897; Frederick Edwards, London: sterling silver/marble; 4” high The June 28, 1897 issue of the Liverpool Mercury included this brief item – “New York, Saturday – The President of the American Exchange Bank has received from a college friend a model in silver of the Bank of England. The model is a foot square, and every external Grand Tour Miniaturesfeature is carefully reproduced. A well-known London firm was tied up months constructing Case Plan it and it is estimated to be worth $1000.”


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What a spectacular gift! Surprisingly often, architectural miniatures prove longer-lived than the buildings they model. This sterling replica pictures the Bank as architect, John Soane, had designed the building – a low, Classicizing, windowless (to protect against civil insurrections) block. Beginning in 1925, a disfiguring tower was added, ruining Soane’s magical, top lit banking halls, though preserving the street facades. This was, wrote leading architectural historian Nicholas Pevsner, “the greatest architectural crime in the City of London, of the twentieth century.”


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(left) Large-scale figure of a trumpeting angel was not part of Eiffel’s origiinal design.

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Eiffel Tower, Paris

1880’s: France: painted spelter; 26“ high This tall, painted spelter miniature predates the Eiffel Tower; and both relies on and takes liberties with that landmark’s design, which was widely published prior to its construction. The colossal, winged figure, blowing its long trumpet, is based on very much smaller, though Grand Tour Miniatures similar statue appearing in Eiffel’s original design, which was left unbuilt. Case Plan


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Monument to Dante, Trento

c. 1890; Cesare Zocchi di Francesco; Italy; bronze/marble; 41“ high This impressive, carefully cast, bronze model was made before the monument was built, beginning in 1893. Accompanying this miniature is a tall, green marble stand, with a revolving top, allowing the model to be turned (and admired) from all sides. Cesare Zocchi, the monument’s sculptor, etched his signature into the miniature’s base.

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Case Plan

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About the Collection Over the last thirty-five years, Piraneseum and Ace Architects have assembled the world’s leading and most extensive collection of souvenir architectural miniatures. Among these are objects modelling memorable monuments and buildings, of all types and periods, from around the world. Many of the earliest of these are included with this Exhibition – Grand Miniatures: 19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects - while the most recent models in the collection were made within the last several years. Over this two hundred year span, architectural miniatures have been fashioned from an extraordinary variety of materials – cork; the range of marbles; brass and bronze; zinc, iron, silver, copper, and gold; plastic, paper, wood, clay, and rubber erasers; and, less enduringly, candles and bars of soap – into an extraordinary variety of objects – inkwells, lamps, and boxes; paperweights, pencils, and pencil weights; salt and pepper shakers, banks, bookends and bottles; cigarette lighters, cigarette boxes, and ashtrays; needle cases, radios, erasers; candles, and bars of soap. What all have in common, though, is their purpose – reminding travelers of remarkable visits to memorable places. Objects from Piraneseum’s collection have formed exhibitions at museums across the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Octagon Museum, St. Louis University, and Museum of the City of New York. Grand Miniatures is Ace’s third exhibition with SFO Museum. The collection has been featured in the range of media – The New York and Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, CNN.com. etc., etc. – as well as on the Discovery Channel and National Public Radio. Souvenir Buildings/Miniature Monuments, a volume describing the phenomenon of architectural miniatures, was authored by Ace Architects principal David Weingarten and Margaret Majua, and published by Harry Abrams.


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Bibliography Arisi, Ferdinando. Gian Paolo Panini e i fasti della Roma del ‘700. Rome: Ugo Bozzi Editore, 1986. Black, Jeremy. Italy and the Grand Tour. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003. Hibbert, Christopher. The Grand Tour. London: Methuen London Ltd., 1987. Lassels, Richard. An Italian Voyage, or A Compleat Journey through Italy. Paris: John Starkey, 1670. 2 vols. Marshall, David Ryley. Viviano and Niccolo Codazzi and the Baroque Architectural Fantasy. Rome: Jandi Sapi Editori, 1993. Ottomeyer, Hans, and Proschel, Peter. Vergoldete Bronzen. Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986. 2 vols. SFO Museum website. http://www.flysfo.com/web/page/sfo_museum/exhibitions/ international_terminal_exhibitions/grand_miniatures/grand_miniatures.html Trease, Geoffrey. The Grand Tour. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967.


Grand Miniatures: 19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects Back cover: Eiel Tower vitrine


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Grand Tour Miniatures

GrandMiniatures:19thcSouvenirArchitecturalModels  

Catalogue of 19th century architectural models exhibited with Grand Miniatures, a 2011 show at San Francisco Airport. For further informatio...