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Discontinued Collectibles Guide





Lilliput Lane Cottages, Houses and Collectibles

Compared to some of the collectibles we review on this site, Lilliput Lane is a latecomer into the field. Whilst many of the ranges of collectables have their origins way back in the mists of time, well hundreds of years anyway, Lilliput Lane was only founded in 1982, a mere 31 years ago, but almost immediately gathered a following among collectors.

In that year a sculptor living and working in the beautiful English Lake District, lucky chap, decided that English architecture, both grand and historic and vernacular, should be celebrated and preserved in miniature before any more of the real buildings had disappeared for ever. Furthermore he decided that he was the man to do it! Thus David Tate set about finding a suitable material from which to make these miniatures and chose Amorphite, the trade name of a special mix of gypsum which had just the characteristics he needed. The models were cast in Amorphite and the finished cast was hand painted.

Starting with humble but picturesque cottages the models were an instant success and great care was taken to create representative cottages and houses from specific regions of the British Isles. Soon the cottages were joined by larger buildings of historic significance, castles, village churches, cathedrals and historic public buildings.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which may or may not be true. Either way Lilliput Lane cottages have their share of imitators in the form of forgeries and "look-alikes" so the collector has to beware. The genuine Lilliput Lane collectible will have a label attached to the green baize base bearing the name of the piece and a date. The earlier cottages may have a brown baize base instead of the later green but should still bear the label. All the models, whatever the date of manufacture have a backstamp on the side. The actual position of the backstamp will vary.

Unfortunately the presence of a backstamp is not a guarantee that the item is genuine Lilliput Lane. Forgers go to a great deal of trouble and some forgeries may well carry a backstamp. However it is rare for forgeries to have openings in the casting which are always present in the genuine article. Another clue to look for is that the colouring of forgeries is often not correct.

Every genuine Lilliput Lane cottage comes with a Certificate of Authenticity which in most cases has on its reverse a story related to the model. The story may be supplied on a separate story-card or leaflet. Miniatures produced from April 1985 onwards are supplied with deeds, like a real property. Since 1995 the deeds have incorporated a story on the back.

In 1989 Lilliput Lane incorporated into its range a new series, American Landmarks, depicting dwellings and landmark building of historical significance in North America. These were originally produced by an American sculptor, Ray Day. Production of this series by Lilliput Lane continued until 2000.

Though best known, at least in the UK, for miniature cottages, Lilliput Lane collectables embrace other models of quite different genres. As early as 1985 a second range was launched, Lilliput Lane Land of Legends Limited. Collectors know this range of collectibles as "5L" and it is a world of fantasy castles with dragons, wizards and fairies. Pocket Dragons were part of this range, cast, not in Amorphite but in a resin material.

The range was only produced by Lilliput Lane until 1990 when it was sold to Collectible World Studios and has been listed under that name ever since.

A Lilliput Lane Collector’s Club operates worldwide. It is most active here in Britain where Annual events are held attracting large numbers of enthusiasts. The club publishes a quarterly magazine, Gulliver&rsquo s World Club.

So, Lilliput Lane collectables doesn&rsquo t just mean miniature cottages. No, there&rsquo s much more to Lilliput Lane than that. As well as lots of buildings other than cottages there&rsquo s a whole fantasy world to explore in the Land of Legends. Just watch out for those forgeries!

On each of the pages within this section dedicated to Lilliput Lane collectibles we have included links to live and current online auctions dealing in each theme. In addition, where known, we have added details of collector clubs, forums and websites. We wish you every success in tracking down the missing pieces of your discontinued Lilliput Lane collection and hope you will become a regular visitor to Accumulations. Remember it’s an ever-changing scene so it is always worth a return visit!

If you are interested in a specific type or genre of Lilliput Lane collectible, click on one of the following links:-

CottagesLand of Legends

Please also check out the Lilliput Lane Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed on this page.


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