I was reading an article about the retail success of craft outlets despite the current economic slump and it mentioned the Etsy website that featured handcrafted gifts. I had never heard of it and thought I would go up and look around. Naturally I spotted the dolls category and the miniatures category under it. To my great excitement I saw they have a historical miniatures category.
The first vendor I looked at, UneekDollDesigns, offered small 4 3/4" peg doll-style creations with wonderfully detailed costumes. Some of my favorites included:
Mary Boleyn (mistress to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn's sister):
"Mary is dressed in royal blue velvet accented in silver and rhinestone trim. I hand painted her face and she has soft, golden red hair topped with a beaded head piece. Mary would be a perfect collectible for any Tudor history lover, or a very pretty addition to a doll house or shelf display.She stands only 4 and 3/4 inches tall."
Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary - daughter of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon):
"Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 19 July 1553 until her death. The fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty, she is remembered for restoring England to Roman Catholicism after succeeding her short-lived half brother, Edward VI, to the English throne. In the process, she had almost 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian Persecutions, resulting in her being called Bloody Mary. Her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her successor and half-sister, Elizabth I."
"She is fashioned in her royal Tudor costume designed in black and white underskirt with crushed black velvet overskirt. Decked in glittering silver trim and pearl accents, she's an eye catching royal in spite of her not so pleasant reputation! Mary stands about 4 and 3/4 inches tall."
Cleopatra VII, Queen of the Nile (and seductress of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony!):
"One of the most famous ,yet mysterious rulers of Egypt, Cleopatra has intrigued historians for many years. She was known not just for her seductiveness and beauty, but also her ability to rule. She had a child with Julias Caesar, and later had 3 children with Marc Antony, whom she was married to. She met an unfortunate end when she found out Marc Antony was dead and tradition says she died by purposely letting a snake bite her.
Cleopatra is designed with a full Egyptian queen regalia. Her white robe is accented with gold trim. She is showing off her cloak trimmed in silver and gold trim. Cleo wears a gold head dress studded with a blue jewel stone. She stands a petite 4 and 1/3 inches tall. "
UneekDollDesigns also creates commissioned miniatures on request such as this wonderful William Shakespeare.
"My trademark I am most known for is not using a pattern for any of my designs on anything. I guess I just prefer to picture it, then try various techniques to get what effect I want!
My miniature dolls were actually made when I needed some characters to put in a couple of fancy dollhouses that were being designed as a special gift. Not finding any characters that I liked, I started making my own, starting with a basic wooden clothespin. The rest is using my imagination, lots of fabric, and other creative materials!
My greatest pleasure in doing my hand crafted items is seeing other people derive pleasure from them, too!"
I know I derived a lot of pleasure just looking at all of the different people from history, hollywood, and literature that she created! The dolls are also reasonably priced averaging $20 each (some a little more and some a little less).