Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


Today, Let’s Talk Mott’s, Mott’s Miniatures that is. Formerly housed in Jeffries Barn at Knott’s Berry Farm the Mott’s Miniatures collection/exhibit was a truly extraordinary experience. The exhibit consisted largely of dollhouse size displays themed around the history of American commerce and home life. These displays featured exquisite miniatures many of them antique and many of them made by the various members of the Mott family. Today’s post features a display from Santa’s kitchen, the photos and accompanying text are from a 1998 auction catalog.

“The preferred status of Christmas among all other holidays for the Mott family is patently evident in the intricately detailed Mrs. Santa’s Kitchen. Their extensive collection of Christmas miniatures originated with Allegra’s mother, who had earnestly collected Christmas ornaments throughout the years. Considering the fact that this piece was made during the years of 1975 and 1976, one can appreciate the time and effort spent collecting the fine Christmas treasures that comprise this marvelous exhibit. Represented here is a true combination of the old and the new. The kitchen that opens up through a beautiful stained glass door contains many antique pieces, including real enamelware plates, dishes, utensils, furnishings and the arcade doll house ice box which is made of iron. Also included here is an unbelievably small toy train set that really works, as well as a holly decorated porcelain clock, also fully functional. The apparently red brick oven, full of Christmas treats, was hand carved by Barbara Mott and is actually made of solid pine. It was made to look like brick by a method of using four coats of paint of different colors with the addition of sawdust and talcum powder to the last coat, adding the texturized look. Barbara also designed the miniature houses on the shelves above, as well as the cookies and dough. Santa’s busy elves were hand sculpted and made by Cynthia Baron. The mistletoe and Christmas wreath were created by the Mott’s great grandmother from shells and seed pearls. Wax miniaturist, Helen Cook, made most of the candies, while the tiny strings of tree lights were fashioned by Mr. Wilson.”

That’s all for today, Thanks for Readin’

Have a Merry Christmas!



TokyoMagic! said...

What a great Christmas post! So is that what happened to the Mott's Miniatures when they left Knott's...they were auctioned off?

Chris Merritt said...

These are great shots LTK! TokyoMagic - they were auctioned off eventually. I'm sure Outside The Berm can provide more information.

Manny Vargas said...

I've just discovered all these Knott's blogs. Big fan since I started going there in the 1950's. I bet that guy who runs the Early Amusement Park blog would know where Mott's Miniatures are. I just bought this incredible book on Knott's early years for my family. Great b&w photos and great memories.

outsidetheberm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
outsidetheberm said...

We have a number of the miniatures and displays in the ranch collection. Purchased at auction many years ago.

As a special Christmas / New Year's treat, I've just re-posted a piece from May 2008. Just click on over and scroll down to the bottom of the page! Hope you enjoy.

Happy New Year, all!

Anonymous said...

What ranch collection are you referring to?

outsidetheberm said...

Anonymous - We own a 120 acre motion picture ranch facility in Souhthern California. We've been fortunate enough over the last 40+ years to rescue and refurbish hundreds of old de-requisitioned and auctioned theme park rides, structures and artifacts. Some of the structures and items have been carefully used for movie work and the like. Believe it or not, many of your favorite childhood memories live on!

And good boys and girls may get the chance to view all these fond treasures again ;)

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