Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Lilliput Lane Collection by The Gilmans Opens in Display Gallery
Joe and Susan Gilman are long-time residents of Smyrna, having moved here in 1990. They are the proud parents of 3 daughters—Emily Gilman, Natalie Gilman Powell, and Hannah Gilman. Shortly after moving here, Joe was asked to lead a major project in Australia for BellSouth which allowed him to travel extensively throughout Asia and periodically meet with business partners in Europe. On one of his trips to London, he purchased their first Lilliput Lane cottage, “Butterwick,” as a homecoming gift for Susan.
Lilliput Lane cottages were the creation of David Tate in 1982. David had a background in chemistry and materials and developed the plaster-like material used in casting the models. The material allows more intricate details to be formed. His first cottage, done as a project for a school that was closing that wanted to honor its students, was “Cliburn School.” Only 64 of the models were made and were given as gifts. The value of one of these models today on the secondary market is approximately $2500.
Numerous models have now been produced, ranging from tiny cottages to large landscapes. Each is made and hand-painted in the borderlands between England and Scotland. The display here is only a small portion of the Gilmans’ collection and captures several different phases and types of Lilliput cottages. The displays include the original American Roadside series, European collections, and, in honor of the season, snow-covered cottages. The snow-covered cottages are among the Gilmans’ favorites, especially during the holidays.