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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Miniature Butcher's Market Stall

The butcher sells all sorts of meats, including ground beef, beef stew cubes, and oxtails. Along with those, he also sells home-made sausages of all kinds, including black pudding (which I do enjoy, in moderation). I was once asked to sell some of the black puddings to a young lady visiting my table at a show; she had a fiance who loved the stuff, and wanted to give him some in miniature. Hey, why not? So I sold her some. Angie Scarr's book once again provided the how-to's for most of the meats. Now that I have the idea, I can also copy meats from photos of the real thing.

The brass bars between the uprights hold slabs of  bacon and larger sausages, hanging on S-hooks. One of the fun things with these market stalls has been finding different scales for the various stalls. This particular scale reminds me very strongly of the scale used by my childhood best friend's parents, who had a butcher shop in Maastricht, The Netherlands. I'd really like to find a nice, in-scale meat slicer one of these days, the sort that delicatessen stores use to slice up the cold cuts.

The legs of lamb and the hams in this photo are caned, with the bones baked separately and inserted in the main portion of the meat before baking. This is a really good way of giving the impression of real raw meat.

One of the funnier stories in preparing this stall had to do with getting butcher's paper, the pink sort, just visible below the table surface under the hams; I went to a local deli, explained what I was doing, and asked if they could spare me a sheet of butcher paper. They gave me that and threw in some parchment paper as well. Total strangers are quite prepared to help miniaturists achieve reality in their settings, they don't even ask questions.

The butcher himself is another later doll; he just needs a straw hat to really look like an old-style butcher. The sandwich board is painted with real blackboard paint. The dogs, however, are vinyl dollar store finds. Every self-respecting butcher's stall should have a couple of dogs or cats hanging around waiting for a lucky spill!

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