Posted by: marymarthatours | April 20, 2011

2011 Chicago Miniature Show – A focus on medieval England

My annual trip to the Chicago International Miniature Show had a special focus for me this year. Because I am just finishing the plans for a 1/12 scale version of Barley Hall in York, England, for my friend, Mary B., I wanted to find vendors who carry the kinds of furnishings and accessories that Mary will need to fill the Hall after she builds it. I will have a nice list of resources for her.  The list will include:

Ann High,


    I had a wonderful chat with Ann at the Chicago Show.  The first piece that I noticed at her booth was a green painted chest.  I told her that I had seen a similar chest in red at Barley Hall.  She has not only been there, but she also loves this reconstructed medieval building.  She even had several pieces on display that were modeled on originals at Barley Hall.  Ann has taught for several summers at the IGMA Guild School in Castine, ME.  I would love to take a class from her.  Maybe in 2012?

Michael Mortimer,


Michael was another of the delightful British vendors with whom I talked.  He specializes in Gothic, Tudor, and 16th and 17th Century furniture.  His techniques for creating the grain effect of old oak are amazing.

Ray Storey,


I’ve visited with Ray at several Chicago shows.  Ray makes beautiful lighting fixtures from many time periods, but my favorites are his Tudor pieces, especially the wall sconces.

Priska Hess-Groetsch,


I met Priska for the first time at this year’s show, although she lives in Minneapolis, not far from my home in Rochester, MN.  The amount of research she does and her attention to historic detail is clearly visible in each of her one-of-a-kind dolls. Her talent with fabric and authentic accessories for her figures is astounding. 

And, although I didn’t get his photograph, I also want to mention Tony Knott,, who carries an amazing variety of items from the medieval and Tudor periods, including furniture, pewter goods, and even armour.  

I loved having a focus for my explorations at this year’s Chicago International Miniature Show. I learned that when Mary B. finishes building her Barley Hall, she will have no trouble at all finding skilled craftspeople to help her fill it with everything she needs to complete the medieval scene.

(by Mary)


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