Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Paul MacAlister on fire on ebay

Not again!?!? Well, kudos to all of the winners who out bid me, I'm crying now. I was hoping to get my hands on one of these sets, but the ebay gods and my pocket book said no.

All of the pieces came directly from Paul MacAlister's estate and have been in storage since his death in 1986. The seller lucked out and purchased all of the 1:12 items at a local (Chicago) auction earlier this year. These pieces were made to populate miniature rooms that he presented to clients and also shown on his TV show. Since we can't all have them, I'm posting these photos so we can remember and be inspired by Paul MacAlister's incredible work.

To all of the winners, PLEASE send (or post) photos of where this collection takes you. These gems have been boxed up for over 20 years so please share how you bring them back to life.

All information and images are from ebay listings by seller decoray.

Mid Century Modern Miniature TV & Stereo Hand Crafted
The set consists of a tall console TV set in mixed woods with metal pulls and plastic TV screen & a console radio / phonograph cabinet of mixed woods with woven wood speaker cloth and plastic tambour door, metal handle and knobs and hand drawn radio face. This cabinet is composed of 2 separate cabinets joined together.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Beds & Headboards + more
All the upholstered pieces were hand painted to simulate fabric including the pillows. The headboards are crafted out of walnut and meticulously finished. This versatile set can be used as twins with a single headboard, twins with individual headboards, as a daybed or corner sofa, with or without the bolsters & pillows, etc. There are 11 pieces in all as shown.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Table & 4 Chairs Set
This set consists of a matching table & 4 chairs upholstered in blue & white striped fabric. The chair seats and backs are soft like real chairs. The table top is laminated walnut. All pieces have black metal legs, and frames.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Upholstered Lounge Set
This set consists of a matching sofa & chair upholstered in red corduroy, an ottoman for the chair in blue fabric, & a square wood endtable. The chair seats and backs, and ottoman are soft like upholstered furniture. All pieces have black metal legs, and frames.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Living Room Hand Crafted
Note the careful attention to detail in construction and surface finishing of the woods. The couch displays hand painted fabric designs and walnut wooden legs. The endtables have interesting construction details as does the walnut coffee table. The coffee table has a slight warp to the top.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Bed Room Set Hand Crafted
All the pieces are meticulously crafted and made in the manner of the actual furniture. Note the careful attention to detail in construction and surface finishing of the woods. The set consists of a wide chest, 2 3 drawer chests, a wall mirror, & a stool. All are in walnut and the fabric on the stool is painted wood. The mirror is displayed up-side-down in the first photo to allow it to rest on the chests. It is designed to hang on the wall. All pieces are fully finished on the back side too. The case pieces rest on the pedestals and are not attached. I believe he did this in order to use other cases with the same pedestals.

(All information and images above are from ebay listings by seller decoray)


  1. I know! I did not even get to bid it was went high! Very beautiful work though, Sigh. C

  2. Thanks for posting! I, too, was outbid on the first round of furnishings, and didn't even try on this round. I posted a notice on the sidebar of my blog about this, since like you I would really like to see these in action! I wonder if the seller will be offering additional pieces?

  3. Oh, was there another lot of listings?! Must check ...

    I did bid on these, and came close to winning the beds. Sadly the auction finished while I was at work (and in a meeting), so I couldn't try a higher bid :-(

    I do hope the winners blog, or read modern mini blogs and will share their spoils. (There were only two winners.) Megan, did you contact the seller about the photos? I was going to, as I'd like to write something about miniature rooms and furniture created for interior design purposes, not as playthings.

  4. Incredible !! Thanks for posting. Am loving all the detail shots. You can really study the pieces.
    Maryann :)

  5. Carol
    I gave it my best effort, but was outbid. Next time.

    Yes. I really hope the 3 winners (one from first round) will send or post pictures somewhere. I can't wait to see these in a house.

    I did contact the seller, Raymond, who is totally swamped with listings. He confirmed the whereabouts of the items being in storage for the past 2 decades since Paul passed away. Raymond's email is on his website http://collectors-row.com/.
    I got all of the photos from the ebay listings. Feel free to use the info/photos from my posts for any articles you're writing.

    I knew people would like the detail shots. ;) Raymond, the seller, did a great job photographing and adding the dimensions which really helps you appreciate the craftsmanship.

    Mini smiles,

  6. Yes, lots of tissues being dispensed in modern miniature fan land.

    Rebecca, be forewarned that the seller will tell you that sharing digital images takes a lot of their time and intellectual property--and then will ask what you are offering in return...

  7. I am grateful to be able to say that I am one of the winners of last night's auction... I was able to win the tv/phonograph cabinets, the bedroom set, and the living room set. Had to let the rest go... was deep in sticker shock at that point.

    I am new to the modern miniature hobby. I have the Emerson house, and not sure how the pieces will look in that space since the E. house is 1:16. (Maybe I can just pretend the ceilings are low?)

    I have a lifelong love of mid-century modern style, and reverence for these little pieces. Can't wait to hold them and think of Paul MacAlister and the fun he must have had making them. I will surely post photos in the future and keep everyone informed of what's happening with my treasures!

  8. MC
    I feel your pain. :(

    Yay!! I think these pieces are going to look great in the Emerson. I think I speak for everyone when I say, we CANNOT wait to see them in use. Congratulations and looking forward to seeing what you come up with. :D

    Mini smiles,

  9. Thank you, MMH! I will be sure to take photos on box-opening day, just for fun and to celebrate... will keep you posted.

  10. Congrats DollStories!
    So glad that we'll get to see them in action.

  11. Fantastic miniatures, too bad you didn't get any of these beauties, but thanks for sharing the photos, just looking at them is a treat!
    And so great that at least one of the buyers blogs, can't wait to see them in action in the Emerson!

  12. Congratulations, DollStories, I'm especially glad that you won the bedroom set. I think I liked that the best, almost - and it's wonderful to think I'll be able to see it in its new home :-) I have 'followed' your blog, so I don't miss any of the action! Your dolls are amazing, too - so lifelike, real works of art (just a bit big for dolls houses!)

  13. Thank you, Rebecca! Yes, unfortunately I have to split my passions. ;)

    The bedroom set is SO fabulous. The TV and phonograph are my favorites--I love the handwritten display on the phonograph.
    Decoray has put more items up. Argh!

  14. Congrats to DollStories! I saw these and drooled, but the final price tags are way out of my league.
    I did see today (April 5) that someone has some 1:24 scale pieces by the same maker for auction. Fortunately, that scale is not so tempting for me.

  15. Thank you Sandra! Wow, 1:24 scale? Where did you see those? I've been googling Paul MacA., but all I've seen are the Decoray items, and I've found auctions that ended long ago...

    @Rebecca: I've started putting pics of the minis on a new blog at http://www.lumimini.blogspot.com.


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