The Naples Museum of Art, located in Naples, Florida is home to the famous Masters of Miniature exhibition which showcases the Ede & Ravenscroft Collection of miniatures. The miniatures were commissioned by Chairman Michael Middleton of Ede & Ravenscroft, London’s oldest tailor and robe company making academic robes, legal wigs, and menswear. The collection was commissioned to celebrate the company’s 300th anniversary as “Purveyors of Royal Robes to the Crown.” Two famous United Kingdom miniaturists, Kevin Mulvany and Susan Rogers created the centerpiece of the collection which is the recreation of three rooms from Versailles including Louis XV’s Private Office. The astonishing miniature collection includes minute replicas of elegant French royal furniture and royal rooms.
The Bureau du Roi or the King’s Desk is an exact replica of the 1769 original desk by Jean Henri Riesener in Versailles. The desk was created by miniature artisan Denis Hillman. Denis Hillman is a fellow of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and is known as having created some of the finest miniature pieces in the world. Denis Hillman’s miniature version of the King’s Desk is correct down to the marquetry panels and all of the mechanical parts of the desk are operational. Many miniature enthusiasts and artisans believe this desk is the finest miniature ever created.
In addition to the famous desk, the collection also includes petit point rugs made by Sue Bakker, elegant porcelain pieces by Tricia Street, miniature chandeliers by Robert Ward and replicas of French royal chairs by John Hodgson and Pierre Mourey.
The Ede & Ravenscroft miniature collection has been referred to as a “revelation” by the New York Times providing a historical look at the world of Louis XV through the eyes of miniaturists. The collection came about through the Ede and Ravenscroft company’s continued patronage and passion for the arts.
You can browse through the miniature rooms and see individual furniture in the collection at the Ede & Ravenscroft website.
The Naples Museum of Art has also published a hardcover catalog of the Ede & Ravenscroft Collection and the other miniatures housed at the museum called the Pistner House: A Master in Miniature.
The Naples Museum of Art is also home to the Philharmonic Center for the Arts where the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, a 49 musician orchestra performs. The orchestra is considered to be one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. After visiting the museum visitors can purchase tickets to see classical, pops and chamber orchestra concerts.