A few years ago, Rement did some miniature terraria — more like terrarium-inspired miniature scenes — in a series called something like Petit Terrarium Country Life. It’s a series of 6 miniature scenes from European country life, each housed in an appropriate plastic container made to look like glass. There’s a farmer and a Holstein in a milk bottle shaped container. There’s also a person watching a donkey with a milk wagon, and that whole thing is in a milk bottle. There’s a person cooking over a stove in a square-sided bottle with a short neck and a cork and a man picking olives in a corked olive oil bottle. There are two wine-themed scenes: a woman jumping on grapes in a white wine flute and a man and a woman in a rowboat in a red wine flute.
Anyway, I bought these because I figured that the little figures could work as dolls for my dolls. And they do! Some of the scenes work well as tiny sets that 1:6 scale doll lovers have created!
I thought that these things would be smaller. For some reason, I expected the bottles to be 1:6 scale, rather than 1:2 scale. I was also not prepared for the ingenious construction. Every piece, from base liquid to background foliage to people to non-human animals, is separate, with detailed paint jobs on the people and appropriate translucency on the liquids. Rement has made these scenes as easy as possible to assemble, with removable bottoms for all the bottles so you can easily set the scenes in. There are also removable caps and corks.
The level of detail reaches Rement’s usual outstanding levels, although I think the milk wagon scene must be the best. It contains a milk bottle falling off the wagon and dumping milk back into the milk that the whole scene is floating in [see picture]. There’s also a lamb standing on the cart-pulling donkey for no apparent reason. It’s hilarious.
I like the fact that these aren’t just scenes stuffed into any old type of bottle; the coordination between container and scene makes these miniatures both strange and wonderful. An olive-picking scene in an olive oil bottle is delightfully apropos. It’s also weird because the little scene appears to be floating [?!] in the olive oil. In fact, 4 out of 6 scenes are sculpted so that they appear to be floating. This is, as I mentioned, a very loose interpretation of the term “terrarium,” and I appreciate the fantastical impression of the floating scenes.
Bottom line: I thought I was going to get rid of the containers and use the scenes as dolls for dolls, but I find the overall concept and execution so clever and well done that I think I’m displaying all of them as is when they’re not being used as props for my dolls!