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Collectible Cottages based on Historic or Regional Buildings

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Front view of the Lilliput Lane collectible cottage

Lilliput Lane "Millers" cottage, 1984 version, front view with scale.

Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Lilliput Lane Collectible Cottages:

Lilliput Lane is a series of collectible miniature cottages and scenes produced since 1997 by Enesco Limited, who also produce Heartwood Creek, Department 56 Gallery of Light and other brands. The current Lilliput Lane line includes Christmas editions, limited editions, lighted cottages, regional cottages and historic buildings. A special line includes snow for use in Christmas scenes. There is also a line of Christmas Tree ornaments. It is a good idea to check the current catalogue of collectibles to find out which pieces are retired from year to year.

History of Lilliput Lane Cottages:

The Lilliput Lane collection was begun in 1982 by sculptor David Tate in England's Lake District. It has always been famous for celebrating historic and vernacular English architecture, and the catalogue of pieces can be sorted by region. The cottages are cast of a proprietary gypsum mix known as Amorphite ™ and are handpainted, with constant reference back to a colored master. Some painted variations do occur in older models. There is an active collectors club with special events held annually in the UK.

Information For Lilliput Lane Collectors:

Other Related Lines

  • Lilliput Lane Land of Legends Beginning in 1985, Lilliput Lane produced a secondary line Lilliput Lane Land of Legends Limited (known to collectors as 5L) featuring castles, dragons and fantasy pieces. This secondary line included Pocket Dragons and other pieces cast in resin, instead of Amorphite ™. In 1990, the Land of Legends line sold off and eventually restructure as part of Collectible World Studios. Land of Legends pieces are listed under Collectible World Studios rather than Lilliput Lane.
  • American Landmarks - From 1989 to 2000, Lilliput Lane produced a series of American Landmark models, all originally sculpted by Ray Day. An archive of all his models for the Lilliput Line American Landmark Series can be seen online.

Identifying Lilliput Lane Cottages

  • Identifying Marks - All of the cottages feature labels on the green baize (fabric) base which feature the name of the piece and a date. Older cottages may have a brown baize base. All pieces have a backstamp somewhere on the side of the piece.
  • Forgeries - There are forgeries and 'look alikes' of these cottages. Forgeries may have backstamps. Usually the forgeries do not have openings in the cast the way the original does, and they often are incorrectly colored.
  • Certificates and Deeds - Lilliput Lane models are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity most of these have a story line on the reverse unless there is a separate deed with a storyline or a leaflet/storycard. Models since April 1985 have come with deeds. The deeds have included a story on the reverse since 1995.

Information for Collectors

  • Collector's Club - Enesco operate a world wide Lilliput Lane Collectors Club which has annual events in the UK and a quarterly magazine Gulliver's World Club. Special releases are available to club members each year.
  • Collecting Lilliput Lane Cottages - Lilliput Lane cottages can be highly collectible. Prices range from a few dollars for less than mint versions from thrift stores and garage sales, to several thousand dollars for particular limited editions. Editions are retired each year, and there are several numbered limited edition series. Collectors should look for pieces which are Mint in Box, with the original COA or Deed being an important part of the collectible value. Many cottages are sold without original packaging and with labels in various states. These are not as valuable as cottages which are accompanied by all original documentation and packaging.

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