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Global Quest For Local LETS
Copyright � James Taris

13. Flea With Golden Slippers

At the Egg Museum in Montelimar.

If I ever get to own a museum, it'll be a Miniature Museum. Because then if I have to move location, I'll only need a shoebox to put all my displays in!

In France, every autumn, the government allocates one Sunday to the public as a FREE visit day into any museum in the country. And I was fortunate to be able to visit 3 museums on that day:

- Musee de la Miniature (Miniature Museum) - where almost everything was displayed under a microscope.
- Egg Museum - which featured anything and everything that had to do with an egg.
- Chateau de Grignan (Grignan Castle) - 12th-17th century - which was enlightening, and featured a ballroom big enough to build 6 small houses in.

But my favourite was the Miniature Museum.

One display after another featured amazing skills and artistry, as the displayed item hid its identity until you viewed it through its personal microscope. Some pieces were extremely small replicas of common artworks such as oil paintings, portraits and sculptures. But it was the clever and witty ones that intrigued me most of all.

Flea With Golden Slippers - a flee (quite dead) had been shod with 2 pure gold shoes. There was no mention as to whether the flea was already dead before being shod, or whether it died as a consequence of the shodding.

Camel Through The Eye of a Needle - This display settled the argument for me, once and for all. Because there in front of my eyes, were not one, but 12 camels (made of metal) standing inside the eye of a fairly standard sized needle.

Elephants on a Grain of Rice - Seven finely detailed elephants were engraved into the wall of a solitary grain of rice � with room for at least 2 more!

Bulls on Gnat Antenna - Two metal bulls were standing on a single gnat antenna.

Crucifix on a Human Hair - A metal crucifix was fixed to a strand of human hair, with no part of the crucifix exceeding the width of the hair.

Noah's Ark - This was my favourite display, even though a microscope wasn't necessary. Beautifully arranged in a glass-cased representation of Noah's Ark, were hundreds of animals � made from origami! (the ancient Japanese art of paper folding). Finely detailed pieces measuring mostly 5-10mm (�-� inch) in size, were easily identified as: kangaroos, elephants, giraffes, camels, cheetahs, pandas, bears, hippos, rhinos, sheep, pigs, cows, chickens, geese, cranes, ostriches, armadillos, snakes, birds in flight, birds roosting in trees, and many other animals that now elude my memory. And they were all made relatively proportional, so while the giraffes were the biggest at 15mm (3/4 inch), the chickens were the smallest at 5mm (� inch) in size.

I can only imagine that an origami book exists with all these animals featured in it. So if anyone comes across it, I'd definitely be interested. As I don't have a TV at home, I'm sure it would give me many hours of pleasure (or frustration) as I try to create something out of paper vaguely resembling the drawings in the book. Obviously I'll be doing this in the recommended sizes (usually several inches long), because I don't think I've got the skills, or the patience, necessary to make the miniatures���

This article is taken from the ebook,
Global Quest for Local LETS

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