State Library of South AustraliaState Library of South Australia

Miniature garden tools

Catalogue record

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Format : Toy

A miniature metal wheelbarrow with wooden handles and a set of miniature plastic garden tools. Attached to the garden tools was a poem which reads,
'Mrs Crompton: Sarah dreams of a garden, Where blooms the sweetest flowers, Where she from morn to even, Will pass away the hours. She'd like to but there's housework, Committees -- parcels -- dust, Indeed there is no danger, She'll have a chance to rust!'. Author unknown.
Many people assume that miniature items are for children because they are small and would fit well in a child's hand and for this reason they find their way into collections about children's historical play interests. However, this item was given to an adult as a gift.
We believe the poem was written for Mrs Sarah Crompton of Adelaide (12.2.1882 - 15.4.1957), the wife of Mr Owen Crompton (married 27th September 1904) who was active in raising funds for the Red Cross, Baby Welfare especially during WWII.

Miniatures have been the domain of genteel ladies for centuries and were given as tokens of esteem or collected by enthusiasts. Doll's houses with miniature furniture were very popular during the Victorian era and ladies would take them on trips and use them to entertain their friends. Miniature toy soldiers, weapons and later vehicles and aircraft have been favoured by men.

People like miniatures as they can create little worlds to their own liking. It gives a sense of control which is perhaps why their popularity endures in our world of sensory overload. It may also be a reaction against everything 'supersized' about society like meals and houses where people see smaller things as simpler and terms like 'downshifting' and trends such as the Tiny House movement have become established.

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