Small Talk Tag: Maria Jose Santos

A Rare Gem: Figures in the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco

In the 1920s, before “every kiss begins with Kay,” and way before “he went to Jared,” posh urbanites perused jewelry at grand Art Deco stores. T/m’s Art Deco Jewelry Store rendered in 1:12 scale miniature would be exactly the right place to buy a new pair of “manacles” (1920s slang for wedding rings!).

The figures within the Art Deco Jewelry Store depict one such occasion. A man dressed in a classic double-breasted pin striped suit stands beside his stylish female companion who relishes in all of the choices. The dapper sales clerk has pulled a ruby bracelet for the lady to try on. All three figures were created by Spanish artist María José Santos whose attention to detail is what make them so remarkable. In order to match the dusk time of day lighting outside, the two male figures have five o’clock shadows, and the man in the fedora carries a newspaper that reads, “Lindbergh Does It!” Next time: Get that ice or else no dice!

A Rare Gem: Collaborating on the Art Deco Jewelry Store

art deco jewelry

The jazz age of the 1920s and 1930s effectively put the final nail in the coffin of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. During that time, the world saw the rise of a new type of popular music, new fashion trends (that still appear today), and a new form of art and architecture known as Art Deco. While our hometown of Kansas City has many examples of Art Deco buildings, our favorite example is our 1:12 scale miniature Art Deco Jewelry Store.

Specially commissioned by T/m’s co-founder Barbara Marshall, the Art Deco Jewelry Store is the product of a collaboration between several miniature artists. Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers (best known as just Mulvany & Rogers) built the architectural space and jewelry counter. María José Santos created the miniature couple and dapper salesman figures. Robert Ward beaded the magnificent chandelier. Last, but not least, Lori Ann Potts is responsible for the miniature “bling” inside of the jewelry cases. Stick with us as we zoom in on the details of this jazzy miniature!

Going Further Beyond

maria jose santos

Artist Maria Jose Santos began creating ornate porcelain miniature figurines almost two decades ago in mountainous Asturias, Spain. Since then, she has captured the light and whimsical moves of dancing ballerinas as well as the intricacies of ethnic and period dress.  In addition to T/m, her work can be seen in the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Switzerland’s Puppenhausmuseum, in Spain’s El Mundo de las Muñecas.

Santos was inspired by a historical painting by Julius Victor Berger when she created the 1:12 scale figures Emperor Charles V of Spain, and Queen Isabella of Portugal and her maid. Queen Isabella even holds two miniature documents; one of which was handwritten by Santos indicating that the miniature work was “put in the care of” The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.

The title of the miniature trio incorporates Emperor Charles V’s motto, “Further Beyond,” which stems from the Pillars of Hercules – structures the Ancient Greeks once believed marked where the physical world ended. By the time the Emperor gained power, however, sailors knew you didn’t just drop off the edge of the earth at the horizon, so the leader leveraged the phrase as motivation to push boundaries and explore. That’s something we can support as we head towards the our reopening next year!