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A unique opportunity to rent or buy
these unique hand made models,
for your Exposition, Trade Fair or Building
"a fascinating and stunning effect!"
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About 20 years ago Fortnum & Masons of Piccadilly/London decided to create architectural models of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The models were intended to be the pièce-de-resistance for their Christmas windows, which were dedicated to various food specialities offered from all over the world. Creation of the models also had a secondary purpose. Every year there is a competition throughout England to find which department store has the most spectacular Christmas window display. Fortnum & Masons were totally committed to winning the prize and honours that year.
So they took their time and during a period of about 18 months, the models were designed and manufactured. This was done under the inspiring supervision of their art director, Prof. Chris Blackwell. He collected 12 of the top British artists/craftsmen; each a specialist in his own field. All dies and castings were hand made and after completion of the models, all tooling and dies were purposely destroyed. This was done in order to ensure that there would be only one set of these “Seven Wonders of the World” and there would be no possibility of duplication in the future. Needless to say, F & M were the overwhelming victors in that particular year (1991).
The shop-window display was a huge success. The public was so enthusiastic, that after Christmas, F & M’s board decided to continue the exhibition of the Wonders. However it was no longer displayed in the shop-windows, but on the 4th floor in the department store. This floor normally accommodated the antiques department. It was completely vacated and the Wonders were placed there. They stayed there for about six months during which not very many antiques were sold!
The decision was taken to use the space again for selling purposes; so the Wonders had to go. There was interest for them all over the world; from San Francisco/California to Memphis/Tennessee to Lausanne/ Switzerland to Hong Kong.
The current Dutch owner was able to acquire them and they have been in his private collection since then. However, he did not keep them strictly for himself. Over the years they have travelled through Holland and Germany to various exhibitions and museums. To places like Frankfurt, Leipzig, Berlin, Rotterdam, Amsterdam. In every city, the public was enchanted by them and they were always extensively covered by the local and regional press. Discovery Channel has devoted a TV-series on the 7 Wonders of the World. The Wonders were used in the leader of the series. Each episode started with an overview of all Seven Wonders.
Because of his age, the owner has now decided to offer them for sale thus placing them on the market. For information: E-mail The Seven Wonders of The World,
Telephone +31-20-6250650 (Dutch Office Hours), Fax +31-20-6247881.
A short history:
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is a widely-known list of seven remarkable architectural constructions of classical antiquity.
The Greek historian Herodotus (484-425 BC) and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (305-240 BC) make early mentions of “Seven Wonders”, but their writings have not survived, except as references. The earliest existent listing was compiled by the Phoenician writer and philosopher Antipatros of Sidon, who described them around 140 BC in an explorers’ guide-book for travelers of his time: Antipatros categorized the structures not so much as wonders but as “theamata” or “must-sees”. On his journeys he followed the trade routes of the then known world. Only one of the Wonders of the World was situated in Greece: the Statue of Zeus by Phidius at Olympia. In Asia Minor he described the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Iona; on the island of Rhodes the Colossus; in Egypt the Pharos of Alexandria and the Pyramids of Cheops at Giseh and finally in more distant Asia Minor the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Antipatros only described in his book those “Wonders” which were still in existence. The Tower of Babylon, undoubtedly also one of the highlights of the architecture of the ancient world, had - in his days - already decayed and was therefore not a sight anymore. Antipatros did not like to recommend ruins to his contemporaries.
Not until the 6th century AD, the ancient wonders, as known today, were categorized as such:
1. The Great Pyramid of Gizeh
2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
3. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
4. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
5. The Mausoleum of Mausolus at Halicarnassus
6. The Colossus of Rhodes
7. The Lighthouse of Alexandria.
The enthusiasm for the 7 Wonders of the World did not last forever. When the Occident became Christian, the interest for the Ancient World faded. Apart from the Pyramid of Gizeh there were meanwhile only left a couple of ruins of the Wonders of the World. So slowly they passed into oblivion. Not before the 19th century, scientists started to dig for evidence of the Ancients and showed the amazed modern people what their ancestors were capable of. With that the 7 Wonders of the World had been rediscovered. Except for the Pyramid of Gizeh, which still exists, all the other structures were destroyed, either through fire or by earthquakes, and no building plans or even illustrative drawings remain. Even so, the Seven Wonders have always appealed to artists’ imagination, and in the 16th century Maarten van Heemskerck, a Dutch painter widely known for his lush and creative depictions of Greek sagas, made etchings that to this day are still appreciated for their elegance. These, together with the descriptions of Antipatros, formed the basis upon which Prof. Chris Blackwell (London/England) for whom the Seven Wonders always held special fascination, commandeered the specialized construction of scale models, on request of Fortnum & Mason’s of Piccadilly, London. For 18 months, a dozen British artists collaborated on their assembly, resulting in a collection that ultimately won Fortnum & Mason’s the highly coveted, extremely prestigious award for best Christmas display in 1991.