Yu Yuan, ca. early 1980s, Madelyn Cook, 1:12 scale
Yu Yuan, created by renowned miniature artisan Madelyn Cook, translates to “Garden of Ease,” and is a stunning replica of the classical Dragon Pavilion found in the Yu Yuan Garden, located in AnrenJie, Shanghai. The garden, which was created more than 400 years ago, occupies an area of about five acres in the heart of the old city. The garden has seen many transformations, due to war and changes in government and remains a popular tourist destination.
Just as with all of Cook’s pieces, the vast majority of the objects displayed within were handcrafted by Cook, herself. Note her intricate lattice work, which recreates the maze-like patterns of the Ming Dynasty, as well as the micro petit-point cushions and handstitched rugs, made from ancient patterns discovered through Cook’s many hours of research. One of her most exceptionalfurnishings is the Kang Table, located inside the beautiful pavilion. The Kang Table is an ancient and traditional piece of Chinese furniture comprised of a three-walled raised platform which is used for sleeping and relaxing. During the day, a small table is placed in the center, which can then be accessed by persons seated cross-legged on cushions at either side.At night, this table is removed, and the platform becomes a bed, embodying the Chinese aesthetic of elegant simplicity.
See what other delightful details you can spot, including a miniature calligraphy brush, a silver pipe and gong, and a silk kimono with matching black slippers.