Just when you thought you’d seen every single rendition of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton there was to see, you stumble on this miniature model version painstakingly constructed out of no fewer than 40,000 matchsticks! Created sometime in the 1960s by late Brighton artist, Bernard Martell, who had the kind of skills we thought at that point were lost to the world. From the impossibly intricate curved woodwork on the domes to the lattice detailing on the front colums to all of it, Mr Martell brought small-scale craftsmanship into the realm of high art.
It’s about a hundred times smaller than the real Royal Pavilion and it took Mr Martell over 1700 painstaking hours to meticulously reproduce every single tiny detail, apparently working on it four nights a week, five hours a night to clock up the time.
In 1974, it was put on display at the Tourist Information Office inside Marlborough House at the time. It’s also thought to have been exhibited in France at some point, before it was auctioned sometimes in the 1980s. It was at this point it made its way across the Atlantic to New York, where it’s lived every since and is now up for sale. Yours for a mere £18,000! Please, feel free to take a moment to absorb this.
Meanwhile, for those who aren’t sure, here’s a little history lesson on the Royal Pavilion. It was built in the early 1800s as seaside ‘party’ palace for the hedonistic King George IV, known for his love of entertaining. It was designed by the architect John Nash in the the Anglo-Raj style fashionable in the English Regency period with its domes, minarets and intricate embellishments, inspired by the architecture in Colonial India.
And in case you were wondering, this matchstick version comes in a custom-made glass case and mounted on a black lacquered Parsons table. Check out the listing, here.