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The Buckalters: A Mini Love Affair

Jerry and Claire Buckalter of Suffern, New York had a decades long marriage filled with love. They also had a shared love and passion for fine scale miniatures. Their devotion is reflected in the extensive collection of beautiful miniatures they worked together to curate. I'm happy to have helped find happy homes for their treasures in my Fall 2o21 auction on September 19 on

The Buckalters traveled to shows, collaborated on projects, and even crafted their own miniatures which they lovingly placed in room boxes and mini scenes throughout their home. The love they shared for each other, combined with their love of miniatures helped assemble a beautiful collection of exquisite tiny treasures.

Some of the pieces in their collection included a tufted leather chair and ottoman by Lynn Whisenant, a double bass by Ken Manning, a Georgian secretary by Neil Bateson and hand painted picture by Paul Saltarelli.

Both husband and wife spent their professional lives working in education; Claire was a schoolteacher, and Jerry was principal in a high school in suburban New York, just north of New York City, where they lived for many years.

It was during the late 1990s and early 2000s, during their well-deserved retirement, that they became entrenched in the miniatures world and focused on building their collection.

As a couple, they took classes in miniature-making and honed a broad range of skills enabling them to create flowers, furniture, works of needlepoint, and roomboxes. They also developed a keen eye for twelfth scale miniatures, navigating the show circuit, meeting artisans, making purchases and commissioning works. They built strong relationships with many artists and their collection grew to become filled with extraordinary miniatures made by some of the most talented names in the miniatures universe.

I am pleased to present here just a few of their treasures: a hand-carved Georgian II burl wood secretary (c1740) complete with a double-bonnet cornice by Neil Bateson, a set of French Rosewood furniture inspired by Andre Charles Boulle, decorated with ebony veneers and intricate brass fretwork by Geoff Wonnacott and a limited-edition sterling silver and crystal epergene by Pete Acquisto.

Other artisan-signed pieces from The Buckalter Estate include a leather top hardwood rent table by Michael Walton, a Victorian birdcage by David Krupick, a painted fireplace screen by Natasha Beshencovsky, porcelain by Debra Welsh and Lee Ann Chellis Wessel, a Chippendale sideboard by Ferd Sobel, framed paintings by Paul Saltarelli, 1/144 scale roombox by Nell Corkin and a tufted leather comfy chair by Lynn Whisenant.

Every piece collected by the Buckalters is an expression of love and passion along with a story to tell. We can only imagine Jerry and Claire’s exciting conversations as they discovered once-in-a-lifetime treasured miniatures and made them a part of their collection.

I am privileged to help find happy homes for the collection and to give each piece, the artists and, importantly, the Buckalters, the consideration and recognition they deserve.

Every great love story should have a happy ending and inspire future great loves, especially when miniatures are involved!



Until Next Time Thank you for being a part of the D. Thomas Miniatures Community!


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