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  • Writer's pictureL. Delaney

Lady Delaney & Banko Box Announce Their Debut Dollhouse Kit

Two years ago, sketchbook in hand, Jakob Rosenzweig and I walked Magazine Street. An architect by training, Jakob is the founder of Banko Box, a design studio whose tunnel books "pay tribute to Tatebanko 立版古, a 17th Century Japanese art of making scenic dioramas out of paper." I met Jakob when his work was stocked at my Magazine Street shop, The Imaginarium, and there wasn't a day that'd go by without some delighted visitor leaving the shop with one of his pieces.

Double Shotgun House Tunnel Book by Banko Box

I'm not sure when the idea of creating a dollhouse together first came up, but the process from inception to release has been a long one, and, for Jakob, has involved: a crash course in the world of dollhouse miniatures, numerous cardboard mock ups, and lots of patience.

Our first priority in conceiving the kit was to honor the historical architectural of New Orleans, particularly along its Magazine Street corridor. If you are interested in doing a deep dive on this subject while you wait for yours to arrive, The Incomparable Magazine Street offers a peek into the whirl of life on this famous thoroughfare, from its shops, to its restaurants, to its galleries, and even its alligator museum.

The Incomporable Magazine Street, by John Magill and Margot Landen, 2017  

From the book's insights, and our experiences as frequent prowlers of the neighborhood, we envisioned a structure whose ground floor could host a commercial venture, with studio space up top. The finished building features two levels, French windows, gracious high ceilings (to scale, ma chère!), a sidewalk, and roof space. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without a balcony to watch the Irish Channel's Saint Patty's Day Parade.

"Magazine Street" 1:12 dollhouse prototype by Banko Box & Lady Delaney

Our second priority was creating a kit that would be accessible. Streamlined into about a dozen pieces, it goes together in just a few minutes, allowing "proprietors" to get to work on the fun part: filling it with their story. Seasoned veterans will appreciate that no fine details have been spared in its streamlining. And it is our hope that it will be a means of welcoming new people to the hobby. Those who have been curious witnesses to the miniature fervor sweeping social media may now take the stage. We can't wait to see their stories unfold, in this miniature architectural reverie of the city where "there is time for play of the imagination over the facts of life."

When the kit's preorder goes live, newsletter subscribers will be the first to hear, receiving a special coupon code. Subscribe here and be the first to know.

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