The House on Top, 1982
General Range (John Hine)

Size: 6 x 5 x 4 1/4 inches
Issue price $92
800 634-0431 or email

This is another treat for the collector to go exploring with a magnifying glass to discover delightful pieces of detail. The suggestion for this sculpture is that a house has been built on a sheer piece of rock jutting out from the edge of a lake. Because it is impossible to add on to the ground, the house has developed over the centuries, clinging to the rock face, supported by great beams of oak.
   With the passing of time the buildings have taken on distorted shapes as the wooden beams settle, giving graceful curves in the roofs and interesting bows and shapes to the walls. Notice the hefty wooden doors on the top house and feel the insecurity of people living in remote places, vulnerable to attack by travelling thugs. This house is far from the comfort and security of the village, remote and very much out on its own.

Also a so-called "Fantasy" piece (along with House of the Master Mason, Hermit's Humble Home and Woodcutter's Cottage). Rare early pieces have a sheer drop leading from just outside the double doors of the "house on top" down into the cave below which was blocked up very soon into production. During the first two years, the gaps which originally existed behind the curved beams supporting the overhanging buildings were gradually filled in with greenery. By 1984 they had all been blocked up up. Beyond the main double doors is a tunnel which leads right through to the other side of the piece, and halfway along the passage is a half door. This may be missing on later pieces as moulds were deteriorating toward the end of production. When this piece was sculpted in 1982, another company had just started producing miniature cottages and the name "House on Top" is a veiled reference to the superiority of David Winter Cottages.