Martin and Oliver Webb Fine Stone Miniatures. Museum quality handmade miniatures of stone carvings for the collector and connoisseur.
Catalogue No.27.

Frequently Asked Questions

Back to Explore Our World page  Back to Fine Stone Miniatures home page
What is a roof boss?

A roof boss is the carved, protruding underside of the keystone forming the meeting point between two or more vaulting ribs. The roof boss itself, though extensively decorated, fulfils a structural role in architecture - it is not merely a carved stone trinket. A roof boss is essentially the key-stone that forms the meeting point of several converging vaulting ribs, which are the load bearing arches supporting the vaulting itself. You might find our Stone Mason's Dictionary interesting.

What is a corbel?

A corbel is a load bearing stone which protrudes from the face of a wall. The load is carried upon the part of the stone which is cantilevered out, whilst the greater mass of the corbel is built into the wall to stabilise it and provide strength. Corbels can often be found supporting such elements of a building as beams, or a parapet which projects proud of the wall below. You might find our Stone Mason's Dictionary interesting.

Who is the Green Man?

See our Green Man Pages.

Of what are the miniatures made?

A reconstituted stone of our own formulation which, in nearly every case, contains stone removed from the relevant building.

Who makes the miniatures?

All the work, from photographing the original carving, to putting the finished miniature in its red box is done in our own workshops by us. The only exception to this being the few hand painted specials which have been painted by porcelain painters Judith Grainger and Jenny Fellows. Some of our earlier hand painted specials were also painted by Ruth Jackson.

Where did you acquire the skills?

Martin began working as a stained glass artist for his father, Christopher Webb, before training in silversmithing at Birmingham. He came into stone masonry as a result of wood carving which had been a hobby. Much of his time as a stone mason was spent in the West Midlands and Welsh Marches.

Oliver served an apprenticeship in stone masonry after a short time working in a furniture repair workshop. Most of Oliver's time as a stone mason was spent in the West Midlands, Wales and the Oxford area. Latterly Oliver retrained in the making and repair of stained glass. See Who We Are.

How accurate are the miniatures to the original carvings?

Extremely! We take very great pains to reproduce every detail and feature as accurately and faithfully as is possible. On odd occasions we have executed "repairs" where the original has been damaged - as on our miniatures No.78 and No.83.

How long does it take to make a new miniature?

This varies a bit, dependant upon the complexity of the carving, though typically we would expect to put in 180 man hours on developing a new miniature.

To what scale are the miniatures made?

Various. The original carvings vary in size tremendously and if the miniatures were made to a common scale some would be the size of dinner plates and some the size of your thumb nail! To make the set more logical we have made them all roughly the same sizes.

What size are the miniatures?

Most fit into a presentation box 4 1/2 inches (12 cm) square. Nearly every piece on this web site has its height specified on its catalogue page. See About Our Miniatures.

How much do the miniatures weigh?

Their weights vary somewhat, though an average figure of 700 grams per piece is a good guide. The Truro heads, however, are heavier - about 1,200 grams including presentation box.

How strong are the miniatures' nylon hanging loops?

The hanging loops may look flimsy, but rest assured, they actually have a breaking strain of 9,050 grams or 20 lbs.

Are the miniatures unique?

Yes, as far as we know! To the best of our knowledge no one else has made such accurate miniatures of roof boss and corbel carvings.

Who owns the copyright?

The owner of the original carving, of course, owns the copyright to that carving, but since all our miniatures are hand made (not merely casts taken from the original) we own the copyright to the miniatures. All of our pieces have been made with the full cooperation of the owners of the originals.

How should the miniatures be displayed?
In any way you wish! We are constantly surprised and delighted to see how people have incorporated our miniatures into their homes, whether hanging up on the wall, or attached to some feature like a fire place or actually built into the fabric of the building. Take a look at our Gallery Pages.
Can the miniatures be used as candle holders?

Yes, but we recommend that the candles are not allowed to burn right down to the surface of the miniature since, over time, this could result in damage to the piece. See some. Always remember, never leave a candle unattended, or positioned close to a curtain or other flammable materials.

Can the miniatures be placed outside?

The miniatures may be placed outside. But it would be best to avoid siting them in extremely frost-prone situations such as lying flat on wet soil. Treat them as you would a piece of limestone or an earthenware pot. See some.

What new pieces are you working on?

Look at our New Lines Page.

How many complete collections are there out there?

To be honest, we don't really know. But since "complete" would include the few discontinued lines, some of which (No.s 3, 4 and 13) were made only in small numbers, probably very few truly complete sets exist. Excluding these rarities we know of about a dozen, but I'm sure there are others. 

How many miniatures are currently available?

All, except catalogue numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 13 and 47.

Why are numbers 2, 3, 4, 13, and 47 unavailable at present?

No. 2 has been reworked as No.75. Nos. 3 and 4 were flat panels of relief carving and didn't really fit in with the rest of the range of miniatures as part of a "set". No. 13 has recently been reworked as No. 86. No. 47 became No. 66 - differing in colour. Visit our Online Museum.

The question I would like answered is not here!

Please email it to us, please click on the following link: Email us.

Catalogue No. 10.

Back to the top of this page  Back to Explore Our World page  Back to Fine Stone Miniatures home page