Royston has been making architectural interior models for most of his life, using paper and card until they were directed to a shop in Norwich who sold them a pot of silicone rubber and casting material. Royston created the master mould, handed it to Fiona who produced the requisite number of casts. And so began a more mechanised and precise result.
In the mid 1980s, Sir Tatton Sykes invited them to Sledmere in Yorkshire to discuss a model of the exterior of his house. They proposed instead a model on a scale of 1:8 of his Drawing Room, together with its miniature portraits and furniture (chairs 4½ins high). This was their first commissioned model and was featured in Country Life.
When Lord Rothschild undertook the refurbishment of the London’s Spencer House overlooking St James’s Park, he wanted a model of an interior of their choice which he had planned to give to the Princess of Wales. They chose the Painted Room for its complexity. They proceeded to measure and photograph every detail, using the workmen’s scaffolding to get up to the ceiling.
The furniture for the room had been dispersed and they had to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kenwood House and then Althorp to measure and photograph the chairs, sofas and tripod candelabra. The room’s original colours had to be deduced from old black and white photographs. The semi circular dome was difficult, but achieved at the third attempt. When he first saw it, Lord Rothschild described the model as ‘a work of genius’. Articles followed in the Weekend Telegraph and Perspectives on Architecture. It is now on display at Spencer House (the ladies’ powder room).
Many ceilings, wall elevations and items of furniture and a garden ornament have been made on 1:8 scale to the designs of late 18th century architects, James Wyatt, Robert Adam, and George Richardson. All in private collections.