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Pesce likes to add personalized touches to his houses, little surprises that reflect something about the recipient or the people who lived there. A replica of his old kitchen has a ketchup bottle on the table, because he said his partner, Tim Parkinson, puts the condiment on just about everything.

Some of the smallest houses are encased in snow globes, minus the water. Some of the rooms are fashioned in boxes that resemble open books.

The extent of detail depends on the scale — the larger the replica, the greater the detail.

The larger houses and rooms are furnished, often with purchased dollhouse furniture and accessories and sometimes with items he makes himself. A dollhouse he made for a neighbor’s grandchildren, for example, has a stair runner he made by photocopying a picture of an Arts and Crafts rug from a magazine. A replica of Emmett Kelly’s dressing room included an album filled with tiny photos of the famous clown. The kitchens he creates often display breads or cookies he fashions from clay.

The houses inspire a childlike wonder, but they’re too delicate to stand up to the rough handling little ones might dish them. “Children can play with these … but older, with supervision,” he said.

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