by Amy Flora
While in Oslo a few weekends ago, between shockingly expensive pints and looking at beautiful architecture, I visited the Mini Bottle Gallery. The Mini Bottle Gallery was surprising and a total delight. Open only for a few hours on the weekend, the gallery is a little slice of kitschy heaven. It really is just the largest collection of miniature bottles.
A half-drunk glass bottle of Gordon’s Gin is the first bottle in the collection, as well as the only one that isn’t completely full. In the sixties, when liquor bottles on planes were still glass, the founder’s father brought home this bottle of gin as a souvenir. This small act of sharing between father and son spurred on a beautiful collection.
The gallery is divided into three levels, with different groupings of bottles clustered throughout. Bottles are divided thematically, geographically and by variety of alcohol. In the “Sporting” section, there are bottles shaped like sports equipment (e.g., tennis rackets, footballs), and each type of equipment has an associated video of someone participating in the sport. The videos highlight essentially underwhelming events in each sport, clips of tournaments one would never have remembered.
The “Celebrity Wall” has bottles shaped in the likeness of Elvis and Charles Lindbergh, among others. The video display allows you to watch a minute-long clip of the celebrity’s music or a newsreel highlighting a culturally relevant accomplishment. The wall features no current celebrities, likely as miniature-themed liquor bottles are less likely to be produced for the likes of Taylor Swift.
The second floor features a map of the world that takes up an entire wall and has a miniature liquor bottle for each country. Sadly, Canada is represented by Crown Royal Whisky, which I personally find entirely undrinkable.
In the basement, off to the side, there is a “horror room.” Along with loud noises and an animatronic skeleton, there are bottles shaped as body parts. Though the room feels like a bit of an afterthought, it was unpleasant enough that I didn’t linger long.
I was very sad to leave this odd little place. It is somewhere I definitely intend to visit again, if only to steal one of the miniature bottle chandeliers for my flat.