Another day at the museum

Three guesses where I spent the day yesterday... Well, no challenge there, I was at the museum again. In my previous post I showed ...



Three guesses where I spent the day yesterday... Well, no challenge there, I was at the museum again.
In my previous post I showed you the beautiful Simpliciakast, a miniature apothecary.  A few days after I posted about the cabinet I saw that the museum was holding a lecture on the restoration of the cabinet.    Of course I just had to go there!

I wasn't the only one wanting to visit the museum that day.  When I arrived there were hundreds of people in line outside, waiting to get in.  I waited in line for twenty minutes but got a little worried as there was no movement at all and the lecture was starting 15 minutes later.   I went up to one of the security guards and explained my situation.  When I showed him my reservation, fortunately he let me jump the queue and I was able to make it in time to the Auditorium.



The lecture was fun and interesting.  The wonderful thing about these lectures is the things you find out about an object you wouldn't really know when you look at it in the museum gallery.  For instance the meaning of the Latin text and the five small paintings on the cabinet, all relating to the profession of the apothecary.    

Many times a comparison was drawn with the dolls houses in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, as these were also miniature collections used for display and to show off.  



The thing I enjoyed most was seeing how there were many hidden compartments in the cabinet.   The small central alcove or niche can be taken out after which, with the help of a hidden pulley system,  the entire centre section of the cabinet lifts up to reveal a set of secret drawers.  These drawers are all compartmentalized using the most beautiful designs to hold all manner of stones, animal and vegetable specimens.

The bottom of the cabinet holds a writing slope and yet more drawers.   For those of you interested in this cabinet, the Rijksmuseum will be publishing a small book about the Simpliciakast around June/July.  I'll keep you informed!

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This time I just had to visit the room with the famous dolls houses.  It was very busy in these galleries so I didn't feel comfortable monopolizing the house with my camera.  Therefore I have only two photos to show you of the  Petronella Oortman dolls house   but there are many more photos to be found online.

These two photos can be viewed much bigger when you open them in a new window.



The cabinet and the rooms are much much larger than I remembered.  This dolls house is BIG!  But oh so beautiful!   Here is a shot of one of the bedrooms.  I love the gorgeous wood paneling and the raspberry red velvet wall covering (is it velvet?  I think so, I'll check next time I visit.)  And the silver wall sconces against the red is stunning.  And the ceiling, and the mirror, and, and...



This is the central hall of the dolls house.  Beautiful wood is used again, this time set off against the grey and white tones of the marble and the murals.  And another wonderful ceiling.  Above the two arches there are two window looking into the ' comptoir'  (a small study).

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I leave you today with this photo of a mirror from around 1700 which I thought would be good to make  a miniature version of.  Or a simplified version of it, as this may be a tad ambitious ;-)


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36 comments

  1. And...and...and I am totally green with envy right now that you got to see the inner workings of the kas ;-). Oh, please keep me up to date about the little book they are going to publish.

    The dollhouse is beautiful and I can't wait to see all of this in June!

    The mirror is stunning, I like the cupboard and blue and white china that you can see in the mirror too!

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    1. Hi Elga, Yes that was soooo cool! I love mechanical cabinets anyway, but one which is a miniature room and holds a collection of 'rariteiten' (rare objects) is even more special! I hope the book will show all this as well.

      You must come to the museum in a few weeks. I'll go with you if you like.
      I hope the mass of people will have diminished somewhat by then. But I must say that at the moment we have a lot of tourists visiting Amsterdam because of the installation of our new king and it was raining on Friday (the day before had been warm and sunny) so they probably decided all to go to the museum at that time because it rained.
      I read your question on Facebook, the thing with the long lines is that for safety reasons they only let in a certain amount of people. So when I got there (and everyone in Amsterdam decided to escape the rain and go to the museum) the maximum was reached and they start a sort of 'one-in-one-out' system (well not really of course, but you know what I mean). There is a fast 'ish' lane for people who already have a ticket, so it would be helpful to purchase a ticket online. But I suppose the best thing to do is not to go on a rainy day, and go early.

      That room you see in the mirror has a few really good pieces. Well, more than a few of course. Some fantastic blue and white china pieces, the cabinet you mentioned and a great bed with embroidery. I took photos of all of these, but my post would be way too long. I thought a mirror like that would be a good thing to learn some marquetry, but looking at it again it is probably a bit ambitious.

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    2. Well, I certainly won't say no to having you as an escort to the museum, the only day that would really work with no time pressures is Monday the 3rd, I was so glad to see that they are open 7 days a week. I will e-mail you soon.

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  2. Es precioso y supongo que mas en vivo que en la foto. Lástima que quede tan lejos.

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    1. It is more beautiful in reality Isabel! Yes it is a shame it is so far away for most people. But at least we have the opportunity to look at photos on the Internet ;-) Maybe you will have the opportunity to come over here one day and see it all in person.

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  3. My dear, thank you for this series of posts about the museum. I have been there thirteen years ago, and this has been critical to rediscover my true passions. See the dollhouse of Petronella, surrounded by so many other beautiful work of art, was like lid off a pot of boiling water :-)
    Blessed are you that you can visit this wonderful source of inspiration whenever you feel like it :-)
    Mini lovely hugs
    Flora

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    1. Ah yes Flora, I do realise how lucky I am to be only a short trainride away from a visit. I have promised myself I will make use of this opportunity as often as I can!
      How wonderful to hear it was the Petronella houses which have released your passion! I hope you will be able to revisit soon and see the houses in their new surroundings.

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  4. O, ik zou mijn ogen uitkijken, als ik in de gelegenheid was om dat moois te kunnen bekijken. Dat zou genieten eerste klas zijn. Die apothekerskast, hemeltje, wat zal die lezing daarover interessant zijn geweest en dan een kijkje in die kast.....pfiew!
    Elga heeft gelijk: via de spiegel zie je zelfs nog meer interessante voorwerpen om te kunnen bekijken.
    Hartelijk bedankt voor het delen van deze prachtige foto's.
    Fijn weekend. Groet, Ilona

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    1. Ilona, het museum staat natuurlijk vol met interessante voorwerpen ;-) Het is echt heel mooi geworden en veel stukken zijn prachtig gerestaureerd, dus het is net of je veel dingen weer voor het eerst ziet.
      Ik hoop dat je snel eens in de gelegenheid bent om zelf een bezoek te brengen!

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  5. Dear Josje,
    Thanks for sharing.
    Nice weekend.
    Dorien

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  6. Heel, heel lang geleden ben ik ook in het museum geweest, zo lang geleden dat ik het mij amper herinner ;) Wat leuk om deze berichten te lezen (ik loop een beetje achter met bloggen) en foto's te zien. Prachtig die kast maar ook het poppenhuis, het lijken wel echte 1:1 kamers! Ook je prachtige bank meteen bekeken! Geweldig allemaal.
    Fijn weekend.
    Groetjes Nancy

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    1. Dank je wel Nancy! Als het al zo lang geleden is dat je er bent geweest dan is het reden te meer om van de zomer eens te gaan ;-)

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  7. WOW! What a BEAUTIFUL cabinet!!! I would love to see that. The antique dollhouse is amazing. Is it in 1: 12 scale I wonder. Thank you for sharing those pictures! Good luck if you decide to made that mirror. :-)

    I am sure you have seen this desk in the museum but maybe not the video of how it works.
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/MKikHxKeodA?feature=player_embedded

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    1. Hi Catherine, I think the houses are bigger than 1:12th scale, I'm not sure of the scale. Some things (like some silver pieces) are not to scale, I think they were not that worried about it then.

      Thank you for the link of the video. I had seen it before, but it continues to fascinate me. There is a fabulous Roentgen desk at the museum which, even though it is beautiful closed, I would love to see opened!

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  8. Wat leuk, een lezing over die apothekerskast lijkt me erg interessant. En de poppenhuizen in het Rijks zijn geweldig, zelfs de kast er omheen is al waanzinnig mooi. Qua inrichting vind ik persoonlijk het poppenhuis in het Frans Hals museum in Haarlem mooier, maar het totaal incl. kast is mooier in het Rijksmuseum. Jammer dat het er zo druk was of misschien reden om weer snel terug te gaan. Dan zien wij vast ook weer nieuwe mooie foto's.

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    1. Ja was erg interessant Inge! Er zijn twee lezingen iedere week en iedereen is welkom. Tot nu toe is er steeds maar een handjevol mensen, maar dat zullen er wel meer worden als het eenmaal bekender wordt.
      Ik ben al heel lang niet in het Frans Halsmuseum geweest, kan ik ook wel eens doen binnenkort! Ik ben het met je eens wat betreft de poppenhuizen in de twee musea. De kast in het Rijks is zo enorm indrukwekkend!

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    2. Wat heerlijk om er zo dichtbij te zijn en dan al die informatie op te mogen slurpen, genieten! Frans Halsmuseum zou ik ook zeker doen als ik jou was, Haarlem is ook nog eens een prachtige stad.

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  9. es un museo maravilloso que suerte tener algo así cerca de casa.
    un abrazo

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  10. It's really nice to know that such beauty in miniature is being preserved for future generations to enjoy. Kind regards, Brian.

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    1. Absolutely Brian! For me it is wonderful to see how enthusiastic the restorers are about the pieces and finding out more about their history, and then sharing it with the public.

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  11. Dag Josje, gelukkig is het Rijksmuseum weer open. Wat een prachtige werken hebben ze daar. De apothekerskast is echt onvoorstelbaar fraai en kostbaar uitgevoerd. Wat leuk om zo'n lezing bij te wonen; extra achtergrondinformatie maakt dat zo'n object nog meer "leeft" voor jou als toeschouwer. En ja, het poppenhuis van Petronella; wat schitterend is het toch. Ik moet echt snel eens naar Amsterdam :-) Bedankt voor je inspirerende post.

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    1. Dat zeg je mooi Liduina, het 'leeft' inderdaad meer. Op de een of andere manier wordt het ook een beetje 'jouw' kast daardoor, het wordt persoonlijker.
      Ja je moet echt een keer naar Amsterdam komen, snel doen hoor!

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  12. Thank you, Josge, for sharing this beauty and richness. I do wish I could see it in person but that's not going to happen. Thanks to the internet, I am able to travel throughout this big world of ours and see things I would never see otherwise. I can see why you would want to return over and over again to this lovely museum. Thank you for sharing all this and explaining so many things. That big cabinet is a true wonder and work of art.

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    1. You're welcome Lucille. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

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  13. Hello Josje! Thank you again for the guided tour and the information on the apothecary cabinet. I am also fascinated by the richness of the contents of the baby houses and the marble hallway with the little study above the arches was an inspiration. I love those little unexpected bits that make sense when you know about them but are quirky and unusual.

    elizabeth

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    1. You're welcome Elizabeth! I knew about the little study from a huge book on the Dutch baby houses. Most people probably don't know it is there, even when they are standing in front of the house looking in. It must have been an essential part of the Dutch house to have it in there, even though it is hidden from view!

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  14. Hi Josje,

    Thank you for the link to the Dollhouse, the images are wonderful, it really is a beautiful work of art and I just love the room with the mural. It is so lovely to have all these interesting artefacts so close to home. I recall visiting our Melbourne museum a short time after being in Europe, it really was a huge disappointment in comparison.

    I'm off to the Sydney DH fair this weekend and whilst its our biggest fair it will be tiny in comparison to yours.......we do have lots of blue sky and wide open spaces though....it's not all bad....; )

    Fi xx

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    1. Oh I realize how lucky I am to be able to see such beautiful works of art on a regular basis. Now I just have to take the time to actually go and see them!

      Have fun in Sydney this weekend, I'm sure it will be great!

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  15. Wow! That's amazing! Thanks for sharing the fotos!!!

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  16. What an impressive dollhouse! It really gave me some great, new ideas for a future project. I just had a visit to a museum in Chicago to see a famous dollhouse: Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. Hopefully, I will get to 'your' museum, some day!

    XOXO,
    John

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    1. Hi John, yeah! ideas for a new project! I look forward to those!
      How wonderful you got to see Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. I have been to Chicago several times in the past and could now kick myself for not having gone and seen that dolls house. But as you said, hopefully one day...

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  17. Dear Josje,

    Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring post. What wonderful mastery! I wish we had some of these works in Minneapolis!

    Wishing you the very best!

    Brad

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    1. Hi Brad, these baby houses truly are beautiful. I'm just glad they have been cared for so well and are still here for us to see! I hope you'll be able to come this way and see them in person one day!

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