Oil la la! An exciting threesome...

About three years ago I found  a beautiful photo of a 17th century chest holding porcelain bottles with precious oils in the archives of...



About three years ago I found a beautiful photo of a 17th century chest holding porcelain bottles with precious oils in the archives of the Rijksmuseum.   I thought it could be a beautiful miniature object so I emailed the picture to Jens Torp.  


Fast forward a few years...and here is the miniature version in my house.  The piece is a collaboration between three miniature artists.  The box was made by Geoffrey Wonnacott, the porcelain bottles were made by Terry Curran and the silver is by Jens Torp.   Not a bad threesome, right?  ;-)


Isn't it beautiful?  The original chest had velvet on the inside of the lid.  I may still put some in my small version as well, if I can find a fabric which is suitable.  


In the days of the Dutch United East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC), these type of chests were used as gifts to sweeten deals and maintain good relations with Asian rulers.  


The porcelain bottles were ordered in Japan and the wooden chests were added by carpenters in Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia).  The contents of the bottles was what it was all about: rare and very expensive fragrant oils.


The box combines three things I love:  wood, porcelain and silver.  Another treasure in my collection!


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63 comments

  1. realmente todo un tesoro felicidades por conseguirla
    un abrazo

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    1. Thank you Contar, I'm very happy with it!

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  2. That is a treasure indeed. So precious and such beautiful craftsmanship. It looks beautiful in your house.
    X
    Veronique

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    1. Thanks Veronique. I think it will go in a different room eventually, but I still have to build the room ;-)

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hallo Josje, ik heb net mijn vorige comment verwijderd, want weet je wat ik in mijn enthousiasme schreef nog voordat ik goed je tekst gelezen had? Het was dit: "zoiets kostbaars als je in deze post toont zou je verwachten in het Rijksmuseum". Kortom; je missie is geslaagd! :-) Gefeliciteerd met dit prachtige juweel van een miniatuur!

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    1. Haha ja Liduina! Ik ben van plan eens naar het Rijks te gaan en dan m'n miniatuur te fotograferen naast het origineel. Ik heb het nog niet gezien tijdens mijn laatste bezoeken aan het Rijks, maar het moet er zijn.

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  5. Beautiful, and I guess the lock works :-)

    I have a piece of old dark blue cotton velvet, fairly thin, you are welcome to a small snippet, you won't need much for that lid.

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    1. Well Elga, the lock works, but not in the way you would like it to. The key is merely decorative.

      As for the fabric...I will be visiting the silk store tomorrow!!! And visit two more Canal House museums (just checking them out for your next visit of course). ;-)

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    2. Enjoy the fabric shopping and checking out the houses, now I can't wait for my next trip :-)

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    3. Well I have found another lovely house to visit next time Elga. Another lovely Canal House with a beautiful garden. I just can't believe I had never been there before! I'll do a short post about it soon. Unfortunately I didn't have time to visit the fabric store anymore. I got there at five minutes to six, so I decided I'd have to go another time. I did have a great day though.

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  6. This really is a little treasure. A masterpiece in your collection.

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    1. Thank you Fabiola! It is a very special piece!

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  7. Hai contribuito con i tuoi desideri alla creazione di un vero capolavoro! Sei molto fortunata, Josje!!!

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    1. I agree with you Blanche, I am very lucky to have such a beautiful desire fulfilled!

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  8. That is more then beautiful. What a wonderful treasure to have in your collection. I love everything about it. Each of the people who created it are fabulous craftsmen.

    Have you considered flocking the inside of the box? That would look just like velvet without adding bulk.

    BTW...I found some miniature chandeliers I thought you might like to see.
    http://www.crescenteminiatures.com/Galleries.html

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    1. Flocking is an option I had not thought about. I have never used flocking before, but I'll have a look at the material at the Apeldoorn show next month. Thank you for the suggestion! As I am writing this it occured to me I could cut my own flocking from silk fibers, couldn't I?

      The chandeliers are stunning! Such a shame he only exhibits in Chicago. I would love to see the chandeliers in real life. Thank you for the link Catherine!

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    2. I think you would be a lot happier with the sort of flock you buy. I have cut a lot of it to use on animals out of a few different fibers No matter how hard you try, it is not a consistent. That is fine for an animal but I would rather have machine cut flock for a box. It will be a lot finer.

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    3. Thank you for the advice. Bought flock in a box it will be then ;-)

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  9. C' est une très jolie réalisation . J' aime particulièrement les flacons .c' est une trrès bonne idée de réunir trois artisans de talent ! Je suis sûre qu' ils ont dû beaucoup aimer travailler ensemble sur ce projet .

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    1. I hope they enjoyed it...They certainly did a wonderful job on it!

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  10. Hello Josje! I can see why this is such a treasure in your collection! It is worth its weight in Gold! How wonderful too that the lids come off those precious bottles!! Everything is Exquisite! I like the glass dish with the red coral too! Well, for that matter, I adore the chest of drawers and the paintings with the beautifully carved and gilded frames. In conclusion, Josje. I think that this entire vignette is SUPERB!

    elizabeth

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth. The coral stand is actually made of ivory by the Dutch miniaturist couple Vonas Miniaturen, who specialize in turned ivory and wooden objects. Their work is exquisite! Unfortunately they don't have a website. The lighting in the first few photos is a bit odd which makes the ivory almost look translucent and therefore looks like glass.
      The chest of drawers is another one of my treasures, made by Mark Gooch. The top drawer hides a mirror and several little lidded compartments. It is sooo beautifully made!
      And the paintings, more favourites...I must say I love many of the pieces I have collected over the years!

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  11. This collaboration of work is beautiful!

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  12. They are exquisite! I can't get over how beautiful they are. A velvet lining would be magnificent. Another perfect bauble for your stunning house.

    XOXO,
    John

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    1. Thank you John! I do love all of my pieces :-)

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  13. Hey Josje
    The box and it's contents are simply beautiful! I love the chest of drawers they are on too.
    Oh, and I really LOVE this blue drawing room.
    X

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    1. Thanks Simon. I can see the room from where I am sitting now and I must say it is my favourite room.
      The chest of drawers is by Mark Gooch and it hides a few little secrets in the top drawer. I'll have to do a post on that piece one day, it is so beautifully made!

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  14. Josje, that's wonderful! (I love these three kinds of material!)
    Hello, Anda

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  15. Lucky you, it so beautiful:)
    It's on my list to ....

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    1. I know...You have seen it in London? And you know it is a limited edition, right? Better hurry, haha!

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  16. Todas las piezas son espectaculares, es muy afortunada con ese tesoro:-)

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  17. Josje,
    I have seen this wonderful miniature in person - it is truly wonderful! I agree that the filled chest is a stunning collaboration of three extremely talented craftsmen!
    Martha

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    1. Yes it is! And I am so pleased to have sent the photo over to Jens in the first place.

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  18. Heel erg gaaf, wat is dat toch mooi die zwaluwstaartverbinding van het kistje, zo knap in mini. En Jens Torp, iedere keer weer geweldig om te zien wat hij maakt. Een van zijn workshops volgen staat ook nog op mijn to-do lijst. Een mooie aanwinst heb je.

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    1. Dank je Inge. Als je de kans krijgt moet je zeker zo'n workshop volgen. Altijd leuk, je leert weer iets bij en gaat naar huis met een mooi stukje zilver, wat wil je nog meer? ;-)

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  19. Now that is something I reeeally covet - bad me! I just adore those boxes, necessaires, etuis, all holding special treasures inside. What a remarkable item, you must be so pleased to have instigated it's creation.

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    1. Oh I do too Margaret, both in miniature and full sized ones. I am so pleased that three talented craftsmen decided to make the box as I (and others) get to enjoy it now!

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  20. Dear Josje,

    What wonderful detail in the bottle. They are so exquisite. I love them. Thank you for another wonderful post. By the way, I watched your tutorial on gilding picture frames. I am trying it out on my picture frames for my room box. Thank you so much for sharing your techniques!

    All best,
    Brad

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    1. You're welcome Brad, thank you for your lovely comment. I hope you'll enjoy the gilding. I always love the result on the pieces I have gilded. There is just no comparison to real gold!

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  21. Hallo Josje,

    Wat een prachtige miniaturen kun je toevoegen aan je verzameling. Echt vakwerk deze mooie miniaturen. Veel plezier ermee.

    Groeten Xandra

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    1. Dank je wel Xandra, ik ben er ook erg blij mee!

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  22. It is truly a treasure, a masterpiece.
    Geneviève

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  23. Vakwerk van vakminiaturisten zijn altijd een mooie aanvulling aan jouw al prachtige verzameling van miniaturen, Josje, geniet ervan!
    Groet, Ilona

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  24. Collaborations always result in more then the sum of the individuals :) And this is pretty box is no exception. I wondered if the lock was working as well, but you already answered that question in your comments. I think it's neat you've commissioned it, if i read you well. It's wonderful to see collectors turn to artisans for their desire in miniatures. It challenges makers and in the end you get what you were looking for. But i guess this one wasn't cheap. But then again; it's gor-geous!

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    1. It wasn't so much a commision, more a suggestion ;-) Which I am very glad was taken up by these three craftsmen! No it wasn't cheap, as you know it can't be as the artisans have to make a living. But it is a limited edition which makes it more 'affordable' than a one-off piece. I just live on bread and water the rest of the year, look for a very skinny person at the next show! ;-)

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  25. It's gorgeous...!! They've all did a great job to create this stunning piece.
    And I'm more then impressed by the painting skills of Terry Curran.
    Thanks for showing

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    1. They do look good, don't they? But our painting skills are also pretty good by now ;-) I am already thinking about my new project for next week, but can't remember what porcelain I ordered...

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  26. Tout simplement magnifique et très précieux
    amitiés
    Sylvie

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  27. I think my head just exploded from the incredible detail and sheer beauty of this chest...

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    1. Oh dear! I hope you'll be able to piece it all back together ;-) But yes, the detail is lovely!

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  28. Oh Mama! You always amaze me :-)
    I am increasingly convinced that your dollhouses will constitute the future corpus at the Rijks :-)
    This is an extraordinary work and my praise goes to both, the artist and the client.
    Lovely hugs,
    Flora

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    1. Aww thank you Flora! For now I will just enjoy my building and my collection ;-) Who knows what will happen to it over time. It always amazes me we have several beautiful old dollshouses in our museums, so complete and in good condition. We are lucky to have them available on show for the public.

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  29. Hi Josje,

    I have been a follower for awhile and a long admirer of your work on Pinterest but this is my first comment because I just have to let you know how very much I love your work! The scenes you put together are so authentic and so lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    Sus

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    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Susan!

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