...big exhibitions of the miniature world!

Remember this kitchen I made about a year ago?  I am pleased to say it is now in an exhibition at the Museum Bredius in The Hague.  The exhibition is called 'Tall and small' and shows a large collection of miniature silver, mostly from the 17th and 18th century. 

It  is the first time  Dutch antique miniature silver is exhibited alongside some of its full sized examples.  The exhibition shows hundreds of miniatures from the collections of the Museum Bredius and the The Hague antiques and jewelry dealer A.Aardewerk, supplemented with pieces on loan from international private collections.  

 For those of you who read Dutch, here is a link to a nice article in the paper De Telegraaf .
The exhibition can be seen until January 15, 2012. 

 Meanwhile at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (Municipal Museum of The Hague) there is another miniatures exhibition. This exhibition is called XXSmall and 'offers a model world of the past and present that will enthral visitors of all ages' as it says on the museum's website.  The items on display will not only be Dutch, but from many other countries as well.  You can read all about it here.

The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag houses the beautiful Sara Rothé dolls house, which dates from around 1745. This is one of the photos I shot of the dolls house interior when I visited the museum in June.  (Bottom left room in the dolls house).   The chest of drawers holds many silver items, a must in an 18th century dolls house! 
The museums website says: 'Silver miniatures will be a specific focus of this exhibition, with a literally dazzling display occupying a dedicated gallery and a separate publication being issued on the subject.'
The exhibition can be visited until March 25,2012.

I certainly will be visiting both exhibitions!

One of the students I met at Chris Malcomson's class last week was Hubert Boom.   Before the class started he told Chris he also made some furniture and asked whether we would like to see it.  But of course!  Don't we always want to see what others have made?  Hubert took a box out of his bag and opened it up.  When he presented us with the cabinet he made, our jaws dropped...

Hubert showing one of his cabinets at his brother's table at the Arnhem Fair.

Hubert showed us the most beautifully made Louis XVI cabinet.  Perfect in every detail.  Made exactly as the full size version was made.  Hubert told us that he's a cabinetmaker by trade and enjoyed using his skills to make a few miniatures.  We all wondered why on earth he was taking the class!

English bookcase (nearly finished)  made of beautiful palisander wood. 

During the fair, Hubert was helping his brother at his table (Piccolo, but the shop has now closed), where he had three more cabinets to show us.  I took these photos at the fair, so unfortunately you can see me and my camera in the refection of the glass.  This gorgeous bookcase was almost finished when I saw it.

It is so beautifully made.  The two doors on the left reveal open shelf space, the door on the right hides three drawers, all fully dovetailed of course. 

Early 19th century Dutch cabinet.

I love this cabinet.  It is so typically Dutch.  Just some very fine and simple decoration in the middle between the doors and below the columns.  This cabinet was made from mahogany.  The full sized cabinets were often mahogany veneered onto an oak construction or solid oak.  

My mother has a similar cabinet in full size.  I immediately noticed the bowed shelf inside the cabinet.  Fantastic!  What? A bowed shelf fantastic?  Yes, because the full scale cabinets all have bowing shelves due to the direction of the wood grain used for these shelves.  My mother's cabinet has bowing shelves as well.

Fine oak Louis XVI cabinet.

This is the cabinet Hubert showed us in class.  He used the finest oak he could find for its construction.  Oak typically has quite a coarse grain which makes it difficult to use in miniature projects.  Hubert managed to achieve a very fine result.

Louis XVI style cabinet interior.

The beautiful fittings were specially made by Jean Claude Martin.

All the drawers are dovetailed, of course.

Detail of the broken pediment on top of the cabinet, with ornamental vase and carvings.

Hubert does not have a website (yet), so I offered to show his cabinets on my blog.  I am sure you all don't mind me doing that ;) as I am sure you will all agree we have got another fabulous miniaturist in our world!

...well a few days actually!

Last week I spent a few of days at the Arnhem Dollshouse Fair.  My friend and I signed up for a Chris Malcomson class, making a Dutch wall table from around 1705.  During the first day of class we worked at building the basic structure of the table, veneering and making a start on shaping the table legs.

I booked a wonderful hotel room in Arnhem with a huge roof terrace overlooking the Rhine river.  The weather was gorgeous so we sat outside with a cup of tea working at shaping our table legs. 

Friday morning, sunrise over Arnhem as seen from our hotel room roof terrace.  Isn't this absolutely glorious?  I assure you there was no trickery involved in this shot!

Tha table apron after a few coats of shellac.  Just look at that shine!  The table top had just had a a first coat of shellac and has been sanded down.

 My table legs nearing completion.  It is quite difficult to get them all looking the same! 
Chris had given us Cuban mahogany from a broken old box of around 1740 to make the legs.  I love the idea of the wood having so much history already.   The wood may even be hundreds of years older as of course we don't know when the tree of which it came was felled.

After the class was finished Friday afternoon it was time to hit the Fair.  Even before the first night was over, I managed to spend a big chunk of my budget.  On Saturday I did some very careful shopping and went home with only 10 cents left in my wallet.  Well done to me for resisting to go to the cash machine or pulling out my credit card!
I never have enough time at the fair, even though I am there for two days.  There is just too much to see, too many people to  talk to.   It was lovely to meet a few fellow bloggers, like Debora from http://petitpunt.blogspot.com/,  Peiwen from http://oiseaudenim.blogspot.com/  and Audrey from http://www.bopeep.nl/BoPeep/Welkom.html

Here is a quick shot of some of my purchases.  Many of the items I bought are to go into this new house I am working on.  Here you see the table I made in Chris' class (it just needs a final coat of shellac).  On the left you can see one of the lights I bought from Ray Storey, who was at the show in person.  He is such a lovely man, always full of great stories to make you roar with laughter.

On top of my little table are some bottles and glasses I bought from The Little Dollhouse Company from Canada.  They come over each year and bring us a lovely collection of miniatures to choose from.  In the scene I am planning for this room I would like to have two Martini cocktails.  I got the glasses, now I still have to mix the cocktails!