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 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 compartmentalised 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!
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 monopolising 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).
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 ;-)