Hand in glove...

After more than 10 months working on Elly's estate miniatures, I am very happy to finally return to my own work and miniatures.  I took a holiday which included visiting the Kensington Dollshouse Festival in London.  Such a wonderful show!  

Of course you can't visit the KDF without finding some treasure there...

Both of my canal houses have mainly been decorated in 18th century styles and later.  However, I couldn't resist this great merchants or counter table from David Hurley.  It is a piece I could fit into one of my rooms somewhere, as a piece inherited by one of the inhabitants.  The piece has beautiful carving and, quite unusual, horizontal linenfold panels. 

Next to David Hurley was Daniela Kiefhaber's table (Microdolls).  She had the most wonderful embroidered gloves and I just couldn't resist them.  These gloves were inspired by a pair depicted on the 17th century painting  'Portrait of a Woman aged 34 years' ( Louvre, Paris) by Dutch painter Pickenoy.  

Pickenoy was a contemporary of Rembrandt and actually his neighbour in Amsterdam for a number of years.  Pickenoy painted several (wedding) portraits of women holding embroidered gloves.  

In the 17th century Netherlands these richly decorated gloves were a symbol of wealth and status.  When a couple got engaged, it was customary for the man to present his fiancée with a pair of gloves.  

The designs of the embroidery all held symbolic meaning.  On the miniature gloves there are tulips, which, like the rose, represent love.  The marital state and fidelity is symbolised by the peacock, an attribute of Juno, the goddess of marriage.  The embroidered fruit bowls symbolise taste and the fruit, possibly pomegranates, symbolise fertility.   

The miniature gloves are made of the thinnest leather and the silk cuffs are embroidered with silks and antique gold thread.  They are lined with pink silk.  The silk and gold thread bows are finished off with tiny agate beads. 

The painting is by Elly Ypma (I bought it several years ago), an impression after the original painting by Frans Hals, Catharina Hooft with her nurse, 1619-20.  There is a little bit of a connection:  in 1636 Pickenoy painted the wedding portrait of the by then 19 year old Catharina Hooft.  Unfortunately there are no wedding gloves in that painting. 

The little 17th century silver wedding casket (knottekistje) was made by Jens Torp.  It has been in my collection for a while now, but it fits in here as the casket, filled with coins, was presented by a (wealthy) suitor to the girl he wanted to marry.  If she accepted the casket with coins it meant they were engaged to be married.  

So, a good pair, the wedding casket and the wedding gloves.  


  1. Hello Josje and welcome back. I'd say the gloves and caskect make a great matching pair. And the counter table, albeit from an earlier period, fits in the same theme quite nicely. After all, If the young suitor was Lucky enough to have her accept his bid for her hand he'd better make sure to earn enough money to keep his new wife in the style and status she deserves and is accustomed to. He must prove to be worthy of her hand does he not? :-)
    I believe you will have no trouble finding a place for al these lovely miniature treasures.


  2. Goodness ! Incredible work and what a treasure to add to your collection. It is nice to see you back after what must have been a difficult period for you. I sometimes Wonder what would happen to my collection if I wasn't around ! The work on these gloves is out of this world , miniaturists never cease to amaze me, what a wonderful mini world this is, huggs Stephanie ( I treasure my little pillow from Elly's estate )

  3. Hi Josje! I am absolutely in awe of those gloves!!! And the painting of the mother and child... so beautifully done! The silver chest is gorgeous... how do these artists create such perfect minis? I would love to see them in one of your houses... I hope you have time to figure out where they "belong". You have done an amazing job with Elly's collection, so of course you deserved to go the Kensington! Clearly it was time well spent! :):)

  4. It is so lovely to read of your beautiful miniatures recently acquired from the Kensington Dollshouse Festival...what exquisite gloves that must have caused much eye strain to make. The chest by David Hurley will be an inherited furniture piece to make any descendant proud. I shall look forward to seeing these pieces in place in your canal houses. The pieces received from Elly's estate will long be cherished...thank you once again for all your long hours of dedicated work to ensure the items were adopted by other miniaturists who will cherish them. Cheers, Alayne

  5. Real treasures. The gloves are amazing.

  6. Son unas piezas preciosas. Todo un tesoro-

  7. Hi Josje, all exquisite little treasures beautiful work.

  8. The gloves are incredible - great work! :)

  9. Just when you Think that you have seen it all, in miniature.... You Haven't!
    You have managed to add even more Extraordinary miniatures to your already Extraordinary collection! The embroidered wedding gloves are utterly fascinating in their unique style and composition and the high level of skill that went into making them is hard to fathom! The ornate silver wedding casket compliments them to perfection
    Love the painting and the chest too,Josie. Your taste is always Exquisite and your new Kensington purchases, look as if they were made to order for your canal houses- Congratulations and Enjoy! :D


  10. As much as I have loved seeing Ellie's marvelous collection, it is nice to again visit 'A Beautiful World'
    Those teeny weeny gloves are amazing. I have seen R.L. gloves and I cannot begin to imagine the tiny stitches, fine threads and trim on your little pair. A true treasure.

  11. You found such lovely items on your visit to the fair and the stories to accompany them are really interesting which makes the items so much more special. It's lovely to see you back and posting again.


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