Friday, 7 May 2021

To get ahead on heads. An old saint a ram and a horse....and an easter egg...

Hello My friends, 

No this is not meant as a scene á la the Godfather where one wakes up with a marble horsehead in ones bed. Nor is it about the remains of a butchered nativity scene. Nothing of the sort, my friends. 

Last year I bought two silver candlesticks with fishes made by Stephan Wein. (I did not by the shell tazza between them) 
He exhibits at the Kensington/Londen dollhouse festival and has a shop on Etsy. He is a goldsmith by trade who also makes miniatures. His miniatures are not run of the mill items and quite gorgeous. The prettiest of those are things you have to save up for, unfortunately, but they are worth it. And this year I allowed myself to buy one more of them. 

As you may know a private catholic chapel will be added to Huis ter Swinnendael. Every chapel needs some silverware for the altar et cetera? One or two reliquary's and saint's statues would also not go amiss. But that is easier said than done. 

I had my eye on this old carved and painted ivory head of a bearded man on a base of silver and ebony. It was described as a saint's head and looks the part. However In my eye it missed something. I asked Stephan if it was possible to add a kind of halo to it. He agreed and made sketches of two different kinds of halo's. We agreed one of them and Stephan added the halo to the statue.

The result is stunning in my opinion. I first wanted a golden halo but Stephan advised me to choose silver because that would fit better with the existing statue. And seeing the result I can say that in my opinion he is absolutely right. I love the result! But which saint does it represent? Noone knows. So I am free to choose some obscure local saint.

The Ram's head and the Roman horse's head are made by Karl Blindheim. He lives in Canada and makes beautiful miniature sculptures. Mostly of animals but also plants and human forms. 

I saw these pieces on facebook and asked if these two heads were (still) for sale. They were and the price was luckily just within budget. Apart from being two stunning pieces, the charm for me lies in the fact that these are heads of animals. Several busts of humans, made of clay, metal, plaster and resin are for sale. But animal heads are quite rare. And now I've got two of them for the small but growing collection of antiquities of sir Zonneschut. 
The last item has nothing to do with heads, but I will show it anyway.  It is a mini Fabergé egg made by Sun from Nalladris. The photo above shows the original Rose trellis egg, made by Fabergé and given by tsar Nicolas II to his wife for easter in 1907.

Wait, what? A 1907 egg in a 1805 setting? Yes you are right. You are absolutely right. It is an anachronism and does not fit in the period of Huis ter Swinnendael...

However that may be, I love these eggs. Sun has a few eggs made in miniature, and I intend to collect all the ones that I love. One per year, for easter. And although I strive to make the house and collection both fit into the style and period chosen, it is not intended as a period museum and one or two anachronisms should not spoil the overall effect. 😁 And it helps that a lot of Fabergé eggs were inspired by older styles and periods. So it fits somewhat, kinda, a bit, enough... 

Unfortunately, due to a delay in the postal service the egg did not arrive until after easter. But I am not less happy to add it to my collection.

I hope that you will like my new treasures too. 


Monday, 3 May 2021

Furniture: More screens

Hello my friends,

I showed you all a post in 2019 where I showed you how I made a 1:12 folding screen or paravent. As you may know I am part of a small facebook group where we all build our own 'castle room'. Apart from monthly assignmemts every member gives the group a workshop.

In the current covid situation these are held via chat. Crafting in front of the computer while trying not to glue yourself to the keyboard.

As you may have guessed my workshop was about making an antique folding screen, fit for a castle. It is the first ever workshop I have written and given. It was great fun to do and people have made great folding screens.

To make the written description for the workshop I needed pictures to show each step. And for that I needed good pictures. 

So I made a second screen for the purpose of the pictures. And during the workshop I made a third one. So now I have 3 folding screens for Huis ter Swinnendael. With 22 rooms I probably find a good place for every one. 

Unfortunately I can not show you the great screens the participants made, but I can show you mine. On the picture above you can see all three together. 


Sunday, 18 April 2021

Cunera Olshoorn, a devilish little angel.

Hello my friends,

I told you about the Bisschop dollshouse in the Rotterdam Museum last year. In the same museum hangs a portrait of a little girl called Cunera. Unfortunately the picture below is very dark. 

Apart from being a beautiful painting, depicting the girl in an idealised garden accompanied by her dog, the fun fact fore  me is that she is indirectly related to my partner. Very distant family, but related none the less. Because of this fact I want a miniature painting of her.

Most paintings in Huis ter Swinnendael will just be prints, glued on card, but a few will be real miniatures. Like Cunera.

I contacted Diane Meyboom who makes astonishing miniature drawings, etchings and paintings. If you want to see more of her work, this is the link to her website. She accepted the commission to paint Cunera in miniature and last december, just before the museum would close its doors for a 4 year period, we visited the museum together to take pictures and discuss all the details that needed to be discussed.

When we were about to leave, Diane suggested to take a picture of me next to the painting. And there it went wrong. As you can clearly see the little minx poked me in the eye! The devilish little brat! 

Well alright, I had to sneeze at the moment that she took the picture, but it does look like Cunera pokes me in the eye does it not? 😅

I look forward to the end result and can't wait to see it finished. But patience is a virtue! And Diane keeps sending me pictures of the progress. I love seeing every step from blank canvas to the finished portrait.  Here I post a few of them. 

 The last picture below shows the lapis lazuli blue used on Cunera's dress. I already love it although it is not yet finished. I will keep you updated on Cunera's progress.