Saturday, 2 October 2021

Drawing fireplaces... and a give away for who answers the question correctly! ūü•≥

Hello my friends, 

If you follow my little blog you know by now that most things in my house are packed away. Waiting for the delayed move to our new house. Although I am happy to announce that 15 october wil finaly be the day!! But the mind is restless to a certain point. I can not just stop and put Huis ter Swinnendael out of my mind. It is almost a golem of my own making and will not just go away. 

My solution is to channel that energy into doing what little I can do. And also to not fall into a complete standstill. The situation has led me back to the drawing board. 

For instance I started to cut out shapes for the furniture to go into the miniature rooms that I am builing. This way I can play around with different configurations, just to see what fits best. And help me answer questions such as, should I include a bath or not? 

In the picture above you can see a printout of an over-elaborate parquet design that I might actually use for Lady Zonneschut's dressingroom. But then I will have to print it out twice as large as it is shown here.

On the floor plan of the dressingroom you can see 12 items of furniture. Only one(!) of them is finished at this moment. That is the House Of Miniatures (HOM) Queen Anne candlestand that I have decorated in Crimson & Cream. You can see it in the picture above. 

Three pieces of furniture will have to be made from scratch. (the eliptical wooden  bath tub and the wooden stool to go in it. And the little table used for lace making.) the lace making table is inspired by this picture. 

The little teatable (the rectangular piece of paper in the middle of the room) will be made by a very talented miniaturist. I have ordered that piece from Yosh Sagi. I will show and tell you all about it when it arrives. 

The rest (two rococo chairs, a dressingtable, a Q.A. side table, another Q.A. candlestand and a Q.A. polescreen) are either HOM or Alison Davies kits which I have lying around, waiting to be assembled after the move our new house.

So, still quite a lot to do but I have already gathered most supplies so as soon as I (finaly) can start, it should be a flying start! 

Apart from playing around with the dressingroom I have also drawn a design for the large fireplace in the future drawing room of Huis ter Swinnendael. Like the one in the steward's office it is a late renaissance model that was going out of fashion around 1675 when the house was built, but stil popular enough by patrons of the regent class to want to include it in a new house. Please note the sketchy 15cm (+/- 6 inch) high figure drawn on the far right for size comparison. The fireplace will have a height of 37 cm (+/- 15 inch) which means that the ceilingheight of the rooms on first floor will be nearly 4.5 meters. 

And speaking of the stewards office, in the picture above you can see the (final) design for the finished item and in the second picture you see the upper part that I have already made a while ago. Next will be the supports carrying it. These supports/pillasters will be the shaped like the one on the far right. The ones on the page on the left were rejected. 

And here you see some different  designs for a corner fireplace. They are based on designs in the style of Daniel Marot. The court architect of William & Mary. 

The (right half of the) one on the left is intended for Sir Zonneschut's library. The (right half of the)  drawing on the right is meant for Lady Zonneschut's dressingroom. The design in the middle did not make it into a room of the house. 

The picture below shows my ideas for the kitchen range. It will have three parts (cooking, roasting, baking) seperated by cut stone collumns that support the overhanging wooden chimney. 

 As I am writing this, it feels a bit desperate actually. ūüė¨ūüėĀ But it really has helped me during this long wait where I could not realy make anything of the mini's I had already planned. And it has helped me to envision all the steps needed to make and finish the fireplaces that will become focal points in these rooms. Hopefully I will make less mistakes during the build this way. 

But drawing and ordering miniatures (kits) online is not all that I did. When I found a piece of acid free card board that was not yet packed away, I wasted little time to cut it up, to make a start on a few miniatures that I plan on making. 

How do you like this multi occupancy nesting box in the picture above? Or will it be something else? Yes, but what? That is the question. Care to guess? 
The first person to guess correctly, will receive one of the two miniature table theaters that I am currently making as well. It will come complete with a stageset. The pic below shows the rough first sketch of what I'm working on. You could say this is a home cinema set, 18th century style! :-) 

Let's hope that one of you guesses correctly. :-) and the winner can expect the prize to arrive before Christmas! 

Stay safe! 



  1. Hi Huibrecht! I'm so happy to hear your good news about moving in October 15th! Your first Christmas in the new house will be a very special one!
    Planning is an excellent way to help direct that excitement and absolutely mad drive to work on a project. I know that all consuming feeling well! Your plans for this house continue to be extraordinary, and I know you'll do these ideas justice!
    Can't wait to see the new commission, and as for guessing what that creative new piece will become... My ignorance has me stumped, but I am eager to be educated when the winner is announced! Have fun in this meantime - you are making progress even if it's just the highly important planning stage!

    1. Thank you Jodi, and due to my late reply it is october the 20th and we have actualy moved! So I am writing this from my new adress. :-)


  2. Dear Huibrecht, I am excited for you that the move is finally coming close! Meanwhile, your drawings of the plans for your house are a perfect way to spend this "waiting" time! Your drawings are so detailed and precise! What a great skill that is! I can almost see that grand fireplace "hood" in the future Drawing room! As for the lovely floor for the dressing room, it is gorgeous! Will it be painted wood? Or tiles? As for the question about what you are building... I have no idea! At first I thought it could be a cradle... but why does it have a hole in the back? So maybe it is a miniature water cistern? For dispensing water in the dressing room? Or maybe the beginning of the bath tub... with a drain?... I know, not likely with the hole on the side.... :( You have me stumped! I can't wait to learn what it is you are making! :):)

    1. The short time solution will be printing and pasting the design on the floor, and finishing it of with lacquer before tracing all the different lines to make it look like parquet.

      The long term solution is to paint an oriental room wide carpet into here. As I said parquet flooring was not popular in the netherlands until the 19th century, only a few floors from the 18th century exist today and few others that have disappeared are known.

      Ah, it is not a bathtub with an impossibly placed drain. :-)


  3. Hello Huibrecht, Your drawings are excellent as usual, giving great insight into your plans for the house. As for you question as to what you are making, two things come to mind, although the hole on one side leaves me wondering...But I am going to guess a child's cot.
    Good luck with the move!

    1. Hi Josje,

      Luckily the move did go smoothly. Only two little damages as a result of that, but all our glassware and porcelain and other items that are prone to breakage survived unscathed and unbroken! same goes for my miniatures, but I moved those myself. Just to be sure. :-)

      I would aproximately be the size of a cot, but the miniature that I am making has not a specific connection with children, and no connection to sleaping or bathing.


  4. Hi Huibrecht,
    How exciting for you that the move to your new house if finally happening after such a long wait. I really hope it all goes smoothly for you.
    You have certainly used the waiting time well! Your drawings are just exquisite pieces of art in their own right.
    What are you building? Sitting up on a firm base and with a hole at one end..? Is it for come kind of brewing or liquid so it will have tap where the hole is? You have me puzzled..
    Anna X

    1. Hi Anna,

      I have mixed up y reply to you and Josje, somewhat. :-) silly me.

      About the miniature I am making, I can say that it is not intended to hold liquid of any kind. Not bathwater, not beer or spirits. So no tap will be placed in the hole, that will stay as it is.


  5. Oh dear, I have seem to have made this a bit too enigmatic. By the way, sizewise it will be something you pit on a table. Let me give you a hint: 'it is a question of perspective.'

    If you have already tried, do not hesitate to try again if you want to.


  6. Replies
    1. Hoi en welkom. Het is geen schommelwieg. Iedereen denkt aan kinderen of aan vloeistoffen maar dat heeft er niets mee te maken.

      Het kan door kinderen zowel als volwassenen gebruikt worden maar in de 18e eeuw mochten kinderen hier eigenlijk niet mee spelen. alleen volwassenen.

  7. Dear friends, I know this is not an easy one, but I do encourage you to try. For those who want to try and guess (again) I will summarise what is said in the comments already.

    It will nót be a childrens cot, or rocker. It will not be a bath or tank for any kind of liquid.

    The hole on the side is not meant to be filled with anything and remains open, especially when being used.

    And nowadays mainly children would use it but in the 18th century it was mainly used by adults.

    And the hint remains 'It is a question of Perspective!'

    It may look like an impossible puzzel but when the answer is guessed correctly, or revealed by me, I am pretty sure most of you will recognise what it is. :-)