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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sugar and Spice and all things nice!

This piece of work has probably been my most difficult to date, not because of how its made but because most nights when i was working on this i had my five year old grandson sat right next to me! He is a very inquisitive young lad always asking why i do things the way i do and what this piece is for and what that piece is for and so on, i think I've learnt a whole new set of concentration and patience skills, Lol.

This particular piece of work has been on the go for a while now I've picked it up and put it down many times over the past few months but its nice to see it completed.

 
Its based on what would have been a 18th Century spice cabinet normally these cabinets would have had many tiny draws to hold what would have been very expensive and at that time rare spices, what i have done with this piece instead of making draws was to make tiny compartments, i have actually seen spice cabinets similar to this in design but this was not the most common construction.
 
 
The inside contains 6 compartments that would have been used for transporting these rare and precious commodities by wealthy families, decorative panels on the outside and a seascape on the underside of the lid give a clue as to the use of the piece. The top centre section of the lid is genuine tortoise shell.
To the back is a secret draw which contains a coin, This coin is dated to 1737 and was discovered mud larking on the river Thames in London the coin has been cleaned but only very lightly and still retains a beautiful patina.
 
 
You may also be able to make out the markings on the coin which also denote the coin is a Dutch east Indies VOC 1 Duit which would have been around when the spice trade was booming and which i thought matched the piece perfectly.
 
 
As you can see the coin is in pretty good condition for its age and is a beautiful piece of tiny history to go with this piece.
 




 The timber used for the construction is mahogany which has then had a worn lacquered effect applied to give a authentic used look. Dimensions of the piece are 2.5'' wide  by
2'' height and 1.75'' in depth.
Many thanks again to everyone who left me comments on previous posts,and for the new followers who have decided to follow my work.
Have a great week   Tony.

30 comments:

  1. Es un tesoro! Una pieza magnífica.
    Ö
    Un abrazo

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  2. Gorgeous work. I love the coin.

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  3. Beautiful work, Tony, you put so much thought into every detail. This piece has a lot of meaning for me, since South Africa started out being a provision stop for the VOC ships on the way to and back from the East.

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  4. Beautiful! it's a mark of your great talents that you can produce such an exquisite miniature with your grandson capturing so much of your attention! I wonder if he will become a great miniaturist himself?!!

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    1. Thanks Andy, i have to say it wasnt easy to complete but setting my grandson tasks to do whilst i carried on working made my concentration a little easier. ;)

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  5. Fabulous! I like the picture in the box.
    Bye Faby

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  6. Fantastic work! It's a lovely piece! :D

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  7. A real treasure with a "Dutch touch" (it rhymes ;))! Tony, this box really is a piece of art. How wonderful that your grandson was with you, how did you ever manage to produce such an art piece?! :D
    Greetings, Ilona

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    1. Thank you too Ilona I figured just doing a little work is better than doing none at all plus making miniatures is my perfect way of chilling out and letting the imagination go.

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  8. A gorgeous box! How did you manage to do that with a 5 year old wanting to touch and know everything? Must have been very distracting, but wonderful at the same time...
    The VOC coin is quite interesting. On the back is a shield that will tell you where it came from. The single lion shield is from Holland, the double lion shield is from Gelderland, a shield with wavy lines is from Zeeland and a diagonal shield with lions on both sides is from Utrecht! All of these provinces still exist today.
    Idske

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    1. Thank you Idske, Firstly working while my grandson watched wasn't easy but i got better as time went on, Your information about the VOC coin is wonderful to know! in this case the coin has the double lion shield on the reverse so Gelderland would have been its origin.Many thanks for your valuable information :)

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  9. It's gorgeous Tony, I love it, the coin and the history, very cool---

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  10. Gorgeous! I love that you included a secret drawer, and a piece of history. Such wonderful attention to all the little details.
    -Eliza

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    1. Many thanks Eliza, I have to say i love secret draws and the many tiny treasures they can potentially hold :)

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  11. That box is gorgeous. I love the coin and the history.

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  12. I don't know how you do it. It's absolutely stunning.

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  13. Hello Tony,
    TYhis trully is a masterpiece. Your attention to detail and your finish is just superb. It is such an elegant, accurate piece.
    Great job!
    Big hug,
    Giac

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  14. Oh there is yet another masterpiece coming from your skilled hands! It must be great fun having your grandson around even though he can put you to the test!? Children their greatest skill is you ask me! ;)
    The VOC coin is most wonderfull, where they really that tiny? It's such a great addition to your masterpiece for their intertwined stories!

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    1. Thank you Anneke, I can usually tell from my grandsons moods if its worth me sitting down to work on a piece, he has a tendancy now to try his hand at drawing them while i work on them, The VOC coin was a suprise to myself too as i imagined them to be a lot larger than this, i was given three of these coins by a good friend who discovered all of them whislt mudlarking on the river Thames.

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