Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Therein Lies Treasure...

Hello Everyone,

After a little summer break, it's a new term and a new post.  I thought I'd show you around the drawing room today.  Daviot House has two drawing rooms (two!).  This was not particularly planned (nothing ever seems to be), but grew out of necessity when I realised that I was trying to put 'two rooms into one'.  I had a similar problem with the dining closet, which morphed into a breakfast room and a dining room (more about that another time).  

The drawing room on the first floor has a lovely bay window with a window seat.  I have yet to finialise the curtain situation - for the moment we have a temporary curtain.

A Sue Cook fireplace and Malcolm Hall fire basket.  

The room itself is not very large; 28cm squared, so there have been quite a few constraints.  The biggest problem for a small room is the lighting.  Especially chandeliers.  Most which are available to buy are either too big, or too flashy - Daviot House is not Versailles! So I worked out how to make one that would be just the right size without overpowering the room, or hitting the inhabitants on the head as they walked past.

The chandelier is just the right size for this room

Mostly I wanted to show you this room because it contains quite a few of my treasures.  When I started this blog, it seemed that many people had bottomless pockets to spend on their passion - it still seems that way when I read about people spending thousands upon thousands on a house and contents.  That is not to judge, only to say that it can sometimes be disheartening to a collector with a budget, that our houses just won't be up to scratch. 

An antique miniature above
a working clock from Malcolm Hall

 Ten years later, and I realise that the joy of collecting something is not the ability to spend outrageous sums in an instant, but the gentle coming together of treasured items.  Items that hold meaning, because they were a present, or a fantastic find.  

The miniatures that give me the most pleasure are those that didn't even know they were treasures.  And most of them can be found in the Drawing Room, the most elegant room of the house.

Tarbena mirror above an
Ian Holoran side table

I have always had dolls houses in my life, but my first real 'treasure' was given to me when I was twelve years old.  After a visit to the dentist, my mother and I went to the library where there was a miniatures exhibition.  

An exquisite Delft style plate from a Northern Irish maker

I can't remember much about it, who the exhibitors were, but I came home with the tiniest blue and white plate.  Twenty seven years later, I still have the plate.  It has travelled as much as I have, kept in a jewellry box during the years when I didn't have a miniature house for it.  It has been to boarding school, university, and it even came with me when I moved to France, before I even knew I would become so passionate about miniatures.

 I have searched in vain for the maker over the years.

Faint maker's mark and the date

Two years ago I was trawling on ebay for items and I found a job lot of vases for auction - nothing particularly interesting, mostly imported, but the price for the bundle was a few pounds, and I thought that I would add them to my stash.  

The dragon vase filled with flowers by Ilona, and silver shell dishes by Acquisto and Randall

When I received the order in the post, I was astounded to see that among them, glittering with the most delicate gold, was a perfect vase.  And on the bottom of the vase was the same maker's mark as on the little blue and white dish from many years ago! 

 My heart leapt, and the vase today has pride of place in the Drawing Room, a testament to the joy that my miniatures have given me over the years.

They may not be the most expensive, rare or sought after, but each item in Daviot House represents much more to me, and I do hope that you find many treasures that give you joy for your miniature houses.

An antique print originally from a Georgian dolls house

An extremely hot fire and lit chandelier

Hepplewhite chair I embroidered in front of a beautiful Masters Miniatures sewing table

The stumpwork sewing box I made

The tiniest silver scissors from Don Henry and steel thimble by Danny Shotton

The unfinished sofa and bare floor - the Drawing Room is still a work in progress!

The carpet I am currently working on, of my own design



  1. So pretty. A labor of love obviously!

  2. What a moving story about the plate and the vase. It is a beautiful room and your embroideries are perfect in it. The carpet will be wonderful.

  3. Es una habitación llena de pequeños tesoros

  4. Wonderful carpet! I have that same clock, too. I know what you mean about collecting over time. I have been fortunate to have a larger budget, but I also treasure inexpensive miniatures that I happen to find at shows and sales. I love your work and your collection.

  5. There is a certain kismet in things being re-united in that way - it certainly validates your keeping the little plate safe in all its various incarnations over the years. I gave up 1/12ths a while back and sold and gave away a few of these sorts of 'treasures' that I had been able to get through lucky buys and gifts and it really hurts since returning to 1/12ths when I know I once owned just the perfect piece for a particular spot. So well done for loving and keeping your treasures until they can take on a life of their own.

    Your Subtle yet SUPERB sense of style is a viewing pleasure which I can never get enough of, but it is the way you mix the Treasures with The Treasured, which stops me in my tracks.
    Your story of the little plate and the vase is Priceless and to have the vase filled with Ilona's Magnificent flowers is the proverbial cherry on top!
    Your custom carpet will probably be in the making for a long while yet but it is already GORGEOUS, Jonquil and it will tie the entire room together once it is completed. What an INCREDIBLE Talent you have and for you to be able to display your vast variety of fine needlework skills within your own Fantastic Dolls house is something which no amount of money could buy! ❤️


  7. This drawing room is so lovely, soft and feminine! I must say I love the contrast of the stone doorway and the flowery wallpaper. The way you have made that stone throughout Daviot House is so good!
    I can relate to your comments about the lights, they are often too big, too flashy and, as you mentioned budget, often quite to very expensive. The one you have made fits the room perfectly.
    Your stumpwork sewing box is gorgeous and I love where it is on the sewing table against the white background. It really draws the eye towards it.
    What a lucky find that vase was! I think it is just these type of treasures that give the most joy. Apart from making your own treasures of course. You don't need vast amounts of money to make a wonderful dolls house filled with treasures. You are proving that with Daviot House.

  8. PS: Not being able to just buy everything makes us more creative too, don't you think?

  9. Tout est si raffiné, si bien choisi, j'adore votre univers!

  10. Dear Jonquil, I am late to comment, but oh what a lovely room this is! It is the perfect place for your Treasures... and collecting them over time is really more fun than buying all at once! I Adore your stumpwork sewing box... and what a perfect place for it! This room has such a cheerful feminine appeal... sitting and sewing here is sure to be the Lady of the House's favorite place to be! As always, I look forward to seeing more!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous! Especially the hand stitched things. :)

  12. Another guilty follower late to comment here - sorry! The room is just lovely and a perfect backdrop to your embroideries. I liked the story of the little plate and coming across another item by the same maker. These "pure chance" items are the best. You may not have found it if you'd deliberately gone looking for it!

  13. Your work is beautiful and the room just simply charming. I also have minis that I have carried with me for more than 40 years! Cheers!