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Recent Uploads tagged clock
The New Mrs. Hatchett’s Drawing Room

raaen99 posted a photo:

The New Mrs. Hatchett’s Drawing Room

Cavendish Mews is a smart set of flats in Mayfair where flapper and modern woman, the Honourable Lettice Chetwynd has set up home after coming of age and gaining her allowance. To supplement her already generous allowance, and to break away from dependence upon her family, Lettice has established herself as a society interior designer, so her flat is decorated with a mixture of elegant antique Georgian pieces and modern Art Deco furnishings, using it as a showroom for what she can offer to her well heeled clients.

However today we are not in Lettice’s flat, rather we have followed her south from London into Sussex to the town of Rotherfield and Mark Cross where ‘The Gables’, the home of Lettice’s newest client, Mrs. Hatchett, is. Lettice has been given the honour of being the first guest invited to stay at ‘The Gables’ since its redecoration under Lettice’s adept hand. And just as she threatened, she has managed to wrangle an invitation for her old childhood chum, Gerald Bruton, as she is determined to prove to him that whilst Mr. and Mrs. Hatchett may not be top-drawer – rather “up-and-coming middle-class mediocrity” to quote Gerald – they are good, decent people. They might even be beneficial to the success of Gerald’s Grosvenor Street dress shop.

“Well Lettuce Leaf,” Gerald remarks as they step into the light and airy ground floor drawing room to enjoy aperitifs with their hosts. “I must say that this room oozes your restrained good taste.”

“Thank you, Gerald.” Lettice replies with a contented sigh. “Well, I might not have won convincing Mrs. Hatchett not to have chintz upholstery."

"See! I told you she would want it! So up-and-coming middle-class mediocrity."

"But Gerald," Lettice proceeds determinedly. "You should have seen it before it fell to me to redecorate. And don’t call me Lettuce Leaf!”

“I’m only teasing.” Gerald smiles. He sighs with undisguised boredom. “I have to get some amusement whilst I am trapped here away from the illicit pleasures of London in the dull green and leafy bosom of Sussex.”

“Oh come Gerald. It’s not as bad as all that.” Lettice slaps Gerald’s hand with one of her own white glove glad ones. “Admit it. This isn’t the house you were expecting, is it?”

Gerald looks over at his friend, standing in a gown of eau-de-nil satin decorated with silver sequins and bugle beads – one of his own creations. He looks down and runs his shoe distractedly over the luxurious Chinese carpet on the floor.

“Oh you!” Lettice hisses. “You and your snobbery and pride! I’ll tell you what I think you thought.”

“And what’s that Lettuce Leaf?”

“I think, no, I know, you were pleased to be picked up by Mrs. Hatchett’s chauffeur, dressed in his smart black uniform.”

“Well, he is rather dashing, you know.” Gerald smiles cheekly at the thought of his handsome face, broad shoulders and muscular arms.

“It’s more than that! You didn’t think there was going to be a chauffeur, any more than you thought there was going to be a Worsley to drive us through the village.”

“Well… I…” Gerald blushes.

“You enjoyed being the honoured guest of the ‘big house’ as we were swept down the high street under the eyes of all the locals. Admit it!”

Gerald chuckles. “It’s like they’d never seen a Londoner before.”

“Gerald! Don’t be such a snob! And,” she continues. “Like me when I first came here, when we turned into the gates above which the name of the house was emblazoned in wrought iron curlicues, your heart sank as you prepared for the worst, but you were then pleasantly surprised to find that ‘The Gables’ was in fact a rather lovely Arts and Crafts country house sitting amidst a charming informal English garden.”

“Alright. Alright, yes. I admit I was pleasantly surprised Lettice. However,” He wags an admonishing finger at his friend. “A beautiful home, redecorated by a lady of quality and taste does not make Mrs. Hatchett, or her banker husband, top-drawer.”

“You're improving Gerald. At least you aren't calling her 'that woman' anymore."

"I can hardly do that, now that I've actually met her, can I Lettice? It's not proper form."

"Well, at any rate, Mrs. Hatchett doesn’t want to be top-drawer, Gerald. Neither of them does. He wants to get into politics to represent the forgotten heroes of the Great War,”

“I knew you were having communist tendencies.”

“Not at all, Gerald. And, as I was saying before you so rudely interrupted, she just wants to be a respectable and dutiful wife.”

“Well, that is a problem.” Gerald sighs as he tweaks with his white bow tie. “Just look at that rather garish maroon silk crepe dress she greeted us in this morning when we arrived. She is still a chorus girl, in love with vulgar colours and too much jewellery - not to speak of make-up!”

“And that’s why I have managed to get you an invitation for this weekend.” Lettice wraps her arm through the crook of his conspiratorially as she moves closer to him. “You can dress her and teach her what a respectable politician’s wife should wear: more sombre colours, less powder, pearls and the like.”

“And who is going to teach her about manners, Lettice?” He looks at her doubtfully. “She said aperitifs in the drawing room. Where is she?” He indicates with an open left hand to the empty drawing room. “As hostess she should be here to greet us.”

As if she knew she was being spoken about, Mrs. Hatchett, followed by her husband, bustle rambunctiously into the room just at that moment, filled with apologies.

“We’re so sorry to have kept you waiting Miss Chetwynd, Mr. Bruton.” Mrs. Hatchett apologises. “Poor Charlie was held up in the office and I had to rush him to get ready.”

Gerald looks his host and hostess up and down with an appraising eye. Mrs. Hatchett’s choice of evening wear isn’t much better than her afternoon wear: a drop waist dress with an asymmetrical hem cut from some garish red imitation satin and accessorised with faux pearls that don’t pretend to look real and rhinestone ornaments. Dressed semi formally compared to Gerald’s set of tails, Mr. Hatchett on the other hand in his dinner jacket, shows the signs beneath it of a successful banker who perhaps enjoys too many long luncheons and dinners at his club. Still, he is handsome with salt and pepper hair and she is very pretty in a coquettish way beneath the powder.

“Yes, I must be the one to apologise.” Mr. Hatchett says. “How do you do Miss Chetwynd. It’s a pleasure to finally meet the woman for whom I have written so many cheques.”

Lettice blushes at the mention of money.

“He’ll make a splendid Labour Party minister.” Gerald quips beneath his breath.

“How do you do, Mr. Hatchett!” Lettice gushes with a tone of overly cheerful bonhomie to hide Gerald’s rude remark. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you too.” She takes her host’s extended hand. “Although Mrs. Hatchett speaks of you so often, I almost feel that I have met you.”

“Lies! Lies! It’s all lies, my dear Miss Chetwynd.” Turning to Gerald he continues. “And you must be Mr. Bruton.” He offers his hand to his guest.

Gerald looks at it momentarily with a sense of mild distaste before remembering his top-drawer manners and politely taking it, feeling his host’s firm grip crush his own gentle one. “How do you do, Mr. Hatchett.”

“And do what do we owe the pleasure of your company, Mr. Bruton?” He looks between Lettice and Gerald. “Is my home to be an assignation for the two of you so that you can get away from your chaperones? Eh?” He beams broadly and laughs good heartedly, seemingly unaware of the discomfort he has caused his guests with his remark as awkwardness flows between Lettice and Gerald.

“Oh no, Mr. Hatchett,” Lettice begins, looking awkwardly down at the Chinese carpet. “It isn’t… we aren’t…”

“We’re… we’re old childhood chums, Mr. Hatchett. That’s all! I would never…” Gerald splutters as he feels the heat of blush flood his face.

“Charlie!” Mrs. Hatchett says in a rather startled fashion. “You must forgive my husband Miss Chetwynd, Mr. Bruton. He does have a tendency to joke, and is rather apt to speak his mind.”

Gerald is silently surprised by his hostess' awareness of their embarrassment.

“Well, isn’t that the sign of a good politician, Mrs. Hatchett.” Lettice quickly replies, trying to dissipate hers and Gerald’s feelings of awkwardness.

“Quite right, Miss Chetwynd.” Mr. Hatchett agrees. “I can see why you took to her Dolly my dear.” He smiles at his wife. “And I must confess Miss Chetwynd, I am delighted with what you’ve done with our house. I almost wouldn’t believe it’s the same house, you’ve transformed it beyond all former recognition from the cellar to the dome. This calls for champagne.”

“Yes Charlie.” Mrs. Hatchett replies, smiling, as she goes to the servant’s bell by the fireplace, now fully repaired, and rings it.

A young maid whom Lettice doesn’t recognise arrives moments later with a silver tray laden with a champagne bottle, four flutes and some delicious looking canapés.

“No Augusta, Mrs. Hatchett?” Lettice asks.

“No, Miss Chetwynd.” Mrs. Hatchett replies with a happy sigh. “Like so much of the past of this house, Augusta is thankfully gone.”

“No loss there, I must say.” Mr. Hatchett adds. “She was quite a tartar that one!” He laughs loudly. “My mother held onto her for years. Probably too many years if I'm being honest.”

"And that's what we need, Mr. Hatchett," Lettice adds. "More honest politicians."

Gerald snorts derisively at Lettice's comment, but fortunately with the arrival of drinks and hors d'oeuvres, no-one seems to have noticed.

“Thank you Jennie. Mr. Hatchett will pour.” Mrs. Hatchett instructs the maid. “You may go.”

“Yes madam.” the maid replies as she drops a quick bob curtsey and leaves.

“She’s a local girl, and much better suited to our new home.” Mrs. Hatchett adds as the door to the hallway closes.

Mr. Hatchett pops the champagne cork and proceeds to pour the sparkling golden liquid into the glasses.

“Our almost new home, Dolly my dear,” Mr. Hatchett counters his wife as he passes a filled flute of champagne to Lettice. “I must confess Miss Chetwynd, I am pleased you didn’t let my wife have it all her own way. I think if she had, she might have thrown out all our family photos and Grandfather’s steeple chase cup to boot.” He indicates to the sideboard on which his prized family memories and history stand proudly gleaming in the light.

“Oh no Charlie…” Mrs. Hatchett begins, blushing.

“Not at all, Mr. Hatchett.” Lettice smiles at her female host. “Your wife understands full well that a future Member of Parliament must have a suitable family background. However, I think you will agree that the mantlepiece does look better a little less cluttered.”

“And with mother’s sketch of me up there too, in pride of place, Miss Chetwynd. How could I not agree?”

“Thank you. Then I am hoping you will agree to another idea I have had, Mr. Hatchett, which will explain Gerald’s presence.”

“Oh? I’m all ears Miss Chetwynd.” Mr. Hatchett says with raised eyebrows.

“I fear you shall want me gone before the evening is gone, Mr. Hatchett.” Gerald says with a slightly apologetic tone as he accepts a flute of champagne from his host. “You see, not only am I Lettice’s childhood chum, but I also run a little establishment in Grosvenor Street: ladies wear, evening frocks mostly.”

“As I can attest to.” Lettice does a quick pirouette to show off her shimmering evening gown.

“Yes, you see Charlie,” Mrs. Hatchett explains. “When Miss Chetwynd first came here, I told her that I still cannot dress myself suitably to be an up-and-coming MP’s wife.”

“Oh I can see where this is going.” Mr. Hatchett frowns, his face growing stern.

Seeing his face cloud over like a brooding thunderstorm about to break, Lettice, Gerald and Dolly Hatchett all stop smiling and fall silent, with only the ticking of the Georgian Revival clock on the mantle to quietly break the sudden silence.

Mr. Hatchett suddenly breaks the momentary silence with a great jolly guffaw. “Lucky you married a banker then, isn’t it Dolly?”

The other three immediately relax their tense shoulders, smile and chuckle.

"Oh Charlie!" Mrs. Hatchett slaps his hand. "You are awful!"

“You should have seen your faces, Miss Chetwynd, Mr. Bruton!” Mr. Hatchett chuckles. “Oh, please forgive me! I do enjoy a good tease.”

“So does Gerald, Mr. Hatchett.” Lettice replies. “The two of you should get along swimmingly.” She looks to Gerald with a raised eyebrow and a cheeky smirk playing upon her lips.

“It’s a bit of a rum business Mr. Bruton, for a man, isn’t it?” Mr. Hatchett addresses Gerald. “Designing dresses for ladies?”

“Well, Mr. Hatchett,” Gerald colours once again. “I’m not the first to do it.”

“Yes, look at Norman Hartnell*, Charlie.” Mrs. Hatchett adds quickly, noticing Gerald’s sudden awkwardness.

Gerald smiles at her gratefully, whilst Lettice suspects that Dolly Hatchett may just have done the first thing to win over her snobbish friend, just by being her own kind and thoughtful self.

“Well, cheers then!” Mr. Hatchett says, raising his champagne flute aloft in a toast. “To a newly decorated home.”

“And a soon-to-be newly decorated wife.” adds Mrs. Hatchett.

Lettice and Gerald join in the toast, and Lettice sighs with satisfaction that she has helped, in some little way, to perhaps start her host off on a successful career in politics, and to show her old childhood chum that you don't need to be top-drawer to be a a person worth knowing.

*Norman Hartnell was a British fashion designer who started his business in the 1920s. He designed clothes for many members of the aristocracy and was seen as a suitable and respectable alternative to Parisian designers by the more conservative British upper classes. He designed clothes for many famous people and the Royal Family including Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.

This upper-middle-class room, decorated by the Honourable Lettice Chetwynd, is different to what you might think, for it is made up entirely of 1:12 size dollhouse miniatures, some of which come from my own childhood.

Fun things to look for in this tableaux include:

The family photos on the sideboard and Mrs. Hatchett’s wedding photo on the mantlepiece are all real photos, produced to high standards in 1:12 size on photographic paper by Little Things Dollhouse Miniatures in Lancashire. The frames are from various suppliers, but all are metal. The one on the mantle and the matching one on the sideboard I have had since I acquired them from a specialist dolls’ house supplier when I was a teenager. The horse trophy on the sideboard is a 1:12 pewter miniature made by Warwick Miniatures in Ireland, who are well known for the quality and detail applied to their pieces.

Both the paintings on the walls are 1:12 artisan pieces made by Amber’s Miniatures in the United States. The Georgian silhouettes of the gentleman is 1:12 artisan pieces made by Lady Mile Miniatures in the United Kingdom.

The silver Art Nouveau frame containing the sketch of the young man to the left of the clock is a 1:12 artisan miniature made by Pat’s Miniatures in the United Kingdom. The frame is a very thin slice of steel that has been laser cut with the intricate Art Nouveau design.

The white and gold Georgian Revival clock on the mantlepiece is a 1:12 artisan miniature made by Hall’s Miniature Clocks, supplied through Doreen Jeffries Small Wonders Miniatures in England.

The settee and armchair, upholstered in Mrs. Hatchett’s preferred blue chintz, are made to the highest quality standards by J.B.M. Miniatures. The back and seat cushions all come off the body of the armchair and settee, just like a real piece of furniture.

The Windsor chair by the fireplace is a hand-turned 1:12 artisan miniature which came from America. Unfortunately, the artist did not carve their name under the seat, but it is definitely an unmarked artisan piece. The same artist may also have made the central pedestal table which is also hand made.

The silver tray on the pedestal table belongs to the same silver set as the tea set on the Welsh dresser whilst the plate of finely made hors d‘oeuvres are artisan miniatures from Beautifully Handmade Miniatures in Kettering in England. The 1:12 artisan bottle of Deutz & Geldermann Champagne is made of glass with a real foil topper. The winery is real and still exists today. The two empty champagne flutes are also 1:12 artisan miniatures made of real glass by Beautifully Handmade Miniatures. The two full glasses of champagne and the bowl of caviar are artisan miniatures made by Karen Ladybug Miniatures in the United Kingdom and the ice container is made by Reutter Porzellan in Germany.

The Welsh dresser and the French provincial sideboard both come from Babette’s Miniatures, who have been making miniature dolls’ furnishings since the late eighteenth century. The dresser has plate grooves in it, just like a real dresser would. It contains a mixture of china and silverware. The Art Deco style tea set on the top shelf and the silver tea set on the second shelf are recent additions from specialist dollhouse miniature suppliers, whilst the silver plates on the second shelf and the hand painted porcelain bowl on the left-hand side of the main bench I have had since I was a young teenager. The glass fruit bowl containing fruit is a 1:12 artisan miniature from Melody Jane’s Doll House Suppliers in the United Kingdom.

The Art Deco smoker’s stand is made of lead and was made by Shackman Miniatures on New York. Although new to my collection, it was made in the 1970s. It has a small box of Swan Vesta matches inserted into the holder.

The vases of about the room are beautifully hand made by the Doll House Emporium.

The carpet in the foreground is a copy of a popular 1920s style Chinese silk rug made in miniature by hand by Mackay and Gerrish in Sydney, Australia.

The wooden Georgian fire surround is made by Town Hall Miniatures, supplied through Melody Jane Dolls’ House Suppliers in the United Kingdom.



  • Rave Cave Clock

    krapzapper posted a photo:

    Rave Cave Clock

    Long exposure with zoom. My first published photo for the Shed Magazine. I did an article on how I made this clock. Looks like I might have a new gig.



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    Brechtbug posted a photo:

    IMG_8454

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  • IMG_8453

    Brechtbug posted a photo:

    IMG_8453

    2021 The Edge Snow Storm New Highest Observation Deck in the Western Hemisphere so far - Hudson Yards Skyscraper Day Clock cloudless 01/26/2021 view from Hells Kitchen Clinton architecture skylines sunlight NYC skyline New York City art city scape cityscape Winter January weather snowstorm



     
    Recent Uploads tagged clocks
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    Clock at Rowan University

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