Long galleries (so I’m told) provided room to hang (portraits of) ancestors, leaders etc, show off your special bits and bobs and your suite of tapestry (why not a suit?). They were spaces for those with the leisure, to stroll in inclement weather, and, on grand social occasions, a place to see and be seen.
Getting down to it
Some of the areas of work
In this ‘ere model
This gallery is in the wrong place, being at the back and overlooking the kitchen offices rather than where it should be, across the frontage or overlooking expansive gardens. I wanted the stairs to rise straight into the gallery and this was the only way I could do that without daisy chaining rooms i.e. one room leading off another, which would have eliminated the longer vistas I was looking for.
A moment in time between the bouts of ‘serious social usage’ – one where there’s a more domestic feel.
What to use, what to use
Hangings and curtains
Along the way I’ve bought various examples of the miniature silks and cottons and have used one or two in the Great Hall for panels and a hanging at the bottom of the spiral stair. I did try them out for this space, and although lovely, they attract the eye too much. For this somewhat wonky long gallery I have a fancy for fumble-fisted stitching, using, once more, the remains of my much loved scarf as seen earlier in the sitting room.
click on first pic in each group to view in slideshow format
easier to see and to read the captions 😉
Guild trading sign or equivalent
I’ve used clay flooring tiles, painted either dark red or green with quartering painted on studs produced for paper craft and card making. I’ve stuck them up in various dark corners (four so far with a plan for at least a fifth). All insignia here are made up and represent imaginary beings. Many real merchants did have their own signs quite often based on the vast variations on the shape of the number 4 – see The Mystic Sign of Four.
Not a lot of info on this but taking the design of much earlier and slightly later ones I fudged a possibility. A cast iron look seemed to be the way to go – svelte but definite.
Having fought three lengths of florists wire (that had been pre-abused to thread lighting) into a slightly straighter alignment, they were then twisted together with pliers leaving a third of the length to be doubled back and made into legs.
Two pieces of excess were chopped off and one was wrapped round to give a more solid look to the affair just above the legs. The flower metal strip has proved very useful, first as heavily camouflaged stonework in the second part of the Great Hall (photo below) and now here as the odd flower or two to dress the top of the firescreen. Contact adhesive and lots of matt black paint were slapped on wherever possible.
Some further seating
I bought two stools from Canvas Demon on eBay (who is also Felicity Price Miniatures – the stools are available on both sites.) They come with a little seat padding which I re-covered as was using it as the underlying shape and stuffing. This time it is Brodnax fabric that’s used, a cotton one, and I’ve ruined it with some running stitches to pick out a more definite pattern – a tad Elizabethan following the look of the padded frontages to gowns and on sleeves. I shortened the stools to get them closer to the height of the Angela Downton smart long benches and stained the newer chunky ones to try to get a similar colouring. Also tried, when sticking back the cushioning, to glue it so it shows a bit of indentation where a bottom recently was placed. Ah, the little things that amuse me.
Started on the instruments etc
So far there’s the addition of a lute shape and a recorder, plus some music. They may stay, they may not.
Table ornaments, flowers etc
Beginnings here too, whilst I think out the ‘bigger picture’, as it were. Have added a crater to the half table and a green glass vase and pewter dish to the corner one all to give me some inspiration re possible shapes, addition of flowers and/or fruits – or not.
At least one more door curtain to do possibly, still got three walls waiting with lots of windows etc, etc … Think I’d best be getting on with it.