Thursday, April 16, 2009


This is William Tolliday working on one of his fairytale castles. He was born in 1915 and worked his entire career at Garrard & Co., London. In the late 1960s he began creating his fairytale castle of gold, sitting in, on and around the most beautiful mineral specimens.
He said he inspired by the look of the Houses of Parliament and the buildings of Venice with the golden light of sunset behind them.
He first paints a water colour of his design then selects a foundation mineral base to suit the 18ct golden towers and bridges he constructs piece by tiny piece. He blended red, yellow, soft white and oxidised white gold to develop depth and perspective.
The reflective properties of the minderals change the light of the gold as the towers are added and soldered into place.
He used diamonds for windows which gave a life-like flash in the high towers.
Everything is in miniature ith amazing detail from the flags flying on the turrets, the rigging on the ships or the tiny trees hidden in the crystals.
He signed each piece with his name as a fine sprinkling of gold dust.
As it takes, on average, 12 months to execute the planned sculpture, only three or four are completed each year from the first water colour sketch.
Below is the first version of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, made in 1969. It's crafted of 18ct and 22ct red, yellow and white gold. The courtyard is made of the mineral barite. The natural rock base is formed of tourmaline and lepidolite minerals. Several of the turret windows of the three towers are set with baguette diamonds. It measure 6 5/8 inches by 5 1/4 inches in width.
It has no flat base and the gold battlements seem to perch precariously on top of the specimen instead of blending into the rocks.

This 1980s version of the Royal Castle Neuschswantein has the golden towers fully part of the amethyst geode on which it sits. Once again, there are diamond insets in the windows and the agate base balances the whole structure. Nestled inside the geode are tiny golden fir trees.
The whole sculpture is 23 cms tall.


River said...

That last one with the tiny golden trees is SO, SO, pretty. I'd like that one in my christmas stocking please.

Brian Hughes said...

I don't think I've ever seen anything so vulgar since Brian Sewell filmed his cottaging tour of the Bahamas.

Maria said...

Oh my God that's amazing.

It's opened up a whole new world of craft for me and i only just figured out how they put the ships in bottles! (OK I'm slow)

Thanks Witchy.

Bwca Brownie said...

they sold at 4 thousand quid and Peter Sellers bought one.

Jayne said...

I now have FB's career and hobbies lined up for him :P

Thanks for the link, he loved the articles :)

JahTeh said...

River, pace yourself, I have more posts.

Fleetwood, you wouldn't be saying that if it was some manky old Saxon 'dug-up' from one of your ditches.

Maria, my own contribution today was glueing a glass and gold platypus on to a piece of quartz. That's one career that's going nowhere.

Bwca, only 4 grand? A bargain price since one I found went at auction for 48,000 old pounds.

Jayne, another link in the next post that he will love.

Lord Sedgwick said...

... and how bloody stupid was I not to pull out at 47,999 old pounds?

Well in the game of Vatican Texas Holdem Poke Her, I probably wouldn't have ended up with the #1 daughter I guess.

Verification - wogities. (No jokes!)

JahTeh said...

Evening MiLord, phone call from my mother tonight.
"What channel is channel 2 on?"

Like you said to cameraface, the competition is fierce.

WV is phoths. Didn't they invade Rome?

Bwca Brownie said...

""What channel is channel 2 on?"

oh yes.
those drugs.
I need some of those.

booxe your phox

JahTeh said...

Bwca, this is what you do, change tv to channel 2, listen over the phone until it sounds the same then swear and hang up the phone.
And after all that Midsommer Murder was an old show not the new series and she didn't like that particular episode. Merde!

Middle Child said...

always post such interesting stuff... unexpected and unusual...muchly appreciated.