Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Darien Press

This is my version of the original cupboard or "press" in situ in The Little Chamber of the building I'm recreating. It was made to hold the large ledgers and records of the ill-fated "Company of Scotland " trading to Africa and the Indies, better known as "The Darien Company".

The Darien Company was created in May 1695, a copy of the successful English East India Company which immediately became a jealous and powerful rival.

A large part of Scotland's wealth was invested in the company whose operations (predominantly in the Spanish-controlled Isthmus of Darien) failed disastrously through a mixture of mismanagement, rivalry and sheer misfortune. It's failure created economic havoc in Scotland.

Initially, the Darien disaster created an upsuge of anti-English feeling in Scotland. it had such a drastic effect on Scotland's economy that many Scots felt more enthusiastic to support the union of the English and Scottish parliaments in 1707.*

I hunted high and low on website after website to find a suitable item to turn into this Press with no luck at all until I spotted this at the NEC fair. I was so pleased to find exactly the item I was looking for, it made the whole trip worthwhile!

It's items like this little Ledger that all add to the realism of the project. I love the fact that it's printed inside:

* Reproduced by kind permission of the National Trust for Scotland.


  1. Hi Irene,

    how perfect. It's almost an exact copy of the real thing. Well found!
    Poor folk of Scotland. Looks like we're all getting used to economic disasters...

  2. You have turned this into a charming piece of furniture. The staining abd aging effects are wonderful.

  3. it is fantastic! I like the ledger! because it is a mini, is not real, true? LOL!

  4. So perfect - as I've said before I just love this project Irene and I could quite happily move in there!

  5. Great! And I like all the historic information you give us. The ledger is wonderful too.

  6. Este libro está fantastico, muy real. Has esperado para tenerlo y quedará muy bien en este armario.
    Besos Clara

  7. I didn't know about The Company of Scotland and its failure - thanks for the story!
    A cupboard full hope and woe - very nicely re-created, Irene! :)

  8. Thank you for all your nice comments and yes, Caterina, the Ledger's a mini one!



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