Friday, July 11, 2014

Hall's Lifetime Toys Dollhouse - 1970s Colonial Mansion

I recently found a Hall's Colonial dollhouse circa 1970.
I love the front of the house with the impressive pillars,
the deep windows and the wide veranda.
As I don't have any of the Hall's furniture I had fun furnishing it from
my collection of German furniture from the 60s and 70s.
Hall's Lifetime Toys offered this wonderful Colonial dollhouse in the late 60s or early 70s.

Hall's was in business, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 1942 to the late 1970's.

They made many kinds of dollhouses and doll furniture for 8-12" dolls, 3/4" scale miniature furniture and 1/12 scale furniture. The furniture was made of wood and sold in upper scale department stores.

Hall's even offered a dollhouse version of Mount Vernon, which I am sure would be much smaller than the Mount Vernon dollhouse shown in my last post.
The appliances from "Little Mother's Kitchen" are not German. They are pink tin and
were made in Japan in the late 1950s or early 1960s. They originally came in a
boxed set which also included a table, 2 chairs and a washing machine.

The dining room set is plastic and was made in Germany.
The living room furniture, excluding the sofa and TV is German
made by Crailsheim circa 1963.
Mr. and Mrs. Hall are going out. Mrs. Hall's brother is going to
babysit Ursula and Gudrun and the sleeping baby upstairs.
The girls are oblivious to everything except the TV.
Mrs. Hall's brother is starting to look oblivious too. 
The blue bathroom fixtures were made by Vero, a German firm, circa 1970.
The cabinet is plastic and goes with the living room chairs. It is by 
Crailsheim.
There wasn't room for it in the living room, so now it holds towels and toiletries.

The bedroom set is also German, possibly Bodo Hennig, and from the 50s or 60s. It is made of wood.

The wicker baby bed has a  Caco baby in it and is from that company.
The house has 4 rooms and an attic. The attic is very low ceilinged, but good for storage.

The TV set is a novelty salt and pepper shaker holder. When one turns
the knob the salt and pepper shakers are pushed up so one can grasp them.
Mr. and Mrs. Hall appear to be re-thinking the wisdom of leaving her brother
With their children and the liqueur bottles on the credenza
- not to mention the tray of cocktails on the coffee table.
Maybe they don't need to go out after all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mount Vernon in Miniature - The Dollhouse

The pillared side of the real mansion faces the Potomac River
The un-pillared side faces the bowling green
As a patriotic Canadian I decided to spend Canada Day weekend with friends in the USA.

They live in the Washington DC area so we went to visit George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, while I was there.

To my delight there was a 1/12th scale version of the mansion in the Orientation Centre.

The small dining room

Most of the bedrooms were for guests, but this is the Nelly Custis bedchamber for Martha's grandaughter
Each room in the dollhouse is a scale model of the corresponding room in the real house. The bed spreads, upholstery and furniture are miniatures of the real thing.
Of course the full size mansion was gorgeous. We were not allowed to take pictures inside.
West parlour


Blue Bedchamber

Central passage and upper hall



The green chairs represent the chairs on the veranda facing the river.
The room behind is the New Room (Or Large Dining Room)

Little parlour


Lafayette Bedchamber

Downstairs bed chamber






This room is a model of Washington's Library

A model of the bedroom George and Martha shared

I really enjoyed the tour of the estate. It is very interesting to see how they lived in those days.

And, of course, once our tour was over, I scoured the gift shop for miniatures to add to my own mini houses. I was successful as you can see. I bought miniature paintings, and a blue and white porcelain platter.

My friend bought me this lovely pewter tea set as a gift. It is a perfect dollhouse scale. I am still trying to decide which of my dollhouses will be honoured with its presence.

I had a lovely Canada Day weekend visiting the historic sites of our neighbours to the south.

I would highly recommend visiting Mount Vernon to see the wonderful dollhouse as well as the beautiful estate.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Give-away Time! 400 followers means a draw for the prize

June 21, 2014
Susan's Mini Homes has 388 followers. 12 more and I hit the 400 mark, so ... It's time for a GIVE-AWAY!!!

I have this lovely cabinet and the two lamps to mail to someone once I am above 400 followers.

Please share this with your followers and I ask both them and you to let me know in the comments of this post that you want to participate in the draw. I will choose a winner on July 21st. I think this should go for a month so that everyone who wants to will have a chance to participate.
The cabinet is unfinished so that you can paint it or stain it to match your decor. Both lamps have cords but no plugs.

The teddy bear lamp will look adorable in your nursery

The cabinet has plexiglass windows and all the doors work

As you can see by the ruler this piece is an impressive size. Perfect for a 1:12 scale house or shop

The ship lamp will look great in a boy's room or the study.

Both lamps are 1:12 scale

Both lamps have their cords and are ready to light up your dollhouse.
If you have wall outlets you would need to add plugs.



Monday, June 16, 2014

A weekend with an Antique Dollhouse.

My sister was lucky enough to acquire this beautiful antique dollhouse that once belonged to Flora Gill Jacobs. Mary asked me to help her choose furniture and accessories from her extensive collection of antique and vintage dollhouse items. I was only too happy to comply!
As soon as we opened the door Sesil took up residence in the kitchen. It was hard to get him to leave. You may think, when seeing this picture, that this is a small room. But no, it's a big cat. Each room measures 17.25" wide. x 19.5" deep. and 14" tall. The house is 44" tall.
The house has four rooms, but no staircase. That leaves room for lots of furniture. Flora added the wallpaper after she got the house in the 1970s. The interior had been painted white when it came to her. Flora dated the house to the middle of the 19th century, because of it's materials and design.
The first furniture we tried was this wonderful handmade dining room suite from Germany. It has elaborate filigree cut outs on each piece. It looked great in the room, but it is a large scale and as we didn't have other pieces this size we couldn't furnish the entire house in this scale, so we decided to try a large 1/12th scale instead.

I fell in love with these two chairs. The detail is wonderful. They are about 5" high, so they are quite large, but they work very well in this house.
Here is the living room fully furnished right down to the antique Christmas tree. Mary made the chandelier.


Once we got Sesil out of the kitchen we had great fun choosing the furniture and accessories. The large tin stove is really too big for this house, but we couldn't resist putting it in. The room has many different scales in the furniture and accesories. I kept asking to Mary how that little china doll managed to pour boiling water from that huge kettle on the stove. I think the kitchen has the charm one often sees in very old dollhouses where the scale of the contents is not an issue. Mary also made the chandelier in this room.
The children's room has German furniture for the main pieces. The wing chair is American and may be a Goldilocks piece. The chandelier and other accessories are antique.
The second bedroom is furnished in white. The chairs are marked on the bottom "Pupsi Wordtmann Hamburg". I am not sure, but I think this was a toy shop in that city. The vintage furniture is newer than the house, but the scale is perfect for it. We have put a miniature Sesil on the chair. He is drawing attention from a curious dog that seems to be made of glass or perhaps lava.

The pretty china doll is about to enjoy some coffee before she tackles the tasks of the day.


Another look at the children's room.

I love the metal hot water bottle and the ribbon tied towels on the little cart. We think that most of the furniture we have put in the house is German. The chandelier in this room is antique as are the pictures on the wall and most of the accessories.