Saturday, February 6, 2016

Art Nouveau Parlour - Antique Dollhouse

Today we are visiting an antique doll family in their beautiful Art Nouveau parlour. They are just about to enjoy a lovely dessert. It is all laid out on the table.

The wooden treen dishes are hand painted and the wine glasses are hand blown. Both sets were made in Germany. The large serving spoon is sterling silver. The plaster cake sits on a soft metal plate. Most of these items are German, from circa 1900, as are the other accessories in the photos.

Mother, and daughter, Mildred, are Simon and Halbig glass-eyed dolls (number 1160) made around 1900. Mildred is wearing a pink dress with a black bow. It was made for her by her first child owner over 100 years ago.

The skirt part of mother's dress was made by the same child.

Father, and son, Edgar, are wearing their original factory made outfits. They were also made in Germany around 1900. Father came to me in his original box. I don't believe he had ever been played with.

The parlour suite is in wonderful condition for its age. I know it was made in Germany, but I don't know who the maker was. The style is very different from other furniture in my collection from the same time period. More pictures are below.

Three of the five chairs have arms and are slightly larger.

The other two chairs are smaller without arms. I have heard the smaller parlour chairs called Lady chairs while the larger ones are called Gentlemen chars.

I found this tiny dragon vase recently. I don't know if it is as old as the rest of the accessories, but I think it looks great here. The roses are new, but a perfect scale for it.

Here are some close-ups of the furniture. The rug is not old, but it matches the room very well. I found it in the gift shop of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna when I was on the wonderful TLC Doll tour last spring.

I also found these gorgeous old drapes, complete with antique curtain rod and clips in Germany last spring when the TLC tour went to the doll festival.

I think they are incredible in their completeness.

The family is seated so Mother can serve the cake with the sauce

The light fixture is also German from circa 1900.

I found the 'Made in Japan' dog at a flea market. I loved it's regal pose and thought it would look great in a dollhouse. When the seller told me she wanted $10 for it I answered in disbelief, "But its legs have been broken off and glued back on!"

She took a closer look at it and said she hadn't noticed that before. Then she just gave it to me. I was delighted and now it lives in my dollhouse land, as regal as it was always meant to be.

I hope you enjoyed the visit. Come back soon.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Arcade Toys for the Dollhouse - A 1920s Kitchen

Recently I have been collecting cast iron toys from the 1920s. This is the kitchen from the Arcade Manufacturing Company of Freeport, Illinois.

There were two kitchen sets shown in the 1929 brochure. An electric kitchen and a gas kitchen. This one is the gas kitchen, but it has the electric sink.
This is the Roper gas range. The electric kitchen had a very similar stove, but it was a Hotpoint brand with electric burners where the gas ones are.

I believe that Arcade produced these toys under license and authorization from appliance and furniture companies. Each piece has a brand name on it.

The electric sink has a built in dishwasher - very advanced for the 1920s. I have not seen the real life equivalent, but it seems to be just a deep covered sink with an electric agitater on the bottom.

Mother and Ethel, the maid, are busy preparing dinner. The dolls are German dollhouse dolls from the 1920s.  The furniture is a large 1/12th scale, and I find it makes the dolls look small. But perhaps they are just petite ladies.
The butter churn on top of the fridge is just like the one my mother had when I was a child. It took some muscle to crank it until the butter was made. A computer keyboard doesn't give one the same kind of muscles.
It looks like the chicken is almost ready. Time to make the gravy,

I also added some Arcade pieces to the kitchen in my large Mystery house.  They are preparing dinner as well.

The Crane sink is in this kitchen and the ice box is an Alaska brand.

The Arcade company was founded by 2 brothers in 1896. Initially, they made spring hinges, coffee mills, and other household items.

1908 they began to make cast iron toy banks, and in 1921, Arcade brought out their first car - a Yellow Cab Taxi, under license and authorization from the cab company. The car was such a huge success that the company began to produce more toy vehicles, farm items and dollhouse furniture.

These toys were advertised as looking just like the real thing. This is the thing I really love about this furniture, Unfortunately most of the pieces suffer from paint loss - they are about 80 years old after all - so I love to find pieces that are in good shape.

I will try to collect other rooms of furniture as well. When I do I will share them. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Starting the new year right. My new antique doll's house.

 Happy New Year everyone!

I am starting 2016 with a new addition to my collection.

While visiting friends in Maryland I found this beautiful FAO Schwarz Mystery House in an antique shop.

This is one of several dollhouses made in the 1890s, and sold at FAO Schwarz. No one has ever discovered who made these houses, or whether it was one craftsman or a factory. Because of this, the esteemed dollhouse historian Flora Gill Jacobs coined the term "Mystery House." The houses came in many sizes with various architectural configurations. They all share two distinctive features - tramp art trim on the exterior, and painted parquet floors.

Long ago someone painted the house white with green trim. It doesn't look bad, but I hope to be able to restore the house to its original colour.

I am not sure the roof is original to the house. It is a different type of wood and the window frames are a different shape, but it suits the house so it's okay by me.

I put in the few pieces of furniture I also found in Maryland to give the house a lived in feel. I will do a more thorough decorating job when I get the house home.

The parquet floors are intact, but will look better after a good cleaning. The tramp art trim will also look better if I can get the white paint off. It should be a contrasting colour.

I am so excited to add this house to my collection. When I saw it in the antique shop I felt as if Santa had left it especially for me. What a thrill to find and then own this rare dollhouse.

My friends' dog, Mango, supervised as I furnished the house. She is a very sweet dog.

Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours in 2016.