Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gottschalk Dollhouse with Pull-Out Garden - Antique dollhouse

Today, I would like to share my German Red Roof Gottschalk Dollhouse with Rare Pull-Out Garden from circa 1921

It is a lovely little dollhouse with a big bay window in the front and a side veranda.
Inside there are four rooms if you can count the entry hall and upstairs hall as rooms

The garden slides out from beneath the house like a drawer. Steps to the garden are in the drawer as well

I wonder if the green areas were for specific pieces of furniture.  There are other styles of Gottschalk  houses with pull out gardens. Some have different shapes painted on them

Here is the furnished garden complete with trellis, fountain and sundial.

The house looks very good with the garden extended. 

Here is the upper hall. I have used Gottschalk furniture form the same period as the house in most of the rooms

Since I don't have an appropriate bed for this house I made this room on the second floor into a study

Most Gottschalk houses of this period have a water closet under the stairs. This one retains it's original toilet. The door into the house from the veranda is on the maids right.

I was excited to find this wonderful green pressed paper furniture suite for the parlour of this house. It is the same type of furniture that is in the garden and meant to represent wicker. The garden furniture is quite common, but I have never seen these pieces before except for the table. The sofa and chairs are of a different design and the large piece in the back of the room and the sewing stand are unique in my experience.

Two more pieces of the suite are in the bay window. I have seen the plant stand in a different colour, but not the little bench. Can you see the little white feet of the peeping tom in the window? She is not actually a tom, but she is curious. Lily was trying to figure out what I was doing during the photo shoot.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thorne Miniature Rooms - Exquisite reproductions of dollhouse sized rooms.

For years I've been talking about going to Chicago to visit the miniature rooms in The Art Institute of Chicago. This past weekend my dream became a reality.

You can find out more and see pictures at the Art Institute website here.

They introduce the exhibit this way:
"The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications."

I took all of the pictures in this blog post. I held my camera against the glass of each exhibit in order to avoid reflections, so these shots show only partial rooms. The Art Institute website has full images of the rooms and when you click the small image it blows up to a nice size. There information about the size of each room and the date it was made

The rooms are exquisite. the detail is incredible I wish I had the skill and the patience to attempt making one myself. Maybe I will one day.

These gorgeous rooms are well loved in the Windy City. If you mention to anyone - sales people, those you ask to take your picture, those who give you directions - that you went to the Art Institute, they will say, "Did you see the miniature rooms?"

As I was about to leave the Art Institute I checked out the gift shop. I started to chat with another customer who asked if I had seen the rooms. Then she told me that her mother-in-law was a friend of Mrs. Thorne and that Mrs. Thorne had made her a room. She said that one of her nieces (the mother-in-law's granddaughter) has the room now.

I wasn't too jealous - it was a wonderful story.

I have seen many pictures of these rooms in books and online, but one does not appreciate the skill of the craftsmen and the detail of the rooms until you see them in person.

I would highly recommend visiting these incredible rooms if you ever get to Chicago - that toddlin' town.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Antique dollhouse collection in the National Museum of Denmark

Last summer I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Copenhagen. One of the highlights of my visit was touring the National Museum of Denmark. Not only did they have a very interesting special exhibit about the Vikings, but they also have an excellent antique dollhouse collection.

I have posted some of my pictures of the collection below. The dollhouse room was quite dark and the houses were behind glass, so I apologize for the quality of the photos. I think you will enjoy them despite the bad photography.

I have this little chef in my own collection.

It was fun to see furniture that I have in my collection in the exhibit. I have the clock, buffet and chairs.

This lovely large China doll relaxing on a child sized settee was part of an 19th century drawing room exhibit

I fell in love with this corner cabinet dollhouse. 

I would love to try to make a reproduction of it. It is so charming with built-in shelves and fireplaces.