Saturday, May 1, 2010

Triang in Toronto


Craigslist Toronto has the most amazing capacity to offer me the things I would like to have.  Friday, just before I left work, I surfed in to the list and found this dollhouse. I knew it was a Triang so I emailed the seller and it was mine by 9 p.m. The front is a bit rough and the roof is missing, but it is in very good condition otherwise.

I believe this is a Triang 50 from about 1950. At that time the roof was made of cardboard. Does anyone out there know where I can find a reproduction roof, or what website might offer instructions on how to make one? Also what are your thoughts on re-painting the front as opposed to leaving it as original as possible?

It came with all the furniture pictured here. I think at least three pieces are original to the house.

The Marx Grandfather clock and secretary aren't in the best of condition, but they are still cute. I believe this furniture was sold in England in the mid-sixties. Of course it could have been acquired after the house came to Canada. We will never know. The soft plastic baby bed is about the right age, if not the right scale. It has some melt marks on the bed posts.

The living room has some very nice pieces. The fireplace is Marx. The TV is a Bush, made in England by Triang (Thanks Rebecca!), The sideboard is made of bakelite and says "Bex Molding" inside it. It was part of a Toy Town furniture set made in England by the British Xylonite Co. Ltd. It may be original to the house, but could also br from 10 years earlier. (Information from Dian Zillner's International Dollhouses and Accessories 1880s to 1980s)

I haven't been able to identify the chairs. They are hard plastic with felt glued on the seats & back. They look more mid-sixties in quality.

UPDATE: Thanks to Diepuppenstubensammlerin and Annina I know the chairs are East German by Fairline. I found a picture of them on this blog: My Mini-Playground. Here the author has replaced the red felt with thin foam core in an olive green. It improves the chairs immensely.

The other bedroom has a Dol-toi wardrobe and vanity, I think, or maybe Barton and a smaller scale bookcase that says BlueBox on the back. The books are cardboard.

I was thrilled with the tin stove and counter in the kitchen. They are from "My dolly's kitchen series", made by Brimtoy in Great Britain in the early 50s,  and the exact right age for the house. Too bad there aren't more pieces of the set. Dian Zillner's book (International Dollhouses and Accessories 1880s to 1980s) shows a sink, fridge and washer.

The soft plastic green cooker and table at the back of the kitchen are Kleeware, I think. They are more 1960s. Perhaps the dollhouse had two generations of play - early 50's and mid to late 60's.

The seller was a young man in his late twenties. He had the house in the back of his truck when I met him at a Starbucks (his suggestion). He said his mother had it in her basement and told him to 'get rid of it'. He said it had belonged to his mother's mother's 'something' (possibly his mother's aunt, I guessed), and it was from the 1930's. His mother had brought it over from England.

I didn't contradict him. I just wanted to buy it, and I believed that it was probably his mother's and his mother's aunt before that. It may be true, but when I was cleaning 50 years of dirt off it I came across a number 7 written in grease pencil. Those of you who are familiar with Value Village and some of the other thrift stores will know that they write their prices on items with grease pencil. (very annoying, but that's another story).

So whether it was his mother's or a thrift shop find doesn't change the fact that it is a 1950 Tirang with some original furniture  and I am thrilled to have it.

Wow! I finally have a Tirang!



  1. Wow, lucky you! Another great find! And with a great selection of furniture. The TV is by Triang too, Triang Spot-On tvs had the name Bush on them. I'm sure I've seen those chairs somewhere - it may come back to me.

    Ali on Dolls Houses Past and Present has this model house with a cardboard roof. Not sure if you're a member - you can see the photos without being a member, but if you wanted to send Ali a message, you would have to be. I'm sure she'd help - she's very friendly and loves finding out more about her own dolls houses (she has Amershams and Triangs), and I'm sure she'd help a fellow collector. As for the front - some collectors would repaint, some wouldn't. I guess I'd be thinking more of preservation than looks - is the bare metal rusting, would it help stop it if it was repainted? If you do re-paint, using water-based / acrylic / emulsion paint makes it easier to remove than oil-based enamel gloss, if a future owner wanted to.

  2. Congratulations, I can't help with information about the house and most of the furniture - the problem of keeping the current state of the front or repainting it is a question of collector's conscience...
    But the chairs are from East Germany of the 70s - VERO, I suppose, because at that time nearly every toy manufacturer had been forced to join that nationally owned enterprise.

  3. Felicidades Susan, es una buena compra, seguro que le sacará un partido increible, es una casa muy bonita.
    Besos y abrazos Carmen

  4. Lovely house! I think the chairs are Flairline and from the 60s or 70s.

  5. Oh my Susan. What a find. Will you be starting a museum soon? Kidding... You could have an elder person live in the house so the exterior would need some work. I like to leave things as is unless work is needed to stop further damage from age. You are a lucky, fast moving doll house nut!

  6. Thanks everyone! I have updated the blog with your information.
    I think I will leave the front of the house as is. There is no rust, but the paint is flaking off. We'll see how bad it gets.
    Rebecca, I will join Dolls Houses Past and Present - I love the site - and ask Ali about the roof. Thanks.
    Amy, it has crossed my mind to start a museum. I don't know what else to do with all these houses and I can't resist buying more, especially vintage ones. I know that I definitely need a bigger house. I am being swallowed by dollhouses in this one. LOL


  7. Great house. My sister had a very similar one but it was a later model - early 1960's. I can never make up my mind how much to do with old houses, especially because I like the distressed look. I guess it is down to your preference.

    By the way, I have those sideboards too and a matching table.

    Pan x