Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Tin

Here is another tin house I absolutely love. This is a T. Cohn circa 1948. It has seen better days. It's missing some windows. The roof has been repainted white and sports some nasty dents and the front has faded a bit. But despite its drawbacks it is still one great house. (oops, you can see the unopened Emerson box in the background).

The landscaping and exterior graphics are gorgeous. I just want to move in and live there with Donna Reed, or the Cleavers or in a worry-free existence where Father Knows Best. (BTW - a house like this one, but it better condition is on eBay. Click here)

Look at the ends of the house. There are doors and windows that are completely ignored in the exterior. The living room end of the house has lovely shuttered windows with floral drapes on the lower windows and striped drapes on the sweet French balcony doors above.

But on the inside of the living room the end wall has no windows. It is painted green and has a Gauguin painting on the wall. (I am sure it is an original. This family doesn't appear to be hurting for money.)

Upstairs in the nursery there are no French doors. There is a window with circus tent themed curtains and a wall with Little Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep.

I find this incongruity absolutely charming. A doll house should be able to be one thing on the outside and something else on the inside. It's part of the fantasy.
We find the same thing on the opposite side of the house. The kitchen has a wonderful three framed window with flourishing flower box and a sweet kitchen door.

But on the inside wall there is a plate rack and a teapot clock. Don't you just love the white tile with the yellow upper walls and blue scalloped trim? The asymmetrical floor blows me away. And I love the curtains with their flower motif border.
Above the kitchen is a wonderful roof patio with a colorful flagstone floor. Hmmm, I wonder how they got that  rusted area. It looks like they may have been letting the dog out there to pee.

This patio looks so inviting for morning coffee or afternoon sunbathing. It's too bad that the family can't get to it from inside.
There is no door or window on the inside wall of the bedroom. I love the bedroom decoration. Yellow with two shades of green in the wallpaper. The plaid drapes and green valance are a perfect compliment to it. The pattern cut into the carpet is a bit overkill in my opinion, but it is so much fun. The Gauguin theme is repeated here in the Painting on the wall.

The bathroom is decorated with swans. It's not very big, but it is gorgeous. There is a little rust on the floor here too. The family really needs to give that poor dog a little more attention. The four diamond shaped holes at the back of the room matches up with the keyhole shaped window pictured on the front of the house.

Back downstairs we check in on the dining room. It is missing it's windows, but how can you even notice when you see that rug? Or the stripped wallpaper? Or the orange and white drapes? I would love to have the person who decorated this house over for cocktails and just ask them: "What were you thinking?"

But don't get me wrong. I absolutely love this house because of the graphics. They are wonderful.

I want ot leave you with pictures of the nursery.  We have circus clowns and wagons, nursery rhyme figures (although I thought it was the cat and the fiddle, not the pig and the fiddle), puppies, balloons, blocks, bunnies, baby animals, sleds. Did they miss any nursery motif? I don't think so.

 I will see what furniture I can find and show you this house furnished. Do you thing it should have Strombecker, 60s era plastic, Petite Princess, or what. I am having trouble deciding what will look best. let me know what you think.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tinnie Tin Tin

I don't collect many tin dollhouses, but occasionally I fall in love with one and if the price is right I buy it.

This late 1948 Play Steel doll house by National Can Corporation of New York, NY seduced me with it's wonderful graphics, both inside and out.

Here is a Woolworth's ad from 1948 featuring the house and some of the furniture pictured below:

Not long ago I found some nice quality plastic furniture  and the house and furnishings seemed made for each other. In fact if you look closely at the ad I think they were
I have to admit that the bathroom captured my heart at first glance. Look at the swan mural over the tub. And the fish swimming on the floor. I love the choice of colours too - very seaweedy.

The master bedroom is also beautifully coloured. I love the little flared swags on the window treatments. Perhaps it was designed for different furniture because the book shelves over the beds are too high, and placement of the dresser, vanity and highboy is difficult. As you can see they are blocking either the windows or the graphics.

But that's okay. The room looks great anyway. And I think the green carpet bordered with orange is a brilliant touch.

The nursery is nice and bright.

I love the puppy border and all the baby motifs in the art.

There is a stork flying in with its new delivery on the end wall, and Peter Rabbit rushing off somewhere with his umbrella above the baby.

There is a lovely nursery rhyme mural on the opposite wall. I will add a picture as soon as I can take one.

The nursery window treatments are very unusual. They look like they exploded back on to the walls in a very precise manner. I love them.

Downstairs we see than Grandfather and Grandmother have dropped in for a visit. Hmmm, I wonder why no one went upstairs for the baby. Grandmother loves the baby best of all.

Grandfather is about to play a piece on the piano.

The children seem to be curious, but father appears to be less than enthusiastic about his father-in-law's presentation. Or, perhaps he is just tired from work.

Another room I fell in love with was the living room with the gorgeous graphics of bookcases and the unusual painting above the fireplace.

What a perfect home.

Mom and Grandmother are in the kitchen chatting. They don't seem to be worried about the baby upstairs. Or about feeding the hungry family. I wonder what they are so absorbed by.

Maybe we will find out on our next visit.

Bye for now. Come back again some time


Friday, October 15, 2010

Antique Gottshcalk furniture

 I showed you this lovely auction lot of furniture once before, but I think they look great in my antique dollhouse so here they are again.

The wonderful little Japan china pitcher on the middle shelf of the bookcase has been mine since I was a child. I have always cherished it. My grandmother gave it to me.
After I took the picture I moved the sitting room pieces into the room at the front to the house (or the I guess to you it is the room at the back of the picture), and set up the dining room.

The red stain radio I bought from a dealer here in my city. It is a bit newer than the rest of the furniture, but I think it fits,

The bead flower vase and the metal gramophone came with the box lot of Schneegas I found at the estate sale.

Here's another shot of the room with an unusual all-bisque doll, I found. She is such a perfect image of the 1920s. I have her dressed as a little girl, but I think she would look good as a flapper too.

Hmmm, where did the red stain radio go? I had better go and have a look in the dollhouse. It seems things are being moved around without my knowledge.

I just knew that the dolls could move around  when I'm not looking. This proves it.

Unless, of course, I moved the radio to another room. Well, I guess that is more likely.



Good things come in small packages

I recently acquired this lovely little Morton E. Converse House. It was made about 1910-1920, I believe (please correct me if I am wrong).

The house was offered in three sizes. It is printed paper over wood.

This is the smallest version - only about 12" high - and originally sold for 69¢. It is in excellent condition except for the fading and wear on the gable.

Please come in and look around. It won't take long.

The front of the house swings open, veranda and all, and the roof lifts off. As you can see the wallpaper, rugs, curtains and architectural detail is all  there - printed on.

I particularly like the bird cage and the potted plant in the upper windows.

It's not a very spacious house, but a couple of tootsietoy chairs and a radio make the living room comfortable.

And upstairs there is room for a tootsietoy bed and rocking chair

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Y'all come back and see us sometime.


Two Little Girls in a Little Doll House

 One, two. Two little girls ...
I recently brought home Betty and Mickey, a lovely pair of Tiny Town dolls, and their house full of wonderful furniture and accessories. I believe everything is original to the late 40s-early 50s era that the dollhouse was in use as a plaything.

This is Betty, dressed for a party, or maybe a regular day at home. She stands very well on her metal feet. She has a wire frame covered with felt and her face is hand painted.

 I know her name is Betty because it is printed on the bottom of her foot

 Her roommate Mickey is also identified by her name on her foot, and some hair I see now that the photo is bigger.

Mickey has her original hat and her adorable felt outfit with striped t-shirt.

The girls live in this gorgeous fully furnished 1948 Keystone dollhouse.
I don't think it was played with much, or at least not vigorously. Everything is in mint condition with the exception of the family dog. One of his back legs is broken off. He doesn't seem to mind though and the girls love him just as much as ever.

The house came with Strombecker furniture in the bathroom and bedroom. A Renwal washing machine and changing table were added, for convenience I would imagine.

The living room and dining room are furnished with beautiful Lynnfield pieces. We will probably explore these in greater detail later.

There are two semi-lune tables, a piano and bench, a clock, armchair, settee and secretary with a brass cornice. The furniture seems a bit grown up for Betty and Mickey, but they have been taking good care of it.

The kitchen and nursery have beautiful wooden pieces that I have been unable to identify so far. I have seen it in books, but no manufacturer was listed with it. I do know that similar pieces are in Faith Bradford's dollhouse in the Smithsonian in Washington DC. The crib and the sink for instance.

The little glass dishes on the kitchen table are marked corning glass.

I am thrilled to have Betty and Mickey and their home in my collection. I will post more as my research into this house continues.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tots in the Terrarium

I found this lovely terrarium in my garage. It had been placed there at some point in the past. I didn't have a use for it at that time, but once I re-discovered it I knew exactly what to do with it.

 The leaves are falling. the garden is going to sleep. What could be better than a little springtime under glass.
 I hope you enjoy two little girls playing in the greenhouse.



Monday, October 4, 2010

Home from the Sunday Market

Mother, Father and the children are just back from the Sunday Antique market, where they bought some lovely luggage and beautiful furniture.
The children are tired and cranky. Sister is throwing a tantrum and brother is whining for Mother's attention.

Mother is trying to rest on the new chaise, hoping her headache will go away.

The china dog has just chased the bisque cat onto the lovely striped wing chair they found for a great price that morning. It even has a matching foot stool.

I hope the cat's feet are clean.

Father seems oblivious to the tantrum, the whining the barking and the hissing. What has captured his attention?

Oh, I see. There is a sunbather in the garden. Father, really! Give the poor girl some privacy.

I got up impossibly early on Sunday morning and dragged myself to the Toronto Antique Market. One of the dealers, who knows I am an easy touch, called me to say he had some dollhouse items.

I was intrigued, so bolstered by coffee and not much else, I ventured out to find a Streetcar. It was really cold on Sunday, I had to put my furnace on for the first time since Spring. But the early, sleepy, cold, caffeine driven quest was worth it.

The stuff he had was from the late 70's early 80's. I didn't buy everything. I felt his prices were too high on some things, but I got these things:

• green striped chair and footstool - the chair is a wonderful interpretation of the House of Miniatures wing chair kit. The foot stool is a covered plastic pizza box separator.

• the croquet set. I can't tell whether it is an artisan piece or a manufactured piece, but I love it.

• the four lovely potted plants

• the wicker lounge and matching table (not shown) - could be artisan pieces. They are beautifully made.

• the iron garden pieces - acrylic topped table and two chairs. They are upholstered in the same fabric as the wing chair.

• the child's wagon - a signed artisan piece.

• the pie crust table - marked with a paper label from Miniature Collector, Quakertown, PA, 1977.

• the plug in lamp

• and the gorgeous luggage which appears to be hand made. Only one piece opens.

• not shown are some pettitpoint rugs, and other artisan miniatures - toy soldiers and a toy train.

The dealer grumbled about me taking the cream of the collectibles, but gave me a great rate and we made a deal.

I am very pleased with my purchases for the day and eagerly look forward to his next call.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

A dream estate auction

Maybe I am dreaming. It certainly seems like it.  I recently stumbled across an estate auction that offered unexpected, actually undreamed of, treasures. There were several lots of dollhouse items. I will share all of them with you sooner or later, but today I want to show you the Golden Oak lot.

I brought my antique dollhouse in from the garage and cleaned it up so I could showcase my unbelievable find. This furniture is from 1900-1910

I already had the wardrobe. It took me a while to figure out what is was. It has a GA Schwarz, Philadelphia label on the back. GA Schwarz was FAO's brother, I believe. It was because of this wardrobe and its label that I came to learn about Schneegas dollhouse furniture.

The bed, complete with mattress, pillow, 2 sheets and a coverlet. was one of the auction lots. It is in perfect condition.
A wonderful golden oak dining room was in a box of ten pieces of Schneegas.

The server/buffet has a marble top and candle shelves.

The four chairs have original woven seats. The candelabra in the middle of the table has a paper label that says "Made in Germany" and is blown glass from the same period as the furniture.
The desk opens up to reveal a space under the felt writing platform. It has a door on the side you can see that opens to a storage space. On the opposite side there are three working drawers.

The pigeon holes on the top of the desk also have two drawers. Perhaps there were four at one time. I don't know.

The Pièce de résistance is the hall stand. I managed to identify all the other pieces (except the clock) on the web, or in one of my books. But the hall stand was a complete surprise to me.

It has six soft metal hooks, a mirror and a drawer. The glue had dried out on several of the pieces and this was no exception. I had to glue the mirror back in and the cornice back on top.

I feel very lucky that the pieces were all in the box.

The clock on the metal Stevens table in the background is also a piece I couldn't find any references to. It is gorgeous!

The cornice seems to be broken off. This is the only item in the box of goodies that has missing pieces. The clock has a mirror behind the pendulum and glass on all three sides. The clock and pendulum seem to be the same soft metal as the knobs and hooks on the other pieces.

Here is the furnished dollhouse. As you can see there is more to tell.

Stay tuned.