Monday, March 28, 2011

Antique Stable and House circa 1900

I was fortunate to acquire this wonderful toy barn recently. I believe it to be a German toy circa 1900. It is hand painted to resemble stuccoed bricks or stone and wood. the stable is on one side, and the living quarters with hay mow above is on the other.

I saw many farm houses with attached barns while driving through Germany and Austria a few years ago.
This type of farmhouse first emerged in the Middle Ages and was built using timber framing and/or stone. It is an 'all-in-one' house (Einhaus) with living quarters and livestock stalls under one roof. This rural type of farmstead still forms part of the scene in many villages in the central and southern areas of Germany. It is a very clever idea in a cold climate as the warmth from the animals helped to heat the house.

In my German toy barn, there is a small entry door with painted latch and hinges, and a charming shuttered wndow with a bench underneath on the living quarters of the barn.

This swings open in one large door to reveal the interior.
The blue painted peasant furniture came with the house. I believe the paper trim along the floor and and the ceiling is original to the house. It has the decorating look from the right period.

I couldn't say whether the futniture is as old as the barn, but the style and scale are just perfect, so I am guessing they are.

The door into the hay mow doesn't open, but I feel the mow wold make a perfect sleeping loft if it was accessible.

I have yet to acquire animals to live in the stable, but now that I have this wonderful structure I will be on the look out for some.

These farmhouse/barns were not limited to Germany and Austria. When my ancestors emigrated from England to Canada in 1850, their first home on their backwoods farm was a combination barn/house. Unlike this one, my ancestors kept the animals on the ground floor level and lived on the floor above. The heat from the animals rose and helped keep the family warm during their first few Canadian winters. The bedrooms were open sleeping lofts above the living quarters. Again, for warmth from below. I was lucky enough to visit the farm that my ancestors built so long ago. I toured the lovely red brick Ontario farmhouse, built once they could afford it. For over a century there has been a magnificent traditional barn on the property. Both are beautiful, but I must say I was more interested in the the first building - the barn/house - still standing and quaintly decorated as an artist studio. It fired my imagination, and gave me a glimpse into my Great-great-grandmother's first taste of life in this new, uncharted country.


  1. Beautiful Barn! Will you find antique animals?

    I also love your flagg dolls. I think I'll have to search for some.

  2. Love it! How charming. The furniture is perfect for the livingroom. How fun to look for animals. What scale is it? C

  3. Thanks Heather! I am sure the animals are out there. Now I just have to be in the right place at the right time with the right amount of cash. LOL

  4. Thanks C! I have seen appropriate animals on eBay. Now I have an excuse to buy them. It is 1:18 or 3/4" scale.I love it!

  5. I have a barn that is identical to this one, although mine is missing the door on the left side. Thanks for posting this -- now I know what it's supposed to look like!