Saturday, November 24, 2012

Candy Containers as Antique Doll House Furniture

As children do today, children at the turn of the last century often found packages of candy under their Christmas trees. But the candy wasn't the as big a thrill as the boxes they came in.
The variety of candy containers was almost endless. They were made of glass, celluloid, paper mache, composition, wood, plastic, and everything else used to make toys and collectibles. Although you can still buy toys containing candies today, the golden age of candy containers was from the 1870s up into the 1920s.

Containers came in many shapes - animals (some covered with real fur), trees, people, historical figures, household appliances, furniture, decor, flowers, vehicles, holiday items, and anything else you could imagine.

My collection of candy containers is, of course, doll house furniture. I believe these were made in the early 1900s.


The red patterned armchair with matching side chairs and table is made of cardboard and covered with a print patterned paper.

When the boxes are opened you can see that the original shredded paper excelsior is still in place.

The furniture is a 1 inch to 1 foot scale, so each piece must have held only one or two pieces of candy.

The black patterned set doesn't have any excelsior, but the insides of the boxes have paper lace edging.

The construction is the same as the red set.
The sofa and the chaise would have contained more candy than the chairs, but, I am sure, would have cost more.

The piano is also paper covered cardboard.

Here is a view of the piano looking down from the top
The candy space is revealed when you push back the top of the piano.

Here are the two tables side-by-side for comparison of their construction.

The black patterned one has a wooden base. The red one has a base of thick cardboard.
The side chairs are identical in construction. The backs are slightly padded.

The arm chairs are quite large in comparison to the rest of the furniture. I guess these were for the father of the family. The construction is identical, but the chair on the right is missing a padded piece of cardboard on the back, which I assume represents a cushion.

You can find  many other examples of antique candy containers on the internet by putting that phrase into a Google search.

I was amazed at the variety of items. Holiday themed containers like Santas and Jack O'Lanterns were very popular. Unusual papier-mâché and composition examples can bring very high prices.

There is even a Candy Container Collectors of America club

I would have loved to find any of these wonderful items under my Christmas tree.

I wish they made such quality items to delight and entertain us today.

Happy Holidays!

Susan



21 comments:

  1. Hi Susan, what a wonderful collection! I occasionally see pieces listed, but I've never bought any - nor seen such complete sets as these! Thanks for sharing :-)

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  2. Thanks Rebecca! I have to admit that when I saw these wonderful things I just had to have them. I am still looking for the right kind of house to display them in, but the looking is half the fun.
    Susan

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  3. Love them! So sentimental. The Piano is especially grand!;0 I am looking for a little old fashioned trunk with resort labels on it.
    Your's will be a festive tree, no doubt! C

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    1. I love the piano too. The litho-ed art is so cool.

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  4. Very interesting, thanks for sharing your lovely collection with us.

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    1. Thanks Mary. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. Great collection Susan! I'm always tempted to buy these when I see them, but they're too big for any of my houses.

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    1. Thanks Rick. I know what you mean. They are a large 1" scale. I can't seem to find a house they look right in, but I will keep looking.

      I love the Christmas displays in your last post. They are so warm and inviting. I wish I was closer so I could visit them.
      Susan

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  6. These are so lovely and cheerful with lovely floral patterns. A wonderful collection.

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    1. Thanks so much! I think they are really fun.

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  7. How interesting! Thanks for sharing and for the photos.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Dora! I wish we could buy these now.

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  8. What a cool idea. I wish they still did this. Just another reason to have candy.

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    1. I am always happy to find a reason to have candy. lol

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  9. Wonderful collection. I like the piano.
    Bye Faby

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    1. Thanks Faby! The piano is my favorite too.

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  10. Hello Shale,
    What an incredible collection. I've never seen these before.
    Hugs,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac! I am glad that you enjoyed my post. I always look forward to your new posts. I love your house and the incredible things you make for it.
      Susan

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  11. These are so sweet! I've never seen them before.
    They look easy enough to duplicate. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful collection. :D

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    1. Thanks Kathi! I was thinking the same thing. They are cardboard and mostly angles and circles. You could use any print for the covering, but copies of antique dollhouse wall paper would work well.

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  12. These are the coolest things. Love them and have never seen them before!

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