Monday, June 16, 2014

A weekend with an Antique Dollhouse.

My sister was lucky enough to acquire this beautiful antique dollhouse that once belonged to Flora Gill Jacobs. Mary asked me to help her choose furniture and accessories from her extensive collection of antique and vintage dollhouse items. I was only too happy to comply!
As soon as we opened the door Sesil took up residence in the kitchen. It was hard to get him to leave. You may think, when seeing this picture, that this is a small room. But no, it's a big cat. Each room measures 17.25" wide. x 19.5" deep. and 14" tall. The house is 44" tall.
The house has four rooms, but no staircase. That leaves room for lots of furniture. Flora added the wallpaper after she got the house in the 1970s. The interior had been painted white when it came to her. Flora dated the house to the middle of the 19th century, because of it's materials and design.
The first furniture we tried was this wonderful handmade dining room suite from Germany. It has elaborate filigree cut outs on each piece. It looked great in the room, but it is a large scale and as we didn't have other pieces this size we couldn't furnish the entire house in this scale, so we decided to try a large 1/12th scale instead.

I fell in love with these two chairs. The detail is wonderful. They are about 5" high, so they are quite large, but they work very well in this house.
Here is the living room fully furnished right down to the antique Christmas tree. Mary made the chandelier.


Once we got Sesil out of the kitchen we had great fun choosing the furniture and accessories. The large tin stove is really too big for this house, but we couldn't resist putting it in. The room has many different scales in the furniture and accesories. I kept asking to Mary how that little china doll managed to pour boiling water from that huge kettle on the stove. I think the kitchen has the charm one often sees in very old dollhouses where the scale of the contents is not an issue. Mary also made the chandelier in this room.
The children's room has German furniture for the main pieces. The wing chair is American and may be a Goldilocks piece. The chandelier and other accessories are antique.
The second bedroom is furnished in white. The chairs are marked on the bottom "Pupsi Wordtmann Hamburg". I am not sure, but I think this was a toy shop in that city. The vintage furniture is newer than the house, but the scale is perfect for it. We have put a miniature Sesil on the chair. He is drawing attention from a curious dog that seems to be made of glass or perhaps lava.

The pretty china doll is about to enjoy some coffee before she tackles the tasks of the day.


Another look at the children's room.

I love the metal hot water bottle and the ribbon tied towels on the little cart. We think that most of the furniture we have put in the house is German. The chandelier in this room is antique as are the pictures on the wall and most of the accessories.

23 comments:

  1. The house is really gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Eilana! I think so too.

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  2. Hello Susan,
    The house is just wonderful. The entire structure has such great detail and is just full of charm. I love it.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Thanks Giac! Isn't it great. I am so jealous that my sister has it and I don't. But I am also excited that she has such a lovely house.
      Big hug back.
      Susan

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  3. Love every stick of furniture. Lucky the house found a home with you, Mary! Clever chandeliers, I am very interested in the 2 green and blue tables in the kitchen. Love them, where did you find them xoxo CM

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    1. Aren't they gorgeous. The look great in the room. I think they may have come from Germany, but I'll ask Mary where she got them. Mary is quite talented at crafts. She is an accomplished artist among other things.

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  4. A lovely house and furnishings. I bet you both enjoyed your time together furnishing it. Some serious 'play' time.

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    1. We did have fun! We are both avid doll and dollhouse collectors so there is often a friendly rivalry between us, but not on this project.

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  5. I love your antique furniture :)

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    1. Thanks! It was so much fun deciding what to put in this wonderful house.

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  6. Hello from Spain: great house. Furniture is fabulous. Great job decorating. Keep in touch

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    1. Thanks Marta! It was such fun to work on such a special house.

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  7. Wow, what a great project. You did a great job finding lots of pieces with lots of character. It is great that you and your sister share in the hobby.

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    1. It is so much fun to have someone who shares your interests and talks dollhouse. But, you should see us elbow each other out of the way when we enter an antique shop. lol. It's all in good spirits though. We are always happy when the other one finds a treasure.

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  8. Oh my goodness, how lucky for your sister to purchase this beautiful house. I have Flora's book. You did a wonderful job helping your sister with such terrific pieces of furniture and figures to fill the rooms too Just perfect. Mini Hugs, Jean.

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    1. Thanks Jean! Isn't it a great house? And, it is so nice to have something from Flora's collection and to know the provenance. Mary has Flora's book too and we spent some time studying it before we began furnishing.

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  9. What a beautiful Old House! It looks so well cared for... and isn't it wonderful to know who the previous owner was? I Love the odd scaled items in a dollhouse.... it makes me feel like a child again.... not so concerned with perfect scale and illusion of reality... but a sense of charm and playfulness! Your sister is very lucky to have such a house and so much great old furniture for it!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I agree! The house has so much charm and the kitchen looks perfect with the furniture we chose. I am both jealous and thrilled that she has this wonderful house, and I love that she asked me to help her with the furnishing and decorating. It was so much fun.

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  10. Oh and I meant to say the Cat is a riot! I LOVE that he is in "mini" too!
    And the china head dolls.... are there really so many or does she have a beautiful wardrobe? The blue gown is particularly striking.... but so is the brown patterned one!
    I love to see people "play" with their houses!

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    1. It was so hard to keep the cat out of the dollhouse once we had it furnished. He just couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed in anymore. Mary has a collection of 6 of the little china head dolls. Aren't they wonderful? They look so good in this house. And, they each have a lovely dress. She actually found the dresses independently of the dolls. How lucky she is!

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  11. Wat ziet dat er allemaal prachtig uit.
    groetjes Marja

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  12. It really looks as though all that furniture has always been with the house! I can't believe it was separate! And I Love the carpet in the bedroom made from a piece of Paisley shawl! We had one of those when I was young... I don't know what became of it... it was so beautifully woven and the colors had that lovely pinkish red and blue tone too! It is so much fun to see your old houses! (and your sister's too!) And, she really is so lucky to find all those lady dolls in the right size and gowns too! Very beautiful!

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