Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ladies who tea (Simon and Halbig dollhouse dolls)

Mrs. Curllock has invited her new neighbour, Mrs. Featherbonnet to tea. Mrs. Featherbonnet has two children, a girl and a boy. Mrs. Curllock hopes that her little boy will make friends with them.

Cecil can be a bit rough and tumble at times and Mrs. Curllock hopes that the genteel-looking Featherbonnet children will be a good influence on him.

Mrs. C. is wearing an original child-made gown. If you look closely you can see the hand stitching where the bodice is joined to the skirt. I was very lucky to acquire Mrs. C with a complete hand sewn wardrobe, plus a bed and wonderful bedding.
Mrs. Curllock takes a last look around her parlour. It looks very nice, she thinks. She has put out her best tea set and the sugar bowl with the silver tongs.
Mrs. Featherbonnet and the children arrive and the boys immediately check each other out.
Cecil Curllock looks at Fairchild Featherbonnet's fancy suit and tightly curled hair and wonders if he should reconsider asking Fairchild to come outside to see his tree house.
Flossie Featherbonnet is more interested in Spot, the Curllock's pup.

Mrs. Featherbonnet looks around the parlour and finds it very pleasant. "What a lovely home you have, Mrs. Curllock. Thank you for inviting us to tea"

Mrs. F. came to me with no clothes. She is wearing an outfit that came with Mrs. C. (although she thinks it is hers). This dress and hat are also child-made. The purse is a mother-of-pearl watch fob.
"You are so kind," says Mrs. Curllock. "Cecil, please take Fairchild and Flossie to the kitchen and ask Cook to give you your tea."

"Okay Mother," says Cecil. "C'mon Fairch and Floss. Cook made sugar cookies just for us."

The children came to me fully dressed. Their outfits are expertly made and are probably original from the factory. All five dolls have glass eyes and wigs.
"Mrs. Featherbonnet, please sit down and I will serve the tea." says Mrs. C.

"This is all so lovely," says Mrs. F.
Mrs. C. is very proud of her 1890s parlour set. The upholstery is all original and in fantastic condition for its age.
Mrs. C is also very proud of her pink frill lamp.

The room is a three-sided backdrop with a window in the back. It makes a lovely room.

The ladies are Simon and Halbig dollhouse dolls, mold number 1160. These dolls came in various sizes. This is the smallest I have seen. They are just under 6 inches tall. They have bisque heads on shoulder plates, bisque lower arms and legs, and cloth bodies. Their fixed glass eyes can make them look like they have taken too much laudanum. Although, some of them just look sad.  Many of these dolls had white arms, to represent long white gloves. They were made in Germany in the late 1900s.

Both of the ladies have reddish-coloured shoes with double straps. Mrs. F is missing half of her right foot, unfortunately, but it doesn't slow her down any.

These dolls always had wigs. These two ladies are lucky enough to have their original ones. Mrs. C has an elaborate ringlet updo which is very common  for these dolls. Mrs. F's hat hides her rather sparse wig. It has lost a great deal of hair as well as its ringlets over the past century, so the hat improves her looks immensely. Her wig would have originally been the same as Mrs; C's.

The children look like the darling little all bisque 3 1/2" dolls, made by the German firm of Kestner, circa 1910-15, although I think Cecil could be made by another German manufacturer, Kling. Flossie and Fairchild may not be Kestner either. Several German doll makers were putting out these types of dolls at that time. They are all bisque and have stationary glass eyes. They are jointed at the shoulders and hips and have painted boots or shoes. I find them adorable.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Antique Dollhouse from Pennsylvania

I recently took a road trip to Amish country in Pennsylvania to pick up a dollhouse. My sister came with me and we had a wonderful girls' weekend. The weather was sunny and warm. Pennsylvania was beautiful. And our quest was satisfied when we arrived at our destination and found this incredible dollhouse waiting for us.

This dollhouse is said to be from a prominent Pennsylvania family. It is 99 years old, and was refurbished sometime within the last thirty years.

I am hoping to be able to restore it, but I thought I would share it first.
This metal plate is on the end chimney. It is possible that S.W. is the initials of the child it was built for. It is lovely to have such built in provenance.

 I had some fun furnishing the house for this post. Although the house came with furniture most was Strombecker and decades newer than the house. I used my own older furniture to set up these scenes.

The ladies are in the living room enjoying tea.

The wall paper is from the recent renovation. I would like to replace it with a more appropriate pattern.
 The tea table is too new for the house, but I believe the sofa and chairs are old enough. I don't know the age of the commodes, but the lamps are carved bone with parchment shades.

The young lady is a Simon Halbig 1160 doll, and the older lady is from about 1900-1910, I believe.
 The master bedroom is furnished with this lovely wood bedroom suite. I think it might be from the 30's, but haven't identified it yet.

I have stripped the wallpaper from the wall behind the bed. That's why it looks like that.
 All the rooms have high ceilings, so a large one inch scale furniture fits very nicely. The curtains came with the house, and the rug is a tobacco felt.
 This is the upper hall next to the master bedroom. You can see a working pocket door at the left front of the picture. This door opens on a working elevator.
You go from the upper hall into the second bedroom. Again the furniture is too new for the house, but I thought it looked cute and I will find appropriate furniture later. The two little girls are enjoying the bedroom set which is a Wisconsin Goldilocks set. It also has a vanity and rocking chair, but the room is too small for all the pieces.

The curtains came with the house. Notice the frosted glass in the door to the right. This leads to the bathroom.
 I found this miniature framed picture of a man and child in bathing suits and thought it would look cute in the children's room. Maybe it it a fond summer memory for them.
 The bathroom is very special. All the fixtures are built in and original to the house. There is a trap door on the roof above the bathroom where one can pour in water, so that the plumbing actually works. It drains into a copper cistern in the base of the house.

I haven't tried it yet. I am a little nervous about it.

The floor is original and hand painted. I hope I can figure out how to clean it without ruining it.
 The kitchen is in the one storey wing on the left side of the house (when one is facing it). The handmade stove and icebox came with the house. I have a feeling that they are original to the house, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

The table chairs and matching sideboard are German from about 1900, and the high chair is wood with a tin tray and step. I found it on our Pennsylvania trip for $1.00 at a flea market.

The kitchen has a very high ceiling. I am considering putting a second floor in as a low ceilinged servant's bedroom. It would be non permanent, so it wouldn't effect the originality of the house.
 The dining room was also recently papered, and the curtains came with the house. I am hoping to replace the paper, but I can live with it for now.

The furniture is mine, and all is German from about 1900-1920. The colour of the needlepoint rug doesn't really work, but it is the right size.
The downstairs entry hall is quite impressive. Someone electrified the house when the recent renovations were done. You can see the tape for the wires along the wall at the level of the hanging lamp and running up the dividing wall beside the stairs.

The pocket door with the wire window is for the elevator.
Here is a better look at the elevator door.
Here are the six main rooms of the house. The wire cage that runs up beside the living room and master bedroom is the elevator. You can see the crank for it in the base below the cage.

A view of the elevator in the second floor hall.

Granny takes the elevator. to the second floor. Although the ceilings are very high the doors throughout the house aren't. Granny has to stoop a little to fit in the elevator.
Here is Granny exiting the elevator. She is slightly over 6 inches tall and as you can see the doors are slightly under 6 inches tall.

This isn't a problem for me though. I love this house.

I am thrilled to have this wonderful antique dollhouse in my collection. If anyone knows anything about it, or about the furniture I have put in it please leave a comment or email me.

Thanks for visiting.