Triang are well known for 'Tudor'-style dolls' houses, but in the 30s and 60s they also produced houses in modern architectural styles. This one is No. 52, listed in the 1939 catalogue, according to Marion Osborne's wonderful reference book Lines and Tri-ang Dollshouses and Furniture 1900-1971.
I bought it through Australian ebay from an antiques dealer in Newcastle, NSW. It's missing the suntrap and chimney (which should sit on the roof), and also the front door and the upper curved window. But otherwise, it was in good shape.
It has been repainted, in much the same colours as the original. I have removed some paint from the window frames, and from the crazy paving on the base.
Here's how it looked on the inside:
Repainted and re-papered! And furnished mostly with Barton furniture from the 1960s or 70s. I removed the floor and wall-papers (actually the red carpeting was flocked contact, or something like that). The original floor papers (parquet in the house; brick in the garage and porch) are still there, but in very poor condition, as they had clearly not been protected when the house was re-painted at some stage, and removing the sticky floor covering was tricky. Underneath the pale brown and white striped wallpaper in the living room was pink paint. Although the antique dealers couldn't (or didn't) tell me anything of the previous owners, it looks as if the house was re-decorated twice, perhaps in the 1950s (the pink paint), and the 1960s or 70s (the brown striped wallpaper, funky 'lights', and Barton furniture).
Although the original fireplaces had been detached from the walls (and in one case, replaced), the paper fires are still stuck to the walls of both large rooms. Around these fires there are remnants of the original paint. Instead of scraping off the pink paint, I have repainted the walls as close to the original colours as I could get - a pale green (with quite a lot of black in it) in the living room, and cream elsewhere. Where original paint remained (some on the landing, and parts of the staircase), I've left it.
Here's the kitchen when I had repainted and put down new flooring - a 1930s sample of British 'Empire Series' paper.
The house was first available in 1939, and is not listed in the 1950 Triang catalogue. But as you know from my previous posts, I am not a purist about make or year of the furnishings in my houses. I do prefer vintage, 'lived-in' furniture to reproductions, but otherwise I go with what looks good. Here, the much later Twigg kitchen sink and cupboard fit perfectly with the modern lines of the house, and the Barrett & Son gas stove, from the 1950s, goes beautifully with the 1930s floor paper. The stove is all metal, with the door of the stove and the lids of the kettle and saucepans painted red.
The cream coloured metal refrigerator and table and chairs are Australian-made - according to Dolls' Houses in Australia 1870 - 1950, probably aluminium alloy, and most likely made in the Sydney area in the 1940s.
I've been trying to work out what year and what country we're in, in this house. When I supplied the household with a fly swat (on the sink, at the moment) and electric fan, I was thinking of Australian summers - and friends who have seen the house have said the kitchen reminds them strongly of older relations' houses. I think it might be just after the war - perhaps 1949 or 1950 or so.
The tall dresser here is a Triang piece; the other one is part of the set of aluminium Australian kitchen furniture. The light is German; the original light is above the fireplace, and would have had a shade.
I really got in to beads and buttons as dolls' house decoration in this house. Actually, I got the idea for the buttons from the last child to play with this house, who used buttons as plates and as wall plaques. The ornaments on the stand in the front are vintage trade beads, and there are two floral Czech buttons on the top of the dresser at the back, on either side of a metal button commemorating the 1933 Chicago World Fair:
The porcelain rooster on the mantelpiece is 1930's Herend (Hungarian), and the rather sad little dog is Denby.
Another button (Artid, 1940s) and more trade beads, as well as a glass goblet marked 'G.R. 1937' (King George VI of England's coronation was in 1937). The wonderful eggcup set is supposed to be French, ca 1910.
This is the inside of the bay window downstairs:
Oh dear! Bare windows. I do have fabric to make curtains and other soft furnishings for this house, which I've had for 3 1/2 years - and for several other houses - if I didn't keep buying more houses, perhaps I might catch up on the sewing. I should put the dolls to work - the yellow and red house has a sewing machine.
The dolls here, and the others in the kitchen, are all Erna Meyer dolls. Erna Meyer started making dolls just after WWII, but they only became widely available after a 1950 toy fair. I have chosen some of the oldest in my collection to visit this house.
The other main room is the drawing room, above the kitchen.
The lady of the house is bringing in the tea trolley. She is a 1930s Caco doll:
and her husband (in the arm chair)
and mother (on the sofa, with a pipecleaner Airedale being very friendly) are too:
The others are visiting Erna Meyer dolls - one of them a sailor, home on leave.
She has a rather lovely collection of glass (vintage art deco glass beads and cabochons (I think that's what the flat shapes are called)).
I think he is a writer - I bought him a typewriter (at least that's what I bought it as - is it?).
As you can also see, I haven't hung the pictures yet - there are more besides this one propped crookedly on the radio.
I'm not sure that the grandmother approves of all the artworks - that painting, and the bas reliefs and cameos on the sideboard - an tiny erotic art deco cameo (said to be German; bought from Canada), and a French art deco bronze bas relief and an Artid button (washed out in the flash) both of female figures in flimsy figure-hugging draperies ...
This fireplace isn't original. In pictures I've seen of other Triang 52s, the white art deco fireplace which I have in the kitchen, is in the upper room; the downstairs room has a different style of fireplace - but not this one. I don't recognise this one, but it suits the room well.
This model has only two large rooms. To the left there's meant to be a garage at ground level, and a porch off the living room. The previous owner had converted both to bedrooms, and so have I.
Upstairs is the adults' bedroom:
and in the garage is the kids' bedroom:
Both are furnished with 'Jacqueline' metal furniture, in cream, blue, red and yellow. This also post-dates the house, but its art deco styling suits it very well. The wooden beds (and the chair between them) in the kids' room are American 'Happy Hour' furniture, made ca 1933. I've just put these in today, when I realised they are the perfect size for children. Before, the kids had a piano and Jacqueline sofa and a dolls' table & chairs.
Those things that look a bit like hatstands are Jacqueline lamp stands, both missing their lampshades - I'll have to improvise.
The kids' walls look quite bare - I'm planning to create a 'window' for them, with a 1940s postcard view and curtains, and I have some tiny vintage travel posters to stick up as well. I'm going to put curtains in the upstairs bedroom, too ..... one day!
On the right side of the house are the stairs:
As you can see, I've squeezed a bathroom under the stairs, as the previous owner did too:
The bathroom set is not marked - I think it's Fairylite. (The stool is Jacqueline, and the towel rail (with towel) is Barton.)
I love this house - and I think it was the first for which I started looking for vintage miniatures that were not made specifically for dolls' houses. Starting this blog has inspired me to make and put up all the decorations I've already acquired for it - and perhaps think about others, such as plants on the balcony, and outside furniture for the roof ....
4 hours ago