One is another set of plastic furniture, a lovely deco style dining table and chairs:
The top of the box says Wee Folks Miniature Furniture Set No 1 - Dining Room Table & Four Chairs, while the side adds A Wee Folks Production, Wee Folks Australia Productions.
Some of you might recognise this set:
(Table: 1 1/2" high, 4" long)It is almost identical to a set made by the British company Bex - according to Margaret Towner, the trade name of the British Xylonite Company, Ltd, of London. I have the chairs and sideboard from the Bex 'Toy Town Furniture' set - here are a Wee Folks and Bex chair side by side, and the bases of each:
The Wee Folks chairs are unmarked, while the Bex chairs show Made in England - A Bex Moulding. The Wee Folks table does have markings:
As well as Wee Folks Aust., it shows a diamond with the letters A.E.C. within it.
I haven't been able to find out anything about Wee Folks Australia so far. Apart from the Australian Electoral Commission, the Atomic Energy Commission, etc, A.E.C. was the name of a UK based heavy vehicle manufacturer, in existence from 1912-1979: AEC stood for Associated Equipment Company. This A.E.C. did have a presence in Australia - here is an entry from a 1930s Sands directory of Sydney:
But were they the makers of this dolls house furniture? If they made all the components of the buses and trucks they manufactured, that would probably have included some plastics, so perhaps they were - though the British A.E.C. used a symbol with a triangle, not a diamond.
There's one more clue on the box -
- the name FARRELL in tiny print - but does this indicate who made or printed the box, or have something to do with the furniture?
The other box contains two sets of kitchen pots.
It's called the Tiny Town Kitchen Set No 1, and contains two sets of four saucepans and a frying pan. This box is more informative, as it names the manufacturer as Goodwood (Aust.) Productions.
The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has a collection of scale model cars made by Goodwood (Australia) Productions. According to the museum's database, Goodwood Productions Pty Ltd (based in Melbourne, in Victoria) made a range of zinc diecast scale model toy cars between February 1952 and June 1961. The range featured models of Australian-made cars, trucks and specialist vehicles, and were very popular with children as they "represented familiar outlines", but eventually, the British-made Dinky and Corgi model cars out-competed them.
(Frying pan: 1 1/4" diameter, 2 1/2" long)
These dolls house pots were probably made in the same time period, the 1950s to very early 1960s - and as they belonged to the same little girl, the Wee Folks dining table and Marquis kitchen most likely date to the same era. Thank goodness this little girl kept the boxes - the pots are completely unmarked, and only the table in the dining room set is marked, so without the boxes, we would not have known that these were made in Australia, let alone who made them. Both boxes very tantalisingly say "Set No 1" - what other sets did they make, I wonder?
Could Goodwood possibly be the manufacturer of the Australian-made metal furniture which I've shown before? This has been thought to have been made in Sydney, but there's no catalogue or packaging evidence yet, as far as I know. The model cars are painted in similar colours - red, green, blue and cream enamel - although these were probably common colours at the time. Some of the cars are described as having marks (words and numbers) pressed into the underside of the model (though most have raised marks). The metal furniture has numbers impressed into the backs or undersides of the pieces. Perhaps it would be possible to compare the metal, the style of the numbers, and the shades of the paintwork, of the furniture and cars.