Saturday, July 30, 2011

Love from Darwin

Yes, I'm home again. It's been longer than it seemed while I was away - some time at Mum's place with my sister, some time there alone with Mum's cats, then time in Sydney with my sister - now I'm back in Darwin with my cats. After being very close to Mum all my life, and sharing many interests, it's taken time to come to terms with her death.

I'd forgotten how dry and hazy Darwin gets in the dry season (when rural property owners burn off, leading to smoky skies and ash particles in the air - and inside). I also hadn't realised how much I had bought on ebay while I was away! I have a small car, but absolutely filled it with all the parcels that had arrived since I left in April. The staff at Darwin GPO are wonderful, and had kept it all safely in one place ...

So I've spent a couple of days unpacking (and dealing with all the packaging!). One of my purchases is this wonderful set:

Actually, there are two armchairs, but they are quite big - about 12.5cm or 5" wide, deep and high - so I only put one in the photo with the sofa.

The "walls" are an old filing box and the flooring is an old piece of lino, both of which I found at an amazing secondhand shop in Annandale called Recycling Works:

photo from Google; not mine

I really could do with something to cover the metal that held the spring clip - maybe a lamp, like this one:

but I'd need to make it a stand, or hang it - not today, so only half a scene - but I wanted to show you this lounge suite, with a lovely message on the back of the sofa:

"With love from Darwin 1944"

I bought this from Queensland; it was described as a "salesman sample miniature Genoa lounge," and it might well be a miniature sample, but for the message on the back.

1944 was of course during World War II, and following the Japanese bombing raids on Darwin in 1942, many civilians had been evacuated, and there were army bases in and south of Darwin. I think that these pieces may have been made by a service man or woman based in Darwin, and sent as a gift to a child living, perhaps, in Queensland ... I'd love to know more of their history, but these words alone evoke a time and place and circumstances - these chairs have seen a lot.


  1. What a gorgeous suite Rebecca and such a sense of history there! Yes...if only these old dolls house treasures could speak and divulge their secrets! Celia

  2. Sheeeeeees baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Yay! That furniture is fantastic. Is that 1/6 scale? C

  3. That IS a wonderful set of furniture!

  4. I must admit even though I'm not a collector of Doll's furniture I do love pieces like this - made by someone for a child they cared about. The favourite items in my "space toy" collection are a couple of cars that have been repaired by a parent/grandparent so that they could still be played with. There's history and love in toys like this, which is lacking with "mint in packet" toys.

  5. Hello Rebecca,
    What a lovely find. A car load of ebay purchases must have been a welcome distraction to arrive home with after such a sad time. I'm very sorry about your mum, it is good that you spent her final days with her and had such precious time together. (I've only just come back to my doll blog and therefore my blogging friends after 3 months of intensive home improvements of our new human size house, hence the delay in condolences.)

    Wouldn't it be good to be able to discover more of the history of this little set of furniture - the inscription on the base is intriguing. Good luck with the detective work.