Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unexpected Treasures

After finding dolls house furniture at the Mitchell Road Antiques Centre in Alexandria, I didn't really expect to find more at other antiques and collectables shops. On Tuesday, I went to Recycling Works, in Annandale (another Sydney suburb). I had been there once before, and found some interesting bits and pieces, though nothing actually intended for a dolls house.

I had a pleasant surprise this time - there were two vintage dolls houses for sale! They weren't cheap (more than I would expect them to sell on ebay for), and I thought about them for a while.

This is one of them:


I think it's a Toy Works house, made in the UK in the 1960s or 70s. It's hardboard with paper litho, and as you can see, it's not in great condition. It's missing 3 lots of window shutters and the front door, and it has some small areas of damage. Although the guy in the shop tried to convince me that it had not had a front door at all, he did knock $50 off the price because of the missing shutters.


The house came with some furniture:


All the furniture is wooden, and it's mostly the chunky, simple pieces made nowadays for very young children.
Some furniture is missing a part:





Some seems rather out of scale (not that that usually worries me too much):

I'm not sure what this is meant to be - a bread box???


On first glance, not very exciting ....




But then I looked more closely, and got quite excited - and decided I had to buy it! Can you guess which pieces of furniture I'm excited about?

21 comments:

  1. Hello from Spain, congratulations. Great purchase. I like woof furniture. For me IT is a vintage house. Keep in touch

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    1. Thank you Marta! I like wood furniture too.

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  2. Hello Rebecca,
    It is a beautiful structure even though it is in disrepair. I rather like the layout of the rooms. The furniture is rather bulky, but I'm sure that can be transformed.
    hugs,
    Giac

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    1. Hello Giac, for a simple dolls house, it is an interesting structure, isn't it? I like the uneven roof. I don't think I'll keep all this furniture in the house, but some is less chunky and will stay.

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  3. great finds. I think your "bread box" is actually a kitchen corner cabinet on it's side!

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    1. Brilliant, Troy - you're quite right, I tried it and it fits perfectly between the stove with blue trim, and the sink with blue trim and red drawer handles :-)

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  4. I think all the furniture, with the exception of the giant breadbox, has potential. I especially like the shape of the bed and the bedroom dresser. Also, the kitchen units are nice. Good find!

    My local thrift stores never have anything exciting.

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    1. Well spotted, Linda! The bed and the bedroom dresser are two of the pieces that excited me :-)
      I hope you have a pleasant surprise in a thrift store some day, too!

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  5. Nice finds! Perhaps the book case/secretary in the back of the room and the deco-looking bureau?

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    1. Thanks, Chris, and good guesses! Yes, they are two of the exciting pieces ...

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  6. I'm glad you bought it. (You probably would have had regretted it if you didn't) I'm going to guess that it is the dressing table that you are excited about.

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    1. Thanks, Indy_Poppy, I would definitely have regretted not buying this - and well spotted, the dressing table is one of the special pieces!

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  7. Replies
    1. I'll go and take photos of them for my next post straight away!!

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  8. I'm also guessing the dressing table and the secretary with BOOKS! I know you love books of all sizes!

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  9. I do love books, Florine, and as you have seen, these were indeed two of the exciting pieces! More for the info on the back of one of them, but they are delightful in themselves, too :-)

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  10. Hallo Rebecca, I am surprised that you did find a dolls' house like this one in Autsralia. For me it very much looks like the kind of dolls'houses made by the Dutch company SIO. In my collection I have three different SIO Tudor Houses. One you can find on my website (furnished with Lundby furniture). An other one you can find in an atricle about SIO for the magazine Dolls House Nederland. See their website https://dhnnu.powweb.com/images/imag/DHN27.pdf The article begins on page 43. My third Tudor house has plastic shutters and a plastic garage door. It has two floors and a balcony above the gagage and a winding staircase to the first floor outside the house. I have no picture of this house. It came with ist original furniture "Lisa of Denmark". Best whishes, Karin Wester

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    1. Hi Karin, It's very interesting that SIO made Tudor style dolls houses. I'm not home at the moment, so I don't have my Toy Works catalogues, but you can see one here on ebay.co.uk at the moment: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121062264002?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649 It shows the same yellow shutters as on this house, and also clear plastic windows that are missing on all the windows on this house.
      There were other companies in England which also made hardboard dolls houses - Park Toys, even late GeeBee dolls houses. I am intrigued that a Dutch company would make Tudor houses, though - is half-timbering a common style in the Netherlands? (probably not called Tudor?)

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  11. Hallo Rebecca, The Toy Works dolls' house on Ebay looks as though it could have been designed by the designers of SIO: Rokus van Blokland and Corry Mobach (a married couple). The SIO comapany was taken over by an Enlish/Amarican toy multinational at the beginning of the seventies and they were asked to design doll's house for the English market. The multinational was the DCM Group, Dunbee Combax Marx. I know they also had an Australion division. The toy shop you can see in the article in Dolls House Nederland was designed to fit in a flat box for easy shipment to Autsralia. On the website of Irene Jager you can find a French House designed for SIO, probably for Belgium. http://members.home.nl/jp.jager/index-nl-poppenhuis.htm Somtimes the designers did hide their initials somewhere in printwork of the design. In a small part of the Netherlands, in Limburg, you can find Tudor houses. We call them ´vakwerk huizen´.

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    1. Hi Karin, Perhaps they did - I will write to Mr Holzer, the son of the founder of Toy Works, and ask him. Perhaps you could also ask the designers of SIO if they designed for Toy Works, Park Toys, and any other British firms.
      Toy Works was not owned by Dunbee Combex Marx. Toy Works/Leisure Industries was bought in 1983, but not by DCM. I will check which British companies were bought by DCM.

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    2. Hi Rebecca', I doubt if I can contact the designers. I last saw them more than fifteen years ago. The Dutch factory closed between 1979-1982. The factory at Vroomshoop burned down in 1982. The designers started to work for SIO in 1950. I hope you have more luck.

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