Monday, February 11, 2013

Perhaps they're earlier than I thought!

Today I searched the digitised Australian newspapers on the National Library of Australia website for Walther & Stevenson. As well as many ads for model trains, surf boards, and saddles, I found this:

This advertisement appeared on 11 June 1947. The bookcase (no 6, lower left) is identical to the one I bought!

The stove (no 13, upper right) is almost identical, though the handles look a bit bigger in the ad:

The dressing table (no 5, above the bookcase, lower left) is similar to mine, but the one in the ad is not symmetrical like mine is:

So perhaps these pieces of furniture date from the late 1940s or early 1950s - as I mentioned, they are not in the 1956/57 Walther & Stevenson catalogue.

It's really interesting to see the other pieces of furniture, too. The bath is fairly basic, but I would love to find the bath heater (No 10) - so reminiscent of older Australian houses! Both the houses I grew up in had gas hot water tanks in the laundry, which piped hot water to the kitchen and bathroom as well as the laundry, but in older houses I lived in in Canberra as a student, there was a gas hot water heater over the bath. We had to remember to turn the water to the tank on before turning the tap on (I think - it's a long time ago!), so that it wouldn't overheat and blow up! At least it wasn't a chip heater - having to cut and light wood chips to heat the water for a bath or shower was not something I had to do, thank goodness!

I was also excited to see the Kitchen Set, 5 pieces in attractive box (lower middle of the ad), as I think I have it too!

It's the Tiny Town kitchen set (No 1), by Goodwood (Australia) Productions, which I was lucky enough to buy on ebay 2 1/2 years ago. So I'll be able to use it with the stove, which it suits, according to the ad!

I have cleaned the Toy Works house the furniture came in, and the pieces of furniture too. They look much better, but the house is still missing a door, some shutters, and all its clear plastic windows.

The lounge chairs are modern, I think, but more finely made than the other chunky recent pieces, so I think I'll keep them here too. It needs a bit more furniture - I'll probably use some Twigg and early, unstained Barton or Dol-toi pieces, to go with the Walther & Stevenson furnishings.


  1. how interesting!!! many greetings, Anne

  2. great post - I absolutely love to see the old ads and the actual pieces of furniture. Good luck on your quest for more - I will keep my eyes open for it too, now that I know what It is.

    1. Thanks, Troy - I was amazed and delighted to find the ad actually showing all these pieces of furniture! You never know, some may have found its way to the US, and with your eagle eye for finds, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you do find some!

  3. What a great find! Doesn't it feel great to solve the mystery of the furniture's origin? I just love it!!

  4. Your Toy Works house look great now it is cleaned up, mine doesn't have the door either as they were very easily broken :(.