Monday, May 20, 2013

Shutters or louvres?

Here's the other house which Anna-Maria was holding for me:

I have another of these houses, which has been overpainted and came without any furniture. So when I saw this one, I jumped at it:

The back slides off and inside - it's fully furnished! (And the house was in excellent condition until I walked into the door frame, carrying it - Anna-Maria picked up the pieces and put them in a tiny ziplock bag for me, so I can glue them back on.)

I also have a few pieces of this furniture, which I'd bought separately quite a while ago. Christine has an identical house with lots of furniture too.

So it seems clear that it was produced for sale - but where? and by whom?

It probably originates from Sydney - it's come up for sale there, in coastal areas north of Sydney, and as far north as Brisbane, as far south as Canberra - as far as I know ....

I haven't seen it in any catalogues from the Sydney toy store Walther & Stevenson - but as I've only seen four catalogues, two from the 30s and two from the 50s, that doesn't mean a great deal.

And thinking of dates, when do you think this house and furniture dates from?

Here's the furniture in more detail:

A piece is missing from the table - perhaps I'll be able to replace it, that might help keep it even ...

Also a foot missing on the green wardrobe - I've propped it up with a pebble ...

As you can see, the wardrobes come in two sizes - one has a drawer at the bottom, the other doesn't.

The round table is in pretty good condition, just a little warped:

The matching chairs are missing both cross-pieces from the back (and someone has painted the very top black??), and the rungs from the bottom:

Thankfully, Christine's chairs have the top piece, so I'll be able to copy it (they are also missing the other pieces, though - can't have been very firmly attached!)

I think this is a stove -

the round bits on top look like hot plates, perhaps?

The black paint looks a bit messy - I might investigate and see if there's something else under it ...

This is the bottom of the possible stove - none of it opens ...

And finally, the other set of living room chairs:

The separate set which I bought some time ago is green and purple - I'll see if I can dig it out!

I'd like to make some bedding and perhaps cushions for this house. I'm not sure what will suit it - florals? geometric patterns? I wish I knew when it was made!

The base doesn't look as old as some of my other houses:

I'm guessing that "#65" means it's been sold at auction sometime, but the other numbers - both the printed/stamped 24743 and the handwritten numbers - seem to go under original parts of the house, the front steps and the outer edging of the base. I'll check and see what the base of my other house like this looks like ...

Back to the question I posed in the title of this post - I have been thinking of this as the Shutter House. But shutters are not at all common on houses in Australia, even on older houses. Perhaps they're intended to be louvre windows, even though they open as a whole like shutters? Louvres are very common in hot and tropical areas like the Northern Territory and Queensland, and in old houses in Sydney too, louvres were often used on the sunroom. What do you think, louvre windows or shutters?


  1. Hello from Spain: I love the house and furniture. I think I would put windows. We keep in touch.

    1. Hola Marta, I'm glad you like it! It would definitely look better with the windows open, when there are dolls living in it!

  2. Can you show us a house of that era in that part of Australia? We had glass louvers when we lived in the South Pacific.
    The outside frames are adorable adorable! The furniture is a little art deco ish? What a wonderful find it reeks of being loved! C

    1. Well, which era, and which part of Australia?! There are plenty of house still standing from the possible eras (1930s-50s) - my mother's house was built in the late 1930s, my sister's whole street (a short one) was built around then, and the flats at the end have louvre windows. In fact, I just saw that a 1950s catalogue advertises louvre windows! as well as venetian blinds and canvas awnings to shade the windows on the outside. I think I shall assume they're louvres!
      The furniture is rather art deco-ish, which still could be 1930s-1950s ...

      ps When did you live in the South Pacific? sounds like you were in the movie ;-)

  3. The green and pink furniture use colors that seem very 40ish, and look like they were influenced by Strombecker. The other furniture uses colors that remind me of the 80s (repainted?). I would guess, conservatively, that it is from the 50s, and some of the house and furniture was made over in the 80s. Whatever year, I love the furniture!

    1. Hi Neen, I thought possibly 40s, too. It's possible that some of the pieces were repainted - I shall have a gentle rub or scrape and see. But the other chairs and table which I bought earlier, which are the same design as the green and yellow ones here, are painted green and purple - like the stairs here! Christine's furniture, though, is all in pastel colours - hmmm....

  4. Hi Rebecca,
    My immediate thought was that these represent windows of the Art Deco period, such as the ones in this link:
    I don't know how likely that is in Australia, or how similar these are to louvres but they definitely don't remind me of shutters. The furniture looks very Art Deco to me too. Lovely house!

  5. Thank you, that's a brilliant suggestion! There certainly are similar windows on some art deco houses in Australia, though sash windows, louvres, and other kinds were also used. You can see some louvre windows on a 1930s block of flats if you search for 62 Milton Street, Ashfield, NSW, Australia on Google Street View (and there are more on nearby streets, too). I guess I wouldn't have thought of the wavy window frames as art deco - but then, the furniture is a bit of a mixture, with the kitchen furniture looking a bit more old-fashioned, and the living room furniture more modern.
    Thank you very much!

  6. What a lovely house- the furniture is wonderful- I love the pastel colours.It feels very happy!

    1. Thanks, Sally - it does feel happy! I'm very happy to have all the furniture, too :-)

  7. I have been trying to access Dollshousespastandpresent for the past week and have not been able to do so - is the site experiencing difficulties?
    Best wishes from Denmark

    1. Hi, I'm sorry to hear this! There haven't been problems that I'm aware of in the last week, though the site can be very glitchy. Could you use the Contact Us form on the site and let me know your member name and email address? or if you can't access the Contact Us form either, send me another comment, and I won't publish it. Hopefully we can sort this out soon!