Here's the last of my 4 new dolls houses in Bathurst. I bought this one on ebay from Melbourne, and happened to be in Bathurst when I had it freighted - fortuitous, as it's big and quite heavy! So it cost enough to bring it up to Bathurst, let alone all the way to Darwin ...
This house is over 3 feet wide - about 37" (or 92.5 cm), and 37" high as well, to the top of the roof ridge (40" (1 m) including the chimney, which isn't visible here as it needs to be fixed back into the house).
Style-wise, the house could be anywhere from about the 1880s-1930s. I don't know much about it, but, if the wallpapers are original, I think it probably dates from around the 1920s.
(There is a removalists' label inside one of the fronts - probably from a former owner, who perhaps might have a bit of information about it? I might try contacting them ..... )
The house has two opening fronts - well, they should open on hinges, but the hinges are broken, so the fronts are removable at the moment. They are held closed by little wooden latches that you can just see (at the bottom of the roof line, on either side of the non-opening central section), and there used to be a lock, as well.
There are two bay windows, one on either side of the front door ...
And just inside the front door is the staircase:
You can see that the exterior paint is quite worn and crazed, and some strips are missing from the door frame, window frames and roof ridges. I quite like the aged appearance, and the missing bits reveal earlier decoration. The existing brick exterior is incised into the wood, and painted (and then the paint seems to have come off in places where it's been washed or sanded). The exterior must originally have been papered with red brick paper - a tiny bit appears at the bottom of a window frame, where a strip of wood is missing:
The roof also has tiles incised into the wood, and is then painted grey - but where the roof ridge strips are missing, there is grey tile paper visible:
Inside the house, there are four main rooms:
and a little annex in the top left room! This was described in the auction listing as a pantry, but I'm pretty sure it was intended as a bathroom!
It's the only house of this age that I have which has a bathroom - very exciting! (Still needs cleaning!)
I mentioned the wallpapers - let's have a closer look at them. In both downstairs rooms is a rather faded and slightly stained paper with an art deco design:
I'm going to keep this paper - I've bought some artists' chalk pastels to disguise the water stains a bit. The colours were obviously brighter when the paper was new - you can see remnants of colours in some places - grey, yellow, pale blue, salmon and white. Perhaps the original colouring would be preserved behind the stairs, or behind the wood in the corner of this room - but I don't think I'll take the house apart to find out!
The lower left room, which I think of as the kitchen, had other wallpapers applied over the art deco one. I think I'll probably leave the remains of the bright blue paper, with black and red shapes on it ... but cover the water stain here with pastels ...
While whatever flooring was in the lower right room has long gone, there are remains of floor papers in the kitchen:
There's a streaky bluey-green paper, and on the right, a streaky brown paper. Both are covered with a reddish substance, which I think is probably from the base of lino which was stuck onto the papers at some point, and then later removed. So I think the original flooring was bluey-green in the centre, with brown strips at the sides (and back and front too, perhaps?) I'm not sure yet what I'll do with this floor - probably find some old floor paper and place it over this.
Upstairs, the wallpapers are less exciting, but both rooms have two layers of flooring. This is the upper right room:
Here's a better view of the original wallpaper, as well as a scrap of one of the papers applied over it:
The original paper was cream-coloured, I think - it's browned in places - and embossed in a small pattern of irregular round shapes. One of the later papers was a ca 1970s embossed design of green on white, which can be seen in the corner in the photo above. On the back wall, there are remains of this paper too - just the brown back part of the paper, which I am removing - you can see the shapes of the embossing in this brown backing. You can also see a scrap of another paper, with a pink on white design.
The floor in here is very exciting. What you see first is blue stripey lino with a pink painted surround - but under the blue lino is a pink floor paper with a design of tiny dots:
Isn't it wonderful?! I'd like to lift the lino off altogether - I just hope I can do it without tearing this lovely paper.
The upper left room has some rather nice lino:
and a plain terracotta wallpaper:
It also has the same kind of very delicate floor paper under the lino, this time in brown. The lino isn't as loose here, but you can just see the paper:
I tried out a couple of pieces of furniture, just to see what they would look like. Obviously, there's a lot more cleaning to do, let along possibly removing the lino, and finding new floor papers for the kitchen and lower right room.
This bath would look good with the lino - not such a good match with the brown floor paper, if I remove the lino ....
I thought the triangular decoration of this sideboard made from Handicrafts design 5363 (available from the early 1920s-1934) would go well with the art deco wallpaper ...
I am also thinking about dolls to live here. The rooms have very high ceilings - about 13 inches (32.5 cm), and this lower right room is 12" (30 cm) wide and 15" (about 37.5 cm) deep. I could either have 1/12th scale dolls with very spacious rooms, or perhaps slightly larger dolls - I'll see what I have, and what comes along .... lots of excitement ahead!
4 hours ago