This time, I flew down from Darwin and hired a car in Sydney to drive to Bathurst. Usually I get the train, but hiring a car meant I could meet up with my aunt in Sydney, and also collect two dolls houses in Sydney suburbs along the way.
The first one I collected was this:
It's 72.5 cm (28 1/2") wide (at the base) by 19 cm (7 1/2") deep. The lower rooms are 20.5 cm (8 1/8") high, and the front door is just under 15 cm (6") high by just over 9 cm (3 3/4") wide.
It has some features identical this one, which I found in a toy catalogue in the National Library a year ago:
The design of the door and the brickwork are the same, they both have shutters, although they are a different colour, and the same plastic windows are used. I think they are probably made by the same manufacturer. I wrote last year that I had found entries in recent business directories for Lumberjack-Bestoys, in Engadine, a suburb of Sydney, so there may be a link to Bestoys. I wasn't sure of the date of the Geoff Emerton 'Toyworld' catalogue I found it in, but thought it was probably from the late 1970s or the early 1980s.
With this dolls house, I can say that it probably dates from the 1980s at the earliest, as the front door is made from MDF, large-scale production of which began in the 1980s.
The main body of the house is pine wood, the front wall is hardboard, and the back wall and front door are MDF. It's an interesting design, which needs to be accessible from both sides at once, perhaps intended for two children to play at the same time. Some rooms are only accessible from the front, and some only from the back:
I think the door was originally attached by that bit of fabric which has come unstuck. I'm not sure if the bit of wood, forming a kind of latch, is original, although it may have been meant to stop the door swinging forward through the opening.
A bag of plastic furniture came with the house. Most of it is Linda from Hong Kong, the bathroom is Jean of West Germany, and some is unmarked.
The kitchen furnishings consist of a bright yellow sink and stove, with a table and chairs. Only the chairs are marked (Made in Hong Kong).
Most of these pieces are not marked at all - I recognise them from the Linda boxes I have (although the bedroom set on my boxes is shown in pink and red). So it's possible that the unmarked kitchen pieces are also made by Linda, but they are not the kitchen set shown on the boxes.
The dining room is also Linda:
- or at least I recognise the dining table and the sideboard from the sets and boxes I have. The chairs are a different design - they are marked Made in Hong Kong, but whether they are from Linda or another brand, I'm not sure. I'm not sure who made the bookcase, either - I have one sold by Fairylite, but it doesn't have the sliding doors. Unless I find these pieces in a boxed set, I probably won't know!
The pink bathroom set is clearly marked W. Germany, and is by Jean:
The yellow cot and the rocking horse are from the Linda nursery set, but I don't know who made the baby bath / change table - although it's marked Made in Hong Kong, it's a soft plastic quite different from the Linda pieces. (I'm not sure what the thing in front is - possibly baby scales, missing the bowl to place the baby in??)
I like the bright yellow, green and pink furniture against the pine (and MDF!) walls of this house. There's no living room furniture, so I may bring my red Linda living room pieces down from Darwin.
I wonder which dolls lived here? Probably they would have been plastic, like all the furniture, so perhaps I'll look for some 1980s plastic dolls who need a home.