In early December, I went to a conference in Newcastle, in New South Wales, for work. As Christine Jaeger lives near Newcastle, that gave us a chance to meet - for the first time, though it certainly didn't feel like it! I had a wonderful evening looking at all her dolls houses, furnishings and dolls, and we persuaded her husband Max to take a photo of us - here we are standing in front of her Princess house:
At the conference, a friend mentioned that he would be driving from Sydney through Bathurst the following weekend, and he offered transport if I had anything to go to Bathurst. I didn't exactly - but I had been thinking about a dolls house listed on Gumtree, that was in Ashfield, in Sydney .... things worked out, and the Ashfield dolls house is now mine, and in Bathurst!
What hasn't worked out is the photos of the front of the house, which I know I took while I was in Bathurst in January. (Being a Gumtree listing, it has now disappeared from the interwebs.) The front of the house has a central porch, with a false front door (which doesn't open), and false windows which all have opening shutters. That is probably hard to imagine, but unfortunately, photos will have to wait until I am next in Bathurst.
UPDATE: The friend who collected the dolls house from Ashfield and delivered it to Bathurst also very cleverly saved a photo from Google's cache soon afterwards. Thank you! Here is a thumbnail of one of the photos in the Gumtree listing:
The photos I do have show the paint stripping I did to reveal the original colours. It is currently painted dark brown on the porch, shutters and roof, and the exterior walls are white. The roof was originally green, scored to simulate tiles:
The walls were originally painted a lovely honey colour:
Inside, there are four rooms. The top two were painted pink and apricot - a bit of stripping shows that the pink room was originally apricot too:
Here you can see the top left room, with the doorway through into the top right room. All the rooms have skirting boards, architraves around the doorways, and picture rails. There's no evidence of any doors. The wood trim was originally dark brown, as you can see here:
(After I took this photo, and realised that the apricot paint goes over the white paint on the architrave, I removed a wee bit and found that it's painted over earlier apricot paint. So both upper rooms were originally painted apricot.)
Above the picture rail is a buff colour under the white:
Downstairs, both rooms are painted a greeny blue colour. I don't have a good photo of that - that also seems to have disappeared with the photos of the front of the house. You can just see a bit of the blue in this photo of the kitchen floor:
This is the only room with interesting flooring - textured paper of some kind, I think (which has been overpainted with white, and then had something stuck over that, by the looks of it).
The other floors seem just to have brown paper. At first I thought it had the kind of spatter and smear pattern that some lino tiles had in the 40s and 50s, but I think it is actually paint spatter, smeared by being wiped off, from when the roof was painted brown:
You can see in this photo that the ground floor doorway is set further back than the upper doorway.
The white paint splashed messily on the wood trim, and spreading on to the walls, was presumably applied at some point when the walls were wallpapered. There were some remnants of paper which I have removed - none with any pattern remaining, just the back of some wallpaper. I also started removing the white paint from the walls - I will strip them back to apricot upstairs, and greeny blue downstairs, with brown wood trim and buff above the picture rail. I may find a similar paper for the kitchen, but will probably find rugs or carpet for the other rooms. Outside, I will strip it back to the lovely honey colour with a green roof and green trim on the windows, shutters and porch.
I'm so annoyed that I don't have a photo to show you of the front, as it's much the most interesting part of the dolls house! I don't know who made this house, or when. It does have some resemblances to the dolls houses shown in Walther & Stevenson catalogues - the line of the porch, and the style of the chimneys - but that may be coincidence. It is very well made, suggesting either a skilled home maker, or a commercially made house. The colours suggest the 1930s or 40s to me, but it could be from the 1950s, I suppose.
While I was in Bathurst, I also cleaned several houses by Bestoys, and another one by Woodtoys - I do have photos of them, and will show them in my next posts!