Friday, May 22, 2015

Yellow roses and a koala in a cardboard dolls house

This cardboard dolls house caught my eye on Australian ebay:

Golden yellow is one of my favourite colours - and I love yellow roses! They have been "my" roses since, at our childhood home, I had a yellow rose outside my bedroom window, my sister had a pink rose outside hers - and Mum had deep red roses in the front yard!

The bowl of yellow roses is in the children's bedroom, upstairs right.

The parents' bedroom, upstairs left, has a dressing table with toiletries, an abstract rug - and lots of books! I like this house!

The clocks all say the same time, which is good - but they seem to be printed back to front! So it's back-to-front 3 o'clock.
This house is nearly complete - it's one of those where the bottom of the box it comes in forms the base of the house. Thankfully, the base is here - but the lid of the box is missing, so there is no information about the maker or the model, nor whether there would have been furniture included. There is one piece that suggests there might have been furnishings - a red and white striped cardboard rectangle, which I have placed in front of the kitchen sink, as a floor mat.

In the kitchen (downstairs right), the cupboards don't look very Australian to me - I thought perhaps it might be American?
But then in the living room (downstairs left):

there's a picture of a koala on the wall:

That doesn't mean it's Australian, of course - I could have a picture of elephants or tigers on my wall, without having to be in Africa or Asia ....

Here is the outside of the house - quite plain, a red brick base, yellow walls with brown timbering, and a tiled roof:
The doors and windows are attached only by one side, so they can open (some have actually torn off, but thankfully all are present).

The end with the kitchen and the children's bedroom has four opening windows (and the number 12, which a former owner has added!). The other end, with the living room and parents' bedroom, has a red brick chimney, with arched window openings on either side of the chimney, in the living room:
One additional feature I like - in both downstairs rooms, light fittings are printed on the ceilings!

This house came with plastic Blue-Box furniture, much of it broken. The red living room wing chairs are a good fit, so I may find others to use in it - and look through my plastic furniture for other suitable pieces.

Does anyone recognise this cardboard dolls house? I'm guessing it was made in the 1960s, largely because of the television, but would love to know a more exact date - and of course, the maker!

(I do still have photos of the displays at the Sydney Dolls House fair to show. I have been without a functioning phone/internet line since late last week, after reporting a crackly line - now it's working again (touch wood), and I was keen to show you this lovely house! The display photos will come soon :-)  )

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My buys at the Sydney Miniatures and Dolls House Fair 2015

I've been back from my holiday for a week, and I want to show you what I bought at the fair. Unfortunately, one of the things I picked up last weekend was a good dose of the flu, and I am still not up to taking new photos of everything - so here are the photos I took on my mobile phone, in my hotel room in the evenings.

After saying hello to Norma Bennett and Anna-Maria, I made my way to one of the few stalls that consistently has a few vintage pieces - Diana Simms'. She did have some vintage and antique dolls, but none that said 'buy me!' These are not really vintage, but I like them: plates hand painted by Judy Keena, and a plate of egg & toast soldiers by unknown.

When I went back the next day, I had a rummage through Diana's boxes - and she kindly provides an empty one, so you can take out things you've looked at as you go, and see what's right at the bottom. I found two lovely paintings by Turner, published as cigarette cards with gold borders, a Wills cigarette card of Beechworth in Victoria (where yummy apple juice comes from!), plus a jumper, two beanies and a scarf.

As I was leaving Diana's stall on the second day, I noticed these bevelled mirrors, so I went back towards the end of the fair and bought one of each of these three shapes: an oval, an octagon and a circle.

At the back of the hall I found Robyn's Minis, whom I've bought from at a previous fair. She said she had more old things in the morning, but had sold a lot. The food was marked as $1 each, but she reduced it to 50c!!!

I couldn't see at the fair who made the chair, but thought it would go well in my Armin Koch house. When I removed the sticker over the signature, guess whose it was - Armin Koch! 

Actually, I thought the last name was spelled Kod, and the person I bought my dolls house made by him from thought he had been based in Brisbane - I was never able to find him in any online sources, though. I went back to Robyn's stall the second day, as she had sounded as if she knew of him - and yes, she told me that he was the toymaker at Nambucca Heads! Knowing that, I have been able to find him in the 1980 electoral roll - and discover that his last name is Koch, not Kod! I'll show my dolls house made by him soon.

Robyn was packing up her stall when I got there on the second day, so I looked through what was left and found these - 2 terracotta pots, a badge with 2 characters I don't recognize, some lemon and lime slices (or maybe the green and white ones are cucumber or zucchini?), a cushion, and jars with tiny shells and tiny paint tubes.

On the first day, I looked through the bargain boxes on several stalls - I'm afraid I didn't take note of which stalls they all were. I found these beach balls and tennis racquets:

And on Nora Lee Maingard's stall, these shoes (which she had bought in Mauritius) and a Japanese jug:

Nora Lee had brought in some vintage furniture, which she offered to Anna-Maria, who wasn't so interested and showed it to me. There were several Marx pieces - I do like this yellow sofa:

With the Marx pieces was a Sonia Messer sink. None of us had seen ceramic Sonia Messer pieces, but it's stamped on the back, copyright 1975:

 Also on the first day, I got these wonderful macrame hangers from Norma Blackburn (MinisbyTwinmum) - so I won't have to learn macrame!

I also found Margaret Crosswell's stall. She was there last year too, but I don't think I noticed her wonderful Clarice Cliff and other reproductions. I chose a number of vases, bowls and plates on the first day:

and went back on the second day for another look. I spent some time choosing what's almost a matching tea set of Cottage ware (the sugar bowl doesn't have a yellow door, but never mind), plus a model cottage, a jug with a rooster and a hollyhocks jug. I bought two more hollyhocks vases, too - one will be a prize for a Dolls Houses Past and Present giveaway competition. (Sorry, these really need better quality photos to appreciate them, but I hope you can make out the fine details.)

Just opposite Margaret Crosswell's stand was Wyn Garside, and I spent some time looking and wondering what to buy. When I chose this tea cosy, she said, oh, you've chosen the dowdy one! I said it was for a 1940s house. 
The jumper in this photo is by Helen Palenski - it was my last purchase of the second day. Helen said that she had had 4 or 5 different cat designs this year, but by the time I saw them, there was just a Siamese and this cat.

I have bought flowers from this seller before - Dianne Cotterill, of Miniatures to Di For.  I was almost going to buy nasturtiums, but a quick look at my blog post on last year's fair reminded me that I bought some then. Then I thought about a spider plant in a hanging bowl to go in Norma Blackburn's macrame hangers - the kind ladies at this stall suggested that I take it up to Norma's stall and try it. The pot was a bit small for the hanger. So I decided on some red geraniums!

These plates of pawpaw and mango were only 50c each! I probably should have got more - it seems appropriate that some of my dolls houses in Darwin should have tropical fruit. I don't know anything about the maker apart from that they're called Del & come from Queensland.

This is a 1970s book for kids, I think, on making dolls house furnishings from bits and pieces. Only the cover is in colour, but in all the illustrations of the rooms they are peopled by bears and chicks!
And finally, my second-last buy of the fair, cushions from Norma Bennett - my combinations of her designs. Norma very kindly gave me a lift both afternoons to Ashfield railway station - there was trackwork, so this saved me two bus rides to a station where the trains where still running. Thank you Norma and Gordon!

I had carefully measured the inside of my suitcase and taken a tape measure to the fair, in case of finding a vintage dolls house which appealed to me - but I didn't see any at all. Other years, there have been one or two at least - either there weren't any this year, or it/they sold before I got there.

I have photos of some of the displays to share, too - they were taken on my camera, so hopefully will be a bit better quality than these ones taken on my phone!