Thursday, May 19, 2016

What I bought at the Sydney 2016 fair

should really not have been much at all, as I had just won a rather expensive antique dolls house at an auction .... (I don't have any photos of it yet, as it arrived in Bathurst after I had left).
The main sources of vintage miniatures at the fair were two I had bought from at previous fairs, Robyn's Minis and Diana's Gifts, and one seller whom I hadn't seen before.

I went to Robyn's Minis first, and bought these two lovely sets:
 (I apologise for the poor photos - I was trying to take them in a hurry in Bathurst, so I'd have a record of everything I bought - no time to arrange a good set up with good light.)

These are tiny - the chair is about 1 1/4 inches tall, and the table about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. The Kewpie in the bath is less than an inch long. The bath and the kewpie doll are hard metal; all the other pieces are soft metal. Only the sewing machine is marked - it has the word TOYODA on the bench part, so it's presumably Japanese.
Towards the end of the fair, as Robyn was packing to leave, I went back and looked at some pokerwork furniture she had put out on the second day. I had thought at first that it might have been the kind that was made in Japan, but on closer inspection, I think it might be homemade.
Look how the rails of the chair back are set into grooves in the cross piece (the rails on the bed head are the same):

I got to Diana's Gifts just as Anne Dowdall, from Victorian Miniatures in Canberra, was buying a lovely blue Codeg or Fairylite bathroom suite, and a little Britains table and chair and Taylor & Barrett fire for her Triang Princess dolls house. It would be lovely to see her Princess one day, with the vintage furnishings she's finding for it!
These are the things I bought from Diana's stall:
The Wedgewood style blue and white jug and basin are by Judy Keena - I bought a couple of plates by her last year. I also bought a little summer pudding from Diana's Gifts, at the end of the second day - it got photographed with something else, so it's shown below.

I can't remember the name of the lady who had the other stall I found some vintage pieces at - I think it might have been Nora. She was also selling some pieces she had made herself, before her hands got bad.
A nice bundle of plastic Britain's garden tools, a little vintage flower in a pot, and two rugs, two dusters and some dishwashing brushes made by Nora (?). I think the blue piece (rug/tablecloth) wasn't made by Nora, but I might be wrong.
Nora also had these lovely things:
The picture frame was made in Denmark - I'm not sure about the picture itself. The toiletry set says Made in Western Germany, so is post WWII. The mirror is unmarked, but made of quite heavy metal.
Also from Nora, a couple of wooden pieces - a Strombecker table, she thought, and a lamp, as well as an ARA poodle:
Nora also had some lovely geraniums in pots that she had made, with coloured reed matting around the pots. I would have liked to buy one of those, too!
From a stall with at least two women selling (I did not see their names, I'm afraid), I got these little bits and pieces:

The bunny chair and salad vegetable teapots (made of resin, I think) are for the bunnies in my Tree House. The fish teapot below is by Val Casson - there were four of her teapots on this stall, and it was quite hard to choose one!

Margaret Crosswell from Tasmania was at the fair again this year. I bought three bird figurines and another little vase:

I had gone to the fair thinking I would like some miniature knitting by Jennifer Howlett, but I didn't see any on her stall. However, when I was talking to Anna-Maria at the end of the first day, I noticed a fantastic Suffolk Puff quilt, and asked her about it. It turned out that it was made by Jennifer, and was for sale! Then, when I went back to buy the quilt the next day, I spotted some knitted rugs. Were they for sale? Well, partly to show what could be made with the fine wools Jennifer sells - but also for sale, yes. So I bought two - and know next year to ask to see what Jennifer has! 
This is a really bad photo, especially of Judy Foster's beautiful embroidered slippers! I had looked at her embroidered tea cosies a couple of times, but then decided that I have some tea cosies already (though not embroidered), but don't have slippers! These go rather well with the cashmere lap rug from Jennifer - I don't yet know which lucky doll will get them.
 This is not much better, but does show the fine embroidery a bit more.

Kim's Minis from New Zealand was back this year. I spoke to Kim about making a lamington preparation set for me - I need to email her with the details of the table I'd like it for. When she was last there (back in 2012, I think), I had greatly admired the marquetry pieces she sells, and I decided to buy one this time:
The summer pudding is not from Kim's Minis - it was from Diana's Gifts, and is marked SM 84 on the back. I did buy a bowl of sliced apricots from Kim's Minis - it will be great with some icecream in a 1960s or 70s dolls house:
The vase of chrysanthemums was a last minute purchase, from a stall I can't remember the name of. The canisters and bread with knife and board were made by a woman called, I think, Liz Hannaford or Hansford.

 I bought soft furnishings from several stalls:

Minis by TwinMum (Norma Blackburn) had some 3D printed pieces on her stall. I bought this little esky, very useful for dolls house picnics and barbecues:

At the Miniature Supermarket, I bought lots of vintage supplies on the first day, as by the end of the fair last year, these had mostly sold out. I also took photos of the sample boards, so now I can see what is available!
 1920s honey

1930s supplies, including soap, coffee with chicory, oats, fish and washing powder
1940s supplies, including cocoa powder and strawberry jam
1950s supplies, including WeetBix, Vita Brits, Rosella soup, Akta-Vite and Bushell's tea
A few bits for a 1960s house - a book, The Lost Koala (which features dolls called Jenny and Sue), Old Gold soap and Mortein fly spray.

 Here's The Miniature Supermarket's vintage display board:

And the contemporary display board:

And the books available, from the 1870s to the 1970s:

I made other purchases I haven't photographed: some magazines and a book from various stalls, and two kinds of moulding for making picture frames, from Victorian Dollhouses. I haven't tried making frames before, but I have several paintings I've acquired in largeish frames, that I'd like to reframe - so, when I've bought a mitre box and saw, I'll have a go!

So, to finish, here are two views from my window at the hotel I stayed in, the Ibis Budget in Olympic Park itself. Previously, I have stayed in hotels in the city or Strathfield (after my sister moved from Sydney), but I thought I'd try staying close to the venue to avoid long trips back and forth. It was certainly easier, and now that the Ibis Budget has kettles in the rooms, very comfortable! I was lucky to get a corner room, so I had views in two directions.


  1. WOWWEE!!! What an amazing haul you have there, always love the shopping blogs you do. Love the puffy quilt and incredible detailed furniture! Love the Coleman cooler, they can do amazing things with those printers, wow! And what a fun time, a lovely treat to stay the night, thanks Rebecca! :) Starr

    1. Thanks, Starr! I still have to work out which houses all the pieces will go in!

  2. The food collection!!! Amazing isn't it? Great photo, thanks! :)

  3. lots of lovely goodies... i think you did well, seeing how you weren't going to buy much... :) XX

    1. Heh! I wasn't as serious about that as I should have been - but it only comes once a year, and it's so great to see things before buying, unlike with ebay etc. Have you started anything with your trims and ribbons yet? xxx

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Sharee, thanks for visiting! In some ways it's more fun that there aren't many vintage pieces, as it's a matter of hunting for them more than deciding which to buy. I still managed to spend too much, though!

  5. There are lots of things available aren't there....I had no idea. Beautiful little items but I did like those old familiar boxes of food.

    1. There's an amazing range, Pauleen - lots of things that I just don't buy, too. I've been going through my photos of the vintage groceries, so I can easily see what I have and what I don't! More Miniature Supermarket shopping is in store, I think!

    2. Oh, and while I was choosing what to buy there, there was a man at the stand who'd just come with his wife. He was totally blown away by the miniature groceries, and had a long conversation with the maker about how she makes them. She no longer makes the tins herself, as that's too timeconsuming - they are turned so that they have real lips, they're not just solid cylinders!

  6. Hi, Rebecca - I've gotten behind on reading your blog posts, but I hope it isn't too late to tell you how much I enjoyed this one. What a variety of interesting items you found! I especially like the puff quilt, the pretty pillows, and the wonderful array of books, magazines, and food items that you photographed. I'm sure you had a great time shopping. Such fun!

  7. I came across your blog after I googled Marx Imagination Dollhouse. Beautiful blog. I look forward to start reading it. I have 6 dollhouses now I'm working on... slowly. The little metal chair,table etc. My Mom use to have tiny chairs like that minus the arms and possibly the table back in the early 80's. I had forgotten about those, now I am going on a search for some on eBay lol