Wednesday, July 19, 2017

OC County Fair

Marv and I spent Sunday evening at the Orange County Fair.  We like this fair a great deal.  I use to enter the LA County Fair when we lived in Tarzana and always looked forward to going each year. But the OC Fair turned out to be a much more doable fair and has all the great things I love about really big fairs but is in a smaller footprint.  I also think the home arts are better at the OC Fair and I particularly love their visual arts section.

I took some photos of the cakes in the culinary arts section for your enjoyment...my favorite is the wedding cake that looks like a geode....amazing.   And I also love the cake featuring characters from Miyazaki's films.







Thursday, June 29, 2017

Christian Hacker Grocery Shop Redressed

I spent some time cleaning the large Grocery Store.  I also got the Christian Hacker book and found this shop (424/4) listed in the book.  So I can now confirm that this is indeed made by the Christian Hacker Factory sometime around 1905-1907.  Here are some fun pics of all the items put back in the store.



 The Front Windows


The Cheese Display


The Bakery Display

The Back Pantry stocked with meats and butter

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hat Shop Re-Dressed

I spent some time cleaning the Hat Shop room box...it took a long time with Q-tips!  But it looks much nicer now and the mirrors and glass are nice and shiny.  I have not fixed the door to the glass cabinet yet.  I need to buy new hinges for it, so for now it is tacked in place with museum putty.









These glass shelves spin when the clockwork mechanism is wound up and released. 



I have a large collection of blown glass bottles from glass artist Sue Ellen Fowler.  I have been collecting them for 25 years or more.  I think they look wonderful in this shop, so I decided to make the left side of the shop a perfumery shop and the right side the Millinery shop.









Tuesday, April 25, 2017

19th Century Dutch Dollhouse

This is another recent addition to my collection of antiques and my first true dollhouse.  It is from the 1800s though it has had quite a bit of restoration work done to the exterior.  The work was done years ago by Phoenix dollhouse artist, the late Mickie Haynes.  She sold the house to Jackie McMahan and it was on display for several years at Angel's Attic Doll & Miniature Museum in Santa Monica.  As with the previous items I have posted about, I bought this house when the Museum closed its doors following Jackie's death in January of 2017.



The house is about 2 1/2 feet tall.  I believe it originally opened in the front, but was updated somewhere along the line and now has 3 doors cut in the back of the house. The yellow molding that goes around 3 sides of the house must have been added when this is done.  Perhaps the front of the house was too damaged to allow the door to open and so it was stabilized.



When it was restored a new base was created for it and it houses a small electric transformer which powers a bulb on each floor.  (The new base ends after the bottom yellow molding and includes the stairs)


When I first saw the house it was set up as a grocery store, with a wonderful 3 shelf unit which had cakes and groceries on it, and some wonderful old furniture and dolls in the upstairs rooms.  By the time I was able to purchase it, all of the interior furnishings had been sold.  As I went to retrieve it from its location on the 2nd floor of the museum, I noticed the shelving unit that had been in the house had fallen out and was under a nearby chair!  I scooped it up and restored it to the house, though I have no way of knowing if the shelves were original to the house or not.  But they fit perfectly.

I have done a lot of research and finally found a very similar house in the museum in the Hague in The Netherlands.  (link at the bottom of this post).  That house is only 2 stories but it is also arranged as a Grocery store on the first floor and if you look VERY closely at the picture of it on the Museum's website, you can see some shelves through the door.  So I am content in my belief that the shelves are original to the house.

As I have several Grocery stores in my collection, and I also have a number of vintage and antique potted plants, I have decided to set the first floor shop up as a florist shop for now.






There is very minimal furniture inside.  I added a metal fireplace and some beds and will continue to work on furnishing the house with items from the appropriate era as I find them.







Here is the link to the similar house in the Hague Museum in Holland and a picture of that house.



Don't forget to look closely at the picture on the site, and zoom in to see the faint shelves though the window!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Christian Hacker Grocery Store from 1905


Here is the largest and most spectacular of the 3 shops I bought from Angels Attic.   It is an Art Nouveau style Grocery Store.  When I first started visiting Angel's Attic I would always go to see this shop.  It was my absolute favorite thing in the museum.  I feel very fortunate to be its current caretaker!

It is huge, measuring just shy of 4 feet in length.   I believe it to be a Christian Hacker shop from 1905.  I am still researching this one as well as the Hat Shop in the previous post.  They are identical in motif and match the one in the Nurnberg museum.  It is that museum listing I am using to date and identify the maker of this shop.


  
As you can see the back doors open as do the closet/side doors.   The mirror back panels have some age related crackling to the silvered backing.  The mirror glass is in fine shape.


Below is a close up of the door knob.  The hardware is the same on all the doors.



The two front windows are hinged and they swing open.  You can see the 1 damaged drawer in this photo.  The screw on the outside panel is for a doorbell.  It came off in transit and I need to reattach it.  The shop was re-papered in the past, both the walls and the floor. I also think it was carefully repainted in some areas.  Most notably on the decorative panel above the glass doors.



Side view (Both sides are identical)


Top down view


Here are the markings on the bottom of the shop:


This is a picture of the Grocery Store as it was displayed in the Museum.  All the contents and dolls came with the shop.  Now that I have finished dusting and cleaning it, I will be setting it up with all the little food stuffs.



Here is the link to the similar shop in the Nurnberg Toy Mueseum:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Christian Hacker Hat Shop 1890-1910

I recently acquired this fabulous shop from a dollhouse museum that is closing.  It was hard to get much info on the piece but from my research I believe it to be made by the Christian Hacker factory in Nurnberg, Germany about 1905.  There is a shop in a museum in Germany that is very similar and I have used that info to date this piece.  I am still searching for a toy catalog or other listing from that time period to verify it.

The shop needs a good cleaning but has all its original wall papers and floor papers.  2 drawers are missing and the glass door on the side shelf unit is loose as the hinges are missing.  Its just propped up in the pictures.






The shop has a hidden surprise...the shelves in the back of the shop rotate via a mechanism in the top of the shop.  You wind it up with a key and then pull out the wire lever on the left side of the top shelf.  The mechanism still works perfectly...though it makes a lot of noise and could probably be cleaned and oiled.



These photos show the marks on the bottom.






This is the shop as it was displayed in the Museum.  All the furniture, dolls and display items came with the shop.  Once I give the shop a good cleaning I will set it up again with all these lovely things.


 I also acquired 2 other shops and will get those pictures posted soon.

Here is the link to the similar shop in the Nurnberg Toy Mueseum:
Lydia Bayer Toy Museum Nurnberg

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Working Late or...Early!

I was up most of the night working on my dollhouse.  The sun is up and the paper mache' part is done except for the tower.