Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Look At Molly Now...With Her Two New Sisters!


Do you remember this antique German "Porzellanfabrik Burggrub Doll" that was put up for sale on here in aid of the "Save The Dolls Houses Past & Present Website Fund? "

Well, the other day an email with a photo dropped into my inbox from Jane Huggett of Berkshire, who purchased the old doll. To my delight, it was a photo of this old German doll looking rather lovely in her new home, along with her two new sisters!
And here she is (far left with the dark hair), and I understand she is now called Molly.

The unflattering purple knitted dress has been discarded, and Molly is now looking rather beautiful in an outfit that had originally been made by Jane's mother for another doll. Her two sisters are called Ellen and Baby, both of which had previously belonged to Jane's mother. Jane had no idea what her mother used to call the two dolls, so she decided that as her mother had been referred to as Baby by the family until she was about two years of age, she would call the smallest of the dolls "Baby". Baby is the only one with a genuine old dress and although it was not original to the doll, Jane altered it to make it fit. I think they all look rather gorgeous, don't you?

Intriguingly you can just see a peek of Jane's stunning Theodore Heymann dolls house in the top right hand corner of the photo.

Molly certainly looks settled in her new home, what a gorgeous photo! Thank you Jane for sharing it with us. 

Celia

Friday, 7 December 2018

KT Miniatures Early 1900s Miniature German Style Kitchen Now For Sale...

This unique handmade miniature kitchen has just gone up for sale on KT Miniatures website.
It is based on the kind of slightly larger scale German miniature kitchens found in the early part of the 20th century. 
It has been great fun to make! This was it in the very early stages...
And this is it completed.
The painting took quite some time before I finally achieved the effect that I wanted. 
The main carcass is made from MDF and given a white primed finish. 
The walls have been given an aged tiled and panelled painted effect...was great fun to do. It was loosely based on an antique miniature kitchen photo that I came across when researching miniature kitchens for KT Miniatures 2018 workshop project
The printed paper friezes were based on actual c1910 German dolls house wallpaper and recreated to fit this project. 
The floor is genuine antique wallpaper, it is stunning and perfect for this little room box. 
To kick start the collection of fixtures and fittings for this old style kitchen, I have added a number of bits and pieces, including this actual antique German dresser, which came to me already over painted and missing the original back. 


So I literally gave it a new back of printed paper tiles, based on an identical but original dresser which I just happen to have in my own collection. 
I am including this genuine antique German hanging flour container, which as you can see has the word "Mehl" printed on the front (German for "flour"). So too an antique white china jug. 
On the left side wall I have created and fixed an old looking wall rack, based on an actual rack seen in an antique German kitchen. Simple but very effective.
Pans and utensils can be hung from the tiny tack hooks. There is also a narrow upper shelf, useful for further storage. 
This heavily aged cream painted antique tin chair is included and suits this kitchen well.

Finally, a simple wooden chopping board has been aged with paint and hangs on the right side wall. 
This is now available to purchase and full details can be seen on the following link:

Whoever takes this on, can enjoy filling it with antique miniature kitchenalia. Scale did not matter in the early 1900s toy kitchens, so I would just say go for it...and fill it with whatever takes your fancy, regardless of scale. 

Thanks for looking.
Celia

Thursday, 29 November 2018

How To Breathe New Life Into Some Broken Miniature Treasures...


What do you do when you have a gorgeous antique German (or could be French) metal chair with a missing metal leg?  

I mentioned this back on here in May, when I sold it's sister chair that was in far better condition with four legs! CLICK HERE TO VIEW.   This chair still has some of the remaining gilt and black colour on the metal frame. Plus the seat pad is original and believed to be silk, but as you can see it is highly worn and has a stain. But you know, I just think this all adds to the character of the chair now...and is fabulous!
Meanwhile, does this broken chair sit in a box for ever more or worse, chucked away? Or does one do something with it so that it can be loved once again. Well I chose the latter...of course!

Ok, this is not going to appeal to the purists out there and that is fine,  I fully understand that. 
But as like my beautiful massive real life size squidgy sofa in my real life size lounge that has a broken foot which is currently propped up by several books (I kid you not - long story involving me and my cat Mollie very late one night)....I have created some of my old looking imitation books to prop the metal chair up so that it actually stands now. 

Maybe it could sit in an old dolls house attic, drawing room or library room? I am so chuffed with the result that I have been so very tempted to keep it. At the moment it is up for sale, but if it doesn't sell very soon...I think temptation may get the better of me:) Can be seen for sale on the LIVING & DINING ROOM PAGE.

And similarly....what do you do when you have a  gorgeous rare soft metal bed that is in several  pieces and obviously missing two legs, at the very least? Does this stay in a box for evermore too or chucked? Like the chair, this was just too beautiful for either of those outcomes so I decided I had to act now and bring it back to life. As you can see, it still has the original fabric stuffed mattress, albeit rather grubby. 

So, after a little bit of research I discovered that this most probably would have started out life as an ornate and very valuable half tester bed, with four long spindly decorative legs and a headboard that extended  upwards into a decorative gilt coronet with drapes!

 Hmm...it has taken me a while to figure out what to do with it. I wanted to do it justice, as it is rather old, probably late 1800s, very early 1900s and believed to be of German origin? 

My first task was to bend back all soft metal bits where possible, with fine pliers and glue the bedhead and side panels back into place, so too some of the metal struts on the mattress base.
Once all glued together I realised that the remaining stumps down the left side of the bed from the original long ornate legs, would actually suffice as tiny legs in their own right. However, the other side of the bed was a different matter and was in desperate need of some sort of support.  


After much pondering and head scratching, I decided that the best course of action was to use my miniature handmade books again, as with the chair.

The footboard support ended up being a lot trickier than anticipated and needed more support, hence I ended up using an additional pile of books glued in front of the footboard. Am rather pleased with the result. 
As with the chair, I am so very tempted to keep this but I really do not have a big enough space at this moment of time in any of my dolls houses...so for the moment it is up for sale and hope that someone somewhere can give this a new loving home.  Can be seen for sale on the BEDROOM PAGE.
Celia

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Identifying Two Antique Dolls House Treasures!

It never ceases to amaze me the kindness shown by old dolls house collectors, who take the time to pass on helpful information to me. Although I am just coming to the end of my 22nd year of trading as KT Miniatures, and about to embark on my 23rd year (OMG this makes me sound so old), am still constantly learning about these lovely miniature items, even now. 

I do feel strongly that it is important to share this information, in order to help future generations in identifying these lovely items when we are all long gone. With so much misinformation out there on the internet, that at times it can be very difficult to ascertain what is accurate and what is not. However I am just as guilty as anyone else because occasionally I have got identification wrong...it is easily done, although information has always been given in good faith. So when people take the time to contact me with absolute proof of identification, it is always a great joy!



Remember this fascinating c1800s/early 1900s art nouveau mirror & statuette (CLICK HERE TO SEE OLD POST ABOUT THIS), which was put up for sale back in June of this year? I had never seen anything quite like it before and had asked if anyone could help identify it. 


The only identifying mark on the statuette was under the base...it simply said GERMANY. 

At the time, a lovely lady from New Zealand emailed to say that the statuette was modeled on a famous dancer called Loie Fuller, who had had many statuettes based on her during the Art Nouveau period. But sadly no-one could help me identify the maker of this gorgeous mirror statuette...until now!

I can now with confidence state that this Art Nouveau metal statuette was made by F.W.Gerlach, a German company based in Naumburg,  in the early part of the 1900s. It was listed as Reference No. 1568 in the 1924 F.W.Gerlach catalogue, as seen in the scanned image from the catalogue above. Huge thanks to the kind lady from Hampshire who sent me this information. In fact, out of the blue this lady has sent me a photocopy of the whole catalogue...how wonderful is that! I have had great fun looking through it all and very shortly I will be able to show identification proof of other miniature treasures that were simply marked GERMANY. 

And then just the other day, after I had finished listing one or two old miniature items to KT Miniatures website, I randomly received an email from a lady up north, who kindly informed me that a bookcase/bureau that I had just listed as unknown, was in fact made in the early 1930s by the German company Bassett-Lowke under their Nuways label! And here it is...

I had been mystified by this item. At times, when I have no idea of maker or age, I can only go on what is in front of me and trust my gut instinct. And with this being in such good condition and hardly played with, I'd reached the conclusion that it was more vintage than antique. It was the wooden handles too that had thrown me, as they are quite similar to those reproduction wooden handles that became available in more recent times?  How wrong was I:) !!!
This very same item is listed as No.8500/3 in the 1931 Nuways catalogue as a MODEL BUREAU BOOKCASE. In the details it is described as "A most attractive piece of model furniture made in solid oak and finished to match table and chairs, having two bottom cupboards to open and a hinged writing flap. The three shelves are fitted with removable imitation books in effective colourings." And this was priced as 4/- . For you young 'uns out there who don't know what this signifies....it means four shillings in old  British currency,  which I am quite sure made this quite an expensive purchase back in those days. 


It really is beautifully made and stands at a height of 5 3/4", with two opening doors and a hinged writing flap. 
The mock wooden books have been exquisitely created. 

For those of you who would like to know more, then do go take a peek at the wonderful Brighton Toy Museum's website, and in particular the following page: Nuways (Bassett-Lowke) Dolls House Furniture Page


Apparently, "Nuways" was a branded range of dolls house furniture by Bassett-Lowke, and their range of items appeared in a 1931 and 1932 catalogue. It is unknown whether any further Nuway catalogues appeared after that date, so it seems that Bassett Lowke's  venture into the dolls house world was possibly rather brief. 

UPDATE: Margaret Hobbs of Essex emailed to say that she has two boxed Bassett-Lowke pieces of furniture and kindly sent me some photos. She has given me permission to show you them on this KT Miniatures Journal, as she is also for sharing information. So a huge thank you to Margaret!

 Above you can see Margaret's Nuway sideboard and box. 
But the label is illegible. 
 Above is Margaret's Nuway sofa and box. 
But again, as on the other box label, the writing has been long worn off. 

Margaret said that she had bought these two items a long time ago from a dealer who had been in the business a long time, and who had told her that these had been made by Bassett-Lowke. But the writing on the labels had worn off. So she was interested to see my bureau bookcase, as her handles on her sideboard were the same. She can now, after checking on the Nuways catalogue images from the above Brighton Museum link, confirm identification of her pieces. 

Meanwhile this bureau bookcase is now reserved, but can currently still be seen on the following KT Miniatures page: 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

A Little Bit Of This & That...


Has been a while since I have been on here...life keeps throwing up its little distractions, you know how it is :) So I thought it was time to get my act together and put up another posting. This particular posting is a real bit of "this and that",  but hope you find it interesting. 

As time has gone on since last year, I have found my studio room changing and evolving. At the moment, I have two of my most favourite recent acquisitions sitting on my mantelpiece, which I thought I would share with you. 

c1930s Mosaic Vase

 A few months ago at a summer car boot sale, something rather special caught my eye. On close inspection, the owner told me that she had had it for decades, that it had been made in the 1930s and had been passed down to her. She went on to say that she was reluctantly selling as she had to downsize and relinquish some of her treasured possessions.  
It was a large vase covered mosaic style in an array of quite beautiful tiny pieces of antique china and pottery, many bits dating back to the 1800s! I simply fell in love with it there and then,  purchased it for a mere snip of a price and promised the lady that I would cherish it. 
It is now sitting pride of place on the mantelpiece of my studio room. I look at it every day and still love it as much as the first day I got it. To me it is like a picture and utterly fascinating. 
I realise it is not everyone's "cup of tea" as none of my offspring are fond of it. And in the same way that they react when I go on about  dolls house stuff, they simply smile and humour me when I mention it.  

F.G. Taylor Miniature Lead Cottage

Then there is this gorgeous little c1950s F.G. Taylor lead cottage, that came with a whole set of vintage lead toy animals. Of course I just couldn't part with it!  So it now resides tucked at an angle at the side of a plant pot on my mantelpiece. 


Apparently it should have a water wheel that sits along the back and side, but I don't mind that it is missing, as I think the cottage looks rather lovely as it is. 

And now for something a little random....
A Window Of A House Near Poole Harbour
A few weeks ago I spent a long weekend in a gorgeous little house right on Poole Harbour, on the south coast. Whilst walking along one of the streets close to Poole harbour, where all the wonderful old Georgian houses open right out onto the pavement, I was gobsmacked to see a window crammed full of antique miniatures. Very strange to find this in the window of someone's home and clearly displayed facing outwards for passers by to feast their eyes on.
So I just had to stop and take a photo didn't I...and here it is. The light kept reflecting on the glass window so unfortunately the photo is not as clear as I had hoped, but at least you can get the gist of what was on show. 


Leading & Glass Workshop

Then one day last week, I was able to do something that has been on my "Bucket List" for so long.  One of my lovely nieces, who is training to be a stone mason, asked if I would like to accompany her to a glass and leading one day workshop.  I have always adored stained glass, and been wanting to learn how to create it for as long as I can remember, but somehow the right opportunity never seemed to arise. 
So at the crack of dawn last Friday, we found ourselves trundling off to Oldbury in Birmingham to Jamal Rafay's workshop, where we learnt the basics in cutting glass and leading the traditional way. 

Jamal was so patient and knowledgeable, and talked us through every single step thoroughly. I'm a huge fan of the 1920s/30s leaded glass designs...so no surprise that I chose a sunrise pattern for my creation!  His little garden room where the workshop took place was simply magical, it seemed that nearly every nook and cranny was packed with examples of his amazing work. Jamal is an incredible artist and also runs workshops on glass painting...which is now on my "Must Do List" for next year. If you click on the following link you will see Jamal's website:
www.stainedglassic.com


And now back to miniatures...

Some Interesting German Miniatures For Sale
This week I have been listing more antique and vintage goodies to KT Miniatures website. Amongst some of the miniature treasures that are still available at the time of writing this blog, are some interesting German pieces. 


This 1920s F.W.Gerlach soft metal ironing board comes in a painted finish. 

This German kitchen cupboard has gorgeous oval cut out windows in the top central door backed by lovely blue celluloid type mock glass. 
These can be found on the Kitchen Page.



Here is a German "Korbi" type cream/tan coloured pressed card sofa by Karl Schreiter, very much in the wicker style. It is in excellent condition which is refreshing, as this style of card furniture proved to be rather fragile in young hands.


These two pieces of German furniture are being sold as a pair. They have mock non opening doors and drawers, and have a lovely imitation wood effect finish in places. The books are wooden and fixed. These can be found on the Living & Dining Room Page.



This is believed to be a c1910/1920s Albin Schonherr bed, sometimes mistaken for a Gottschalk bed. It can be found on the Bedroom Page.




This old celluloid German wireless started life out as a pencil sharpener, but a previous owner glued on the backplate and fixed green material to the underside to cover up the pencil hole. It is perfect now for an old dolls house where scale does not matter, and can be found on the General Page

All the little dolls house treasures seen here and a lot more besides,  are available to purchase on KT Miniatures website. So why not go take a peek and see if there is anything that takes your fancy.
www.ktminiatures.com