Thursday, 9 May 2019

Unusual Art Deco Furniture Identified As Austrian By Wallach & Co. Of Vienna

I love a mystery!

So when these three unusual dolls house pieces came in, I did my utmost to try and identify them...but to no avail. They remained a mystery.  Then they went up for sale on KT Miniatures website, and I could only describe as seen. I'd been coming around to the idea that they were possibly Japanese, and had discounted them from being British or German, for various reasons. 


Clearly all were in the Art Deco style, so I surmised that they were from the 1920s/30s. I have to say that whatever the wood is, it is very similar to some of those c1920s/30s Japanese pieces of furniture that have the inlay of Mount Fuji. 
Also the gold coloured decorative handles are very different from anything I have seen before.

And then, as so often is the case, a lovely person came forward and identified them for me!! Apparently I had the information here at my fingertips...on page 123 of Marion Osborne's "A-Z 1914 To 1941 Dollshouses" (now well out of print). However, the reason that I did not pick up on it is that the tiny photocopy image of this furniture in my old and well thumbed copy of this book, was far from clear, in fact quite blurred...so it had literally just passed me by all these years, I had never noticed it there at the bottom of page 123.
But Marion Osborne has forwarded the above image from her original book and kindly given me permission to use it in this blog posting, so thank you Marion! 

As you can see from the above information and the photo on the left, I can now definitively state that these two wooden sideboards and table date from the 1920s and were made by Wallach & Co of Vienna. It appears they are not British, not German, not Japanese but Austrian! They were sold by a continental American company that went by the name of Hyman Brummer, whose office and showroom were based at No.1 Amber Street, Shudehill, Manchester (UK). They were listed as being not just the agent and sole distributor for Wallach & Co, but for several other manufacturers too. Wallach & Co were advertised as a toy furniture manufacturer of artistic designs. 

Artistic designs they certainly were and I have not seen sideboards particularly made quite like this before! The larger sideboard is quite complex in design.
 All the doors and drawers open. 
It measures 6 1/8" wide x 2" at deepest point x 5" back height, and would say that it is probably nearest to being 1/16th scale.
The decorative veneer inlay is quite attractive, although it appears to have buckled slightly on the larger sideboard. 
The smaller sideboard is different again and has two unusual smaller upper shelves that are supported by metal rods. 

All the doors and single drawer open. 
This sideboard measures 4 1/8" wide x 1 1/2" deep x 4" back height. 
The table's pedestal support is quite unusual and has strips of the decorative veneer inlay around all four sides. 
The veneer inlay is also around the table top too. Height of the table is 2 1/8" so very much in the 1/16th scale. 

So there we are, mystery solved. 

The larger sideboard has already been snapped up but the smaller sideboard with table are being sold together, and are currently available. These can be found on the following page:
http://ktminiatures.com/living-and-dining-room/

Thursday, 25 April 2019

A Trio Of Very Different Overmantel Dolls House Fireplaces!

Over the past few days I have been listing various antique and vintage dolls house furniture to KT Miniatures website, which are available for purchase. Amongst the pieces that have most recently been listed are two highly sought after and increasingly hard to find 1920s/1930s fireplaces with overmantels. To make up the trio I have included a possibly homemade fireplace with overmantel mirror from the same era that is also currently for sale. 
1. c1920s Elgin/Tri-ang Jacobean Fireplace With Overmantel. 2. 1920s/30s Fireplace With Overmantel Mirror (Possibly Homemade). 3. c1930s Pit-a-Pat Fireplace With Overmantel Mirror & Box Curb Seat. 
I thought it would be fun to highlight all three together on here, as although very different in style, they all originate from the 1920s/1930s era and British made. 

1. c1920s Elgin/Tri-ang Fireplace With Overmantel
Here is a Jacobean fireplace that were made by Elgin for Tri-ang and were part of the Tri-ang PF/10 Jacobean Dining Room set that was available from approx. c1922-1923. (Details of all the Elgin/Tri-ang furniture can be found in Marion Osborne's "The Book Of Tri-ang Furniture - http://ktminiatures.com/marion-osborne-books/). 


It has a very distinctive printed brick card backing with lit fire detail and a brass grate. 
This is so evocative of the 1920s.
The wooden fender too adds to the overall attractiveness and authenticity of  this fireplace.  Measures 5 3/4" wide x 5 1/2" high x 1 3/4" deep to end of fender with fireplace in situ. This fireplace and fender has just been put up for sale on KT Miniatures website and at the time of writing this post, is available to purchase. 

2. c1920s/30s Fireplace With Overmantel Mirror
This is a wonderful wooden fireplace with its own unique charm, the like of which is rarely seen these days. 
The fire surround and hearth are covered in a delightful tiled paper, instantly recognisable as the kind that was available around the pre-war era of the 1920s/30s. 
In fact if you look underneath the hearth you can see the Delft style windmill frieze image that would have edged the bottom (top?) of the original sheet of tiled paper - how fantastic is that!
The fire has a large and rather chunky silver painted wooden fretwork grate with crumpled coloured tissue paper to give the illusion of a lit fire. The mantelpiece, fireplace sides and upper backing is in a dark varnished finish. Then there is the lovely rectangular mirror with shaped frame. 

I am assuming that this has been homemade, possibly from old Handicrafts or Hobbies plans? It measures 5" at widest point x 2 5/8" at deepest point x 5 3/8" high. 

This is currently for sale and can be found on the following page, you will need to scroll about halfway down until you get to it: CLICK HERE

3. c1930s Pit-a-Pat Fireplace With Overmantel Mirror & Curb Box Seat
Here is an increasingly hard to find and highly sought after c1930s Pit-a-Pat fireplace with overmantel mirror and fixed box curb seat. 
I just love this! The oval mirror with mantelpiece underneath is just gorgeous so too the fixed box curb seat which is upholstered in brown rexine, that is widely seen on many of the Pit-a-Pat sofas and armchairs, etc. 
This fireplace is fully intact and in original condition. Nailed around the rexine upholstered box curb seats is the silver coloured strip which gives added detail. So too there is the original metal grate, brick paper and distinctive wooden beading so often seen on Pit-a-Pat furniture. 

This is in such super condition, whoever has had this all these years have certainly looked after it.
Even the red and black square label is still fully intact on the back. 

The oval mirror is such a lovely touch and really adds to the overall charm of this fireplace. Measures 5 1/4" high x 4 1/2" wide x 1 5/8" deep. This has just been put up for sale on the Pit-a-Pat page and can be found on the following link: CLICK HERE

Why not go and check out many of the other antique and vintage items that can be found on KT Miniatures' various pages. 

Thursday, 11 April 2019

From MDF To This - Look At My Early 1900s German Style Kitchen A Year Later!

Followers of this journal may remember KT Miniatures' workshop prototype of an old German style kitchen. It featured on this journal a number of times last year. The whole project was inspired by the miniature German kitchens commonly seen around the early 1900s, and was the basis for KT Miniatures 2018 workshops. 


The kitchen project started off as four pieces of plain MDF glued together to create a floor, back and two sides. Then after some fun painting coloured squares on the floor it went from this...
...to this. 

And then after some arty painting on the wall plus construction of authentic pieces of kitchen furniture and accessories by simply using cardboard, wood, card, paint, etc. it ended up looking like this...
The German style furniture and fixtures were based on real antique dolls house items, plus the old style frieze created purely for this project, was inspired by some old dolls house wallpaper. 
The project also included replica lithographed plates, saucepans, utensils, jug, etc.all made from card and paint. In the photo above the dresser, jug and plates on the left are the actual genuine antique items. The dresser, jug and plates on the right are the replicas as reproduced for the workshop. 
Then at the time of running this kitchen workshop back in 2018, in order to help the ladies who were attending, I illustrated on KT Miniatures Journal how the prototype could look dressed with some actual genuine antique miniature pieces, alongside all the handmade pieces that were included in the project.  

And now, here we are a year later...

I am delighted to say that the kitchen prototype now looks like this...I absolutely love it!

Over the past 12 months I have had great fun collecting all kinds of antique bits and pieces to put in this little kitchen. 
In fact I have ended up with so much paraphernalia (you know what it's like, one can become obsessed once you start collecting) that I decided to create an additional long wooden shelf  that runs right across the top of the back wall. It is now perfect for displaying all the additional jelly moulds, metal food covers, etc. that I now seem to have.
The cardboard replica range, wall shelf and bench are heavily laden with all kinds of pots, pans, kitchenware, etc. 
At the other end of the kitchen more antique pieces adorn the replica dresser, kitchen side table and wall rack. 
Plus I have fixed to the wall an antique German wooden flour box and an Art Nouveau German soft metal rack from which a dustpan and brush hang. 
The heavily aged cream painted metal table and matching tin chair came in after I had made the kitchen and I just could not part with them. They look perfect in the centre of the kitchen floor. 
In fact, the kitchen is now literally bursting at the seams but I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze one or two more bits in, at the very least! 

Hope you enjoyed the update:)
Celia

Currently I have one of my handmade early 1900s German style kitchens for sale on the website, same dimensions as the workshop prototype above. 

The walls were inspired by a genuine antique German kitchen and the floor has been covered in antique wallpaper. All furniture and accessories as seen are included:
http://ktminiatures.com/early-1900s-german-style-miniature-kitchen/

Friday, 5 April 2019

Rare c1939 Pit-a-Pat Garden Couch-Hammock

This really is a rare Pit-a-Pat item for the serious collector, needless to say that it was snapped up immediately it went up for sale.
I have handled many Pit-a-Pat pieces of furniture and accessories during my 23 years of trading, but this was a first for me...and to be honest, I had not been aware that Pit-a-Pat had ever made a garden couch-hammock!
I understand that this was listed in a Pit-a-Pat advert in the March 1939 Toy Trader magazine under "New Lines" as a Garden Couch-Hammock. It measures 4 3/4" wide x approx. 2" at deepest point  x 4 1/4" high. The seat really does swing!
The seat is constructed of green stained wood and upholstered in floral material.  In the photo above you can see the instantly recognisable black ink square Pit-a-Pat stamp. 

The seat is hung by the same coloured thread seen on the Pit-a-Pat cutlery stands, and is looped through metal hooks on the underside of the canopy. This same blue/red/white floral material has been seen on some of Pit-a-Pat's fireside chairs. 
The top consists of a wooden stained canopy with further floral material that is fixed over the top and drapes down the back. The front edge and side edges of the canopy are edged in brown fringing. 

The main structure of the canopy consists of four silver painted doweling legs which are fixed to the underside of the canopy, with two narrow wooden doweling side supports. 
The doweling pieces are quite fragile and in young hands I am not sure how well they would have survived. 

The bottom of each edge of the fabric drape are fixed to the legs by a metal stud. 
What a curious item this is. 

I had been torn on whether to keep this or not, primarily because it was so rare. But I had nowhere to display it properly so decided that it could not sit in a box any longer and took the plunge by putting it up for sale. As I said earlier, it was snapped up immediately by a lovely customer called Margaret. And I am delighted that Margaret emailed me a photo of it in situ in its new home. 
And here it is, with a doll having a lovely time balancing on it! Margaret has created this little scene on the roof of her Tri-ang No.53 and managed to find room for the Garden Couch-Hammock amongst the many other old treasures she has there. 

Am chuffed to bits that it has found such a brilliant new home, and hope that it goes on to give even many more years of pleasure. Special thanks to Margaret for giving me permission to use her photo on KT Miniatures Journal.

And as a final footnote...for those of you who like to know such things, other pieces that were listed as New Items in the same Pit-a-Pat advert in the March 1939 Toy Trader magazine, were as follows: TAPESTRY 3 PIECE SUITE, DIVAN BED, BILLIARD DINING TABLE, NURSERY PIANO & STOOL, TELEVISION SET & ENAMELLED TOP CUPBOARD. 

How curious some of those sound, particularly the billiard table which in the advert states that it has a lift off top, and comes complete with balls and cues! As all these items, including the garden couch-hammock, are being advertised as new items just a few months before WW2, then I am assuming that not many of them were made as they would not have been in production for very long?  Which would make them more rare and rather desirable.

Celia
KT Miniatures