Friday, 27 November 2020

Miniature Mania By Sue Passmore - New Book!

 A lovely and very unexpected surprise came through my letter box the other morning…a parcel. Inside was an A5 size paperback book titled "Miniature Mania" by Sue Passmore. As I turned to the first page I found that Sue had handwritten an inscription - To Celia with thanks, Sue Passmore. Being a little puzzled, as I was wondering what she was thanking me for, all was revealed as I turned to the next page...underneath the words Dedicated to...there was my name tucked in between Marion Osborne (Tri-ang guru) and Lin Hodder of JLB. To say that I felt privileged and humbled was an understatement! 

It must be almost 20 years since I first met Sue when she came to my stand at Miniatura (Birmingham NEC) and has been a customer of KT Miniatures and friend ever since.  I was completely unaware that she was writing this lovely book, she kept that quiet!

Sue's collection of dolls houses and miniature room settings, etc. is huge (over 140), which has apparently taken over her Welsh home. She says in her book that she even has 9 dolls houses in the bathroom and one can soap whilst looking into a Fisher-Price castle and treehouse...not many people can actually say that! :)

Her book features just over half of her collection, and the book is separated into the following sections: Themed Items, Collectibles, Very Small Scale and A Restoration Project. The book has 336 pages, literally crammed with  dozens of different projects and dolls houses. Plus there are colour photos on almost every other page. One of the vintage dolls houses Sue purchased off me which I had completely forgotten about is this lovely c1930s Eaton & Munby dolls house that folds away into a box..it is actually quite rare. It was like seeing an old friend again...I had fallen in love with it and was planning on keeping it, (however I kept falling in love with the majority of the dolls houses that came in - you know what it's like) and Mr KT finally felt the need to remind me that I simply can't keep them all as I was supposed to be running a business, plus we had no space to put any more...he was right of course!  So off it went to Sue, and I felt comforted that it was going to a good home. 

Sue's purchases have been carefully logged over the years and she has given details of them all in the book, including where they came from and even the cost in some circumstances. I suppose being a historian, attention to detail comes naturally to Sue. She has given talks up and down Ceredigion about her collection, and she says her miniatures have given a lot of pleasure to a lot of  people, and not just children. Sue's collection has even appeared on the Welsh Antiques TV Programme - Twrio.
She says that her "collectables" are often rescues so not perfect but that it is still interesting to have all their examples no matter what condition. Her book will be inspirational to those of you who like to make miniature room settings, and particularly inspiring to those of you who are on a tight budget and like to breathe new life into dolls houses that have seen better days. 

Her book is only available direct from the publisher who deal with every aspect of the order, including setting the price. Please click on the follow link which takes you through to the relevant page on Lulu Publishing's website:

This could make an ideal Christmas present for a dolls house enthusiast perhaps?

Did You See Sue On "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE" ?

Yes....a few weeks ago on BBC 1,  Series 17: Episode 3, Sue was the historian that helped the actress Ruth Jones find out lots about her ancestors who lived in Sue's home town of New Quay. Ruth was filmed discussing her ancestors in Sue's living room surrounded by many dolls houses of course, it was hard to concentrate on the discussion as one could not help be distracted by all the lovely miniature treasures!

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Antique Laundry Items For A Large Scale Dolls House Or Perhaps Just For Dolly!

 



There are currently a number of antique miniature laundry items for sale on KT Miniatures so I thought I would give you a sneaky peek on here! They are mostly in a larger scale so perhaps some would be more suited to the size of a doll rather than a dolls house. These are such wonderful pieces of social history though, and so far removed in comparison to our modern day electric washing machines...that even if you are not interesting in purchasing, I hope you still enjoy taking a look! 

Antique Large Scale Wooden Mangle

Here is a very old wooden mangle, believed to be from the late 1800s/early 1900s but to be honest the exact date or origin is unknown.
 
It measures 5 3/4" high so quite tall and possibly suited to an old large scale dolls house or old dolls house where scale does not matter. If you twist the side handle the rollers actually move. Looking at the side pillars closely, to me they look like they have been made out of two old fashioned dolly pegs - how fabulous is that!

The wooden tub has black, orange and brown scored lines around the exterior, making this quite attractive in appearance. 


c1930s Large Scale Metal Mangle

Here is a large scale c1930s metal mangle, it stands at a height of 6" so quite tall. Possibly suited for a large scale dolls house or an old dolls house where scale does not matter. There is no makers mark as far as I can see. 

The mangle comes in the original green painted exterior finish with a red painted side handle. The wooden rollers move when the handle is rotated. 

Judging by the wear and a little rust, particularly on the shelf directly underneath the rollers, it looks like the young previous owner(s) have had great fun washing their little dolly clothes! I can remember in the early 1960s my grandma having her much loved old real life size mangle (just like this) standing out in her back garden. By then she had a top loader washing machine so the mangle had finally become surplus to requirements, but she just couldn't bring herself to get rid of it. 

Rare c1934 Doll Size Dixon Bros. & Wood Ltd. Cabinet Mangle

This is really more suitable for a doll rather than a dolls house, as it is quite large and chunky. Rarely do these Dixon Bros. & Wood Ltd. pieces come along these days. 
 It measures 5 1/2" tall when the mangle is folded away inside and the lid is in place.
To erect the mangle, simply remove the lid, pull the front flap down and pull up the mangle gently into place.

The handle at the side when turned, rotates the wooden rollers. As with all the other mangles above, this has clearly been played with and what fun the little owner(s) must have had! When fully erected it measures 7 3/8" high. 


On the front the embossed Dixon Bros. & Wood Ltd. logo can clearly be seen.

There is a black and white image of this cabinet mangle on page 61 of Marion Osborne's A-Z 1914 to 1941 Dolls Houses Book (now out of print). It is shown as part of a 1934 Dixon Bros & Wood Ltd. advert in "Games & Toys", alongside other kitchen furniture and appliances. 

Antique Miniature Washboard

Here is an antique wooden washboard with a crinkled metal insert. It is large in size so probably far more suitable for a doll than a dolls house unless you have a large scale dolls house, as it measures 4 3/4" high. 

It is quite crude in its construction but quite effective. It came with the wooden mangle at the top of this page so am assuming it is of the same era. 

All of these items are currently available at the time of writing this post and can be seen on the following page:


Friday, 6 November 2020

How Lovely Are These - Exquisite Paintings By Karen Wosley


I would just like to introduce to you a newcomer on the miniature circuit. 

Karen Wosley is a massive fan of c1960s Tri-ang dolls houses and has been a customer of mine. She just happened to drop in the conversation that she creates miniature oil paintings, so of course I was so intrigued by what she was telling me that I asked if she could send me some details.  Well she did and here they are... 

I absolutely love them, they are truly lovely, so atmospheric and quite unique. 

 She is now selling them on Etsy. 


I wish Karen all the very best in her new venture. Please do go take a look at her Etsy shop:

www.karenwosleyartstudio.etsy.com


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Vintage Grecon Dolls For Sale & Kaybot Plaster Food

 August has now whizzed by and I can't believe it is several weeks since I last posted on here, but life has been filled with lots of little distractions of late ie. grandchildren, which has been keeping me from my desk. But now it is time to knuckle down once again and get back to business. 


Today, I have put up for sale a number of Grecon dolls (plus three Tomac dolls). Some of the Grecon's are quite rare but they are all rather delightful. They are part of a collection that I have acquired which belonged to a lady who actually worked in the dolls house department of Hamleys (the famous toy shop in London) during the early 1950s. She allowed her son to play with one or two so some are in a played with condition, but I have to say that most are in an excellent condition. Probably due to the fact that they have been kept in storage for decades. 

Grecon Tennis Dolls

There are three Grecon tennis players, two males and one female. 
Each male doll is dressed in off white felt shirt and shorts, plus each have a belt with mock buttons made from beads. This handsome chap is in excellent condition

Each doll has the GRECON MADE IN ENGLAND label on the back.

This guy has clearly had some damage to the wool binding on his right arm, but from the front it is not really noticeable.
He also has had some repair to the back of his left leg but at a glance is not noticeable.
This young lady is dressed in an off white felt tennis dress.


She has plaited blonde woollen hair with green woollen bows plus an off white felt tennis dress. 

I am pleased to say that her modesty is completely protected and she has rather pretty lace knickers. 


Then of course there are their wire and thread racquets...aren't they wonderful!

Posh Elderly Lady Grecon Doll

This old lady just makes me smile, she has such character and I have not come across one quite like her before. She appears to be in perfect condition and has never been played with.
She has a green felt jacket with bead buttons, long floral skirt, a very posh hat and even an umbrella. 


Just look at that posh hat with the decorative detail. She really is a grand old lady. 
Her umbrella is made from metal wire and red gingham fabric. 

Her snazzy purple painted lead shoes match her purple petticoat. 
On the back of her skirt she has the GRECON LITTLE-PEOPLE MADE IN ENGLAND label. 

Grecon Cowboy Doll


I have not handled one of these cowboy Grecon dolls before in such immaculate condition. I don't think he has ever been played with. 
He has rather splendid felt jodhpurs and matching waistcoat plus hat. 

His yellow shirt is made from yellow wool. 
I love all the little details such as his studded green belt (studs are beads), his cuffs with bead buttons, his scarf and of course a lasso fixed to his side. 

His large felt cowboy hat really does enhance his appearance.

Grecon Waitress Doll

 
This waitress Grecon doll comes in a light blue felt dress with bead button detail, white fabric apron, matching cuffs and hat. 
Apart from a little fraying of the fabric apron and cuffs, she is in great condition. 

Grecon Cook Doll

This Grecon cook comes in a pretty coloured peach/pinky dress with white cotton collar, cuffs and of course apron.



She has a magnificent cook's hat.


Boy Scout Grecon Doll

This boy scout Grecon doll is dressed in a light brown felt scout uniform including a brown hat and green scarf. 


He is missing the tiny red tassel off his right sock, the bead and sequin buckle off his belt and his cord lanyard, but otherwise he is in superb condition, and rather lovely.

Grecon Austrian/Bavarian Doll

Here is a very pretty Grecon doll in traditional Austrian (or possibly Bavarian) costume. She appears to be in excellent condition.


Here pink felt bodice is rather fetching and the imitation woollen flower detail in her plaited hair is rather attractive. 

Unusual Grecon Male Doll Holding Duster With Bowler Hat

I have not come across a Grecon doll before holding a duster. He also has a bowler hat, and white handkerchief in a top pocket detail. 


He has such character...am wondering if maybe he was meant to be something like a chauffeur,  as he is dressed in a blue jacket, with shirt and tie detail, so quite dapper. 

Grecon Horse Rider Doll

This is a female Grecon doll dressed in riding clothes, complete with horse whip. 

She really looks the part in her felt jodhpurs, brown jacket, woollen yellow shirt and black riding hat. 

Three Tomac Dolls


Amongst the collection are these three Tomac dolls, similar to Grecon dolls, as they have wire limbs bound in wool and lead feet. But their lead feet are huge, much larger than the Grecons which you can see higher up this page. Their heads are covered buttons so a different shape to the stuffed heads of Grecon dolls. They also have very distinctive drawn on eyes, which always look to the right. Aren't they lovely!


As you can see, there is a female dressed in Scottish costume holding a dog - she does have a slightly damaged leg, which has come unbound. The chap in the middle is dressed in Scottish costume and the third doll is dressed in Austrian/Bavarian costume. 

All the dolls can be found on this page:

https://ktminiatures.com/dolls/


Vintage Kaybot Plaster Food

There are quite a few pieces of vintage plaster Kaybot food, most are in excellent condition. 





Their colour is still so vibrant, probably because they have been kept in a box for decades. These can be found on the following page:

https://ktminiatures.com/kitchen/

So there we are, aren't they lovely!
I hope you have enjoyed looking at the photos. 
Celia
KT Miniatures

https://ktminiatures.com/