Sunday, 4 November 2012

Rare French Dolls House With Musical Toy Carriage!

First of all.... I would like to extend a very warm welcome to several new Followers who have joined us on here just lately. I hope you'll enjoy KT Miniatures Journal and stop by regularly! to these lovely items.....when I first set eyes on this old house with all its contents, I couldn't take my eyes off it and just stood there trying to take it all in! I have never seen anything quite like it before, let alone the iron musical carriage that comes with it. Even now, when I go back to take a look, I'm still noticing things that I hadn't seen  previously. 

I was told that it came from a Parisian attic and was from the early 1900s but those tin windows (probably German) suggest otherwise and is much more likely to originate from the 1930s at the very least.  But there is no doubt that it is quite old.

 I understand that this house was made by the head of a French household with the furnishings and accessories made by the females of the family, including the four little dolls. Then this has been passed down through the family, much played with and added to over the years.

The house comes with a real diversity of fixtures and fittings from the various eras eg. a Victorian framed photo of a gentleman, possibly a family member, sits above a fireplace and in complete comparison, there are a couple of 1954 Lundy Island triangular pictorial stamps of all things,  fixed to the wall above dresser wonderful is that!

The house itself is created in wood very much like a fact it could well have started life out as a trunk then been adapted into a dolls house. It has big heavy metal catches and hinges, opening out into two halves. There is a gorgeous rich red/terracotta ghesso type finish on the outside. The previous owner wiped the exterior down with a cloth and simply gave it a coat of wax polish...which has brought up the detail beautifully. Some rather lovely brickwork has been painted on the frontage and further details around the edges. There are three metal windows on the front with ticking canopies draping over each one.

The front door seemed so familiar and then the penny dropped (as they say).....of course it's an old Tri-ang dolls house door! On close inspection one can see a redundant swing catch on the edge of the front so I would suspect the original front door was wooden and swung outwards.

 There are four rooms and most of the furnishings plus accessories are fixed down, including one of the four homemade dolls.

As you can see, there are some very clever touches of food, plates etc made from buttons and material embellishments......amazing.

The wooden sink is laden with all sorts....including an old metal washboard and button plates waiting to be washed up.  Can you see the old hook coming out of the wall to represent a cold water tap.....nice touch!
The pillow on the bed is amazing...probably created from some sort of uniform badge. As you can see though, this house has been greatly played with and the fabrics are well worn and frayed, in fact quite threadbare in places such as around the bed. However, I don't know about anyone else but to me, the wear and tear simply adds to the charm.

But then, as you know, KT Miniatures is a huge fan of the "aged and much loved look".
And then there is this carriage, made out of iron and tin.....and incredibly heavy! If you wind the key underneath it plays O Sole Mio...yes honestly!  Like the dolls house, this has also been much played with. Only one wheel now goes round and the red velvet upholstery interior is in a poor condition where bits and pieces have so very obviously been glued in and then removed..... but nevertheless....this is utterly extraordinary. I have never seen anything quite like this before and have not been able to find out anything about it's origin. The only clue is a FOREIGN label stuck underneath. The music I understand was composed in that's at least a marker to begin from!  I am assuming that it's the same age of the house .....but regardless of it's origins, it is amazing.
These two wooden headed dolls with wired limbs and, I suspect human hair, are in a sitting position so are intended for the carriage. It has been suggested that they could be a bride and groom?  There are two other dolls, one which is permanently fixed down to a round wooden plinth in the kitchen and a tiny pipe cleaner dog.....very sweet. All have been created in the same way.

Here is a short video of still photos of this house and toy carriage....please put your speakers on to hear the actual music from the carriage and enjoy!

This old house and carriage is now being offered for sale.


Robin said...

Absolutely one of the most enchanting group of miniatures I've seen in a long time. Magic!!

KT Miniatures said...

It is rather special, isn't Robin. This is another of those dolls houses I am going to have great difficulty letting go!! Celia

Dave Williams said...

This is about the best house and contents I have ever seen you post, it all looks amazing and the carraige, well that takes some believing that it is a miniature.

KT Miniatures said...

Glad you like it is even better in the flesh...don't think the photos do it all justice. Celia

Giac said...

Hello Celia,
What an enchanting miniature. This really is a wonderful piece. It really has that magic child quality that just puts a smile on your face.
Beautiful pictures.
Big hug,