Saturday, 28 September 2013

Some Fascinating Additional Information That May Just Be The Answer To This Mystery!

 Do you remember reading about this unusual antique house on here?

Well... I would just like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the lovely UK customer of KT Miniatures who took the time to email me the other day with some fascinating information and one that may well have given us a clue to the origin of this wonderful little treasure (actually I say little-but in reality it is massive).

The lady told me that her grandfather used to be chief architect for a northern city council from the 1920s to the 1940s and that back then, student architects trained on the job. Apparently one of the things that they had to do early on in their training was to build a scale model from an existing plan. The trainee either chose a plan themselves or were given one at random of a property that the planning department were considering for building approval, then had so many weeks to construct a model of it. Height of cornice, size of mouldings, choice of colour schemes etc. were deemed just as important as the construction of the exterior and each trainee would be marked on all aspects of the model. Some of the resulting houses were given to children's homes, to younger sisters of the maker etc.....and the failures were simply burnt! 

This little house is a masterpiece so am sure that the maker of this passed with distinction-if indeed it is a student architect's model!!!

It has now been sold and is about to embark on a new chapter in its life. I'm totally torn in letting this particular house go as I absolutely adore it but simply don't have the room to keep it.  Plus of course, as I have to keep reminding myself, I am supposed to be running a business here!!!

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Rather Lovely Competition....Are You Feeling Creative?

The editor of Dolls House & Miniature Scene Magazine, Lucie Roper, has emailed me the following information about their brand new competition and asked if I would spread the word to you all. So why not get your creative ideas flowing and have a go, there are some fantastic prizes to be won....and looks like it could be fun!


With 2014 marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, Dolls House and Miniature Scene have launched a World War One in miniatures competition to commemorate this catastrophic event.  Sponsored by some of the biggest names in the industry and launched at the September 2013 Miniatura the competition will encourage miniaturists worldwide not only to put their creativity to the test but to remember the four years of suffering and heartache.

Launched on 20th September 2013 at Miniatura, the Dolls House and Miniature Scene WW1 in miniatures competition provides an opportunity to get creative and learn about the First World War plus win some fantastic prizes. There are three categories for entries, clubs, individuals and under 16’s. Entries can be anything from a single miniature item to a whole diorama scene and based on the Home Front or the Western Front. Miniaturists will have until the 15th July 2014 to submit their entry. Full details can be found in the November 2013 issue of Dolls House and Miniature Scene or by visiting

Lucie Roper, the editor of Dolls House and Miniature Scene says, “100 years have passed since the First World War which affected every corner of the globe and we felt it was right to mark the date in some way – it only seemed fair to also invite others to do the same. Working alongside The Dolls House Emporium, Jane Harrop Miniatures, Miniatura and Petite Properties we hope to inspire the miniatures community to remember this event in the way we know best, through our miniatures and what better way than to do this with a competition. The DHMS team wish you all the very best of luck!”

And There's More......

Each month The Dolls House & Miniature Scene Magazine will also be featuring a project based on the WW1 theme on their website, free to all in with the aim to inspire.  To kick off their series here is the first project......
World War 1 Propaganda, Posters & Flags – Exclusive Web DIY Projects

If you click on the following link it will take you through to this first project:

Monday, 23 September 2013

c1930s Tri-ang No. 52 Art Deco Dolls House

I particularly adore Art Deco dolls houses and this is a little beauty.....

Just listed today is this rather wonderful Art Deco style house. It is a Tri-ang No. 52 Dolls House, complete with sun trap, chimney, original metal windows, fireplaces etc. It is the fourth out of the series of five "Modern" flat roof Art Deco houses that Tri-ang made in the 1930s. This model was available from 1935 to 1940 and is suitable for 1/12th scale furniture.
It is in a solid condition and much loved by the previous owner, with two main rooms, plus hall, stairs and landing, an open side room, garage and flat roof with suntrap.

  It has been overpainted outside and in with white paint  at some point, and the interior floor papers are replacements. The crazy paving base has also been over painted but to be honest I am not surprised, as over the years I have discovered that people sometimes took a dislike to the paving pattern and deliberately painted over them.  I wonder if that is what happened here......? Generally on the whole though, this is a good played with condition.
Remains of lighting can be seen and batteries would have sat inside the wooden compartment found on the roof. 
There is this rather nice open room that has a door leading into the bedroom...could be used in a variety of ways. 
The opening front door and garage doors have this very distinctive grooved chevron pattern which is quite attractive. 
One of my favourite features of this particular house is the very long side window which sheds much light into the hall and landing.......a really lovely touch.
The sun trap is another appealing feature of this house and it sits on the flat roof, which gives additional scope for furnishing. This sun trap, as well as the loose chimney are so often missing on these particular it is so nice to have them.
If you are an Art Deco fan and would like to see more of this beautiful house, then please...

Saturday, 21 September 2013

A Bit Quiet Here Now!

If I have appeared a little distracted this past week or so,  it is with good reason. My immediate family have reached the end of an era and my offspring have now all flown the nest!
I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster that has hit me like a thunderbolt! Yep....have just returned from up north, having packed my car to the hilt and driven my youngest to university for the first time. 

Having got through the stressful task of getting up the M1 in one piece in torrential rain, navigating my way through a city centre, join a mad scramble along with everyone else to try and park as near to the halls as possible and carry stuff up three floors to her room-I braced myself for the inevitable parting! We have been through this twice before with her older brothers in the past, the homesickness was the worst for the eldest I seem to remember but as soon as he discovered the student union bar he made a dramatic recovery. But tissues were not needed on my daughter's part, in fact far from it....she couldn't stop smiling as we bid our farewells.  By the time I had driven to my overnight stop to break the long journey, blubbing a little quietly to myself along the way I must add, I had been informed via mobile, that she had unpacked and was off to a party that night with a flat mate...hey ho!

Now all three offspring have fled the nest and I hate is sooooo quiet around here, we are missing her terribly already and she's only been gone one day!!!! 

A friend of mine had a brilliant and very appealing idea that helped her and her hubby cope with her kids leaving the nest, of challenging themselves to visit as many counties in England within 12 months and have an alcholic drink in each....she said they nearly did it, missed out only on one or two counties and had had great fun in the process!  Hahaha.....I have suggested this to Mr KT Miniatures and we find this very appealing indeed. 

Actually we have already started so can cross one county off the list!!!!!


Saturday, 14 September 2013

A Little c1950s Dolly Mixture Dolls House & Some Very Old Dolls

A lot of old dolls house items have been listed to various sections on KT Miniatures website these past couple of days, including this little circa 1950s Dolly Mixture dolls house.....which would make a fantastic restoration project for someone.

This can be seen in my Old Dolls House Bargain Basement section, where you will find this going for a very reasonable price. It is very sweet, has been much loved but now needs a new home.

It had a makeover in 1977....we know that because a previous owner has very cleverly painted their initials and date very discreetly on the back....(what a brilliant idea)!
This style dolls house was believed to have been made over at least two decades by the same manufacturer but whose name is still a bit of a mystery and not definitively known. The name "Dolly Mixtures" was aptly given to this particular brand of dolls house by Marion Osborne in one of her books many years ago...and the name has stuck! These double front doors with the metal ringed handles are a distinctive feature of the Dolly Mixture houses. 
On this particular model, the house has been overpainted outside and in......just look at that very 1970s don't you think?  Other layers of wallpaper can be seen underneath so whoever takes this on could have great fun restoring it. 
The tin Romside windows are all there however some of the missing butterfly handles have been replaced quite cleverly with paper clips. 
There are the remnants of old electrics and very cleverly the previous owner has been able to kind of hinge the two end roof panels....which houses the original battery connections.

Because the roof panels have been hinged and therefore accessable, does mean that this house now has even greater potential. Just think what fun you can have with this!!!

Some Rather Lovely Old Dolls House Dolls
Here is a Grandap Grecon doll......with a rather splendid hairy beard and glasses. He is rather handsome and very cleverly stands up on his own.
Here is a rather German bisque doll, originating from the 1920s/30s. His splendid felt suit is a replacement but beautifully created. He too can stand alone. 
These are just two of a set of unclothed German bisque dolls, all of the same 1920s/30s era, that are now for sale. In the photos above you can see a male and a female doll, all with painted features including very rosy cheeks...haha...maybe they are blushing a little due to their missing clothes!!!
Full details of these dolls can be found on the following link:

Just Some Of The Items Which Sold Very Quickly These Past Couple Of Days.......
And finally....the two dolls seen in the above photos have been sold already I'm afraid but thought you may like to see them anyway. The doll on the left is another 1920s/30s German bisque doll and I thought I would highlight this to illustrate her exquisitely made dress that a previous owner has very 1920s! The doll in the above right photo is a Tomac Grandma doll (not to be mistaken for a Grecon doll).....quite lovely in her glasses, and long dress. You may just make out her great big painted lead shoes....usually found on the Tomac dolls.
This c1950s/60s Marx tin dolls house is gorgeous, with beautiful lithographed illustrations of decor and furnishings. Am not suprised this sold quickly.....I have a very rusty one of these on my workbench which I use for simple storage...(one day I will get round to showing you a photo of mine).
This circa Taylor & Barrett metal fridge complete with both shelves, lead chicken and ham joint is highly sought after and was snapped up almost as soon as it went up for sale.
So too, these circa 1950s Barrett items.....a fabulous washing machine with mangle on the top and lid, plus a cream and green cooker.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Some Delightful Vintage Barton For Your Dolls House!

All outstanding projects have now been completed, accounts and that dreaded tax form dealt with, no more dashing up and down the country (this week anyway) so at looooong last I have been able to begin listing vintage items to KT Miniatures website.  It has been a while....

First up today, I have embarked on listing a delightful collection of vintage Barton pieces that all came together. Most are from the 1950s/1960s era. In fact some of these pieces appear so immaculate that you'd think that they'd never been played with....however I do know from the prevous owner all had been much loved and handed down a generation. Some of my personal favourites from the collection have been highlighted below.
Lovely vintage Barton bathroom stool with a delightful mottled painted effect seat, plus a cork bath mat that is in immaculate condition.
Here is a vintage console Barton television....I actually remember as a very young child in the early 1960s, we had a real life sized one of these in our lounge. Hasn't technology come on leaps and bounds since then! I often wonder what my lovely grandma would have made of it all..........
Then there is this wonderful Barton radiogram.
When you lift up the lid it reveals all the original paper controls, the movable record deck arm, etc. How fantastic is this?!
This bookcase is absolutely gorgeous...all made of wood including the brightly coloured mock books. Again, this is in immaculate condition.

Finally, here are two of the more unusual pieces for the kitchen that don't normally come along that often. There is a tall kitchen cupboard for all your miniature cleaning products. This comes complete with a well used broom. Plus there is a grey and white speckled boiler........very nice indeed. 

All these items can be found on the 1/16th Scale Vintage Barton Section. Please click on the following link to view:

I am now going to concentrate my efforts on listing as many antique/vintage items as I can over the next few days....including a couple of dolls houses. There is now a backlog of stock just waiting in boxes (and more boxes) to be put up for sale! Some of which will be highlighted on watch this space folks!

Monday, 2 September 2013


We are delighted to announce that as from today, booking is now open for our final workshop of 2013.

With the panto' season nearly upon us,
Why not join us in some creating.
'Cos in our last workshop of the year,
A little toy theatre we shall be making.

Our last workshop creation of the year will be something very different again.....


Saturday November 30th 2013


Thame Girl Guide HQ, Thame, Oxfordshire


10.00am - 4.00pm.
We will be creating an innovative little toy theatre inspired by an actual 1930s fold up/down version contained in a book.

With pantomimes in mind, you will be creating a little theatre stage and be given at least three different backdrops versatile enough to adapt to a variety of pantomimes traditionally seen at Christmas time. In a one-off departure from our usual Nostalgia In Miniature projects, this little scene will come in just one size, based on the original.We will give you the basics and it will be up to you how you colour, embellish, interpret and finish it. Plenty of scope to use your creativity and learn some new techniques along the way.

Not only will this be an unusual miniature delight but it will be flexible enough to stand as a decorative centrepiece for the festive season.