Friday, 2 March 2018

Some Unusual & Interesting Miniatures Now Up For Sale...

Amongst some of the rather lovely antique treasures put up for sale yesterday afternoon on KT Miniatures website, there are one or two quite unusual pieces, including two little pieces of bedroom furniture that had been proving to be a bit of a conundrum?

Miniature Roll Top Cast Iron & Enamelled Bath

First up, I must show you this magnificent cast iron roll top bath, a real beast of a thing as it is incredibly heavy, believed to be an early 1900s salesman's sample. It is far too heavy to have been a toy, a little child would have had difficulty lifting it even with two hands. I have not handled one quite like this before and it is intriguing . 

It is made from cast iron metal, and the interior is enamelled, just like a real life sized roll top bath. However there is no plug hole and no taps. It looks like it has been well used....I bet many a tiny dolly has been bathed in here!

 The underside has lost much of its coating and is rather rusty as you can see. I can just see a hint of a makers mark underneath but cannot make out what it says. The four feet are ridged. It measures 6" long and would look fantastic in an antique dolls house bathroom.
Isn't this fabulous! 

Large Scale "Dolly's Towel" & Metal Clothes Horse

 Then there is this unusual old white painted metal clothes horse and accompanying towel. It is quite large in scale, standing at a height of 4 1/2" but was used in a large scale dolls house by previous owner. 
This came with a bundle of dolls house furniture from the 1920s and 1930s, so have to assume this is of the same era. 
But the towel in particular is just lovely. The blue striping, the fringing and words DOLLY'S TOWEL at each end make this quite attractive. Although there is more magic, because if you hold the towel up to the light you can see a teddy bear woven into the fabric:)

These following items had been proving to be a bit of a conundrum...but then, the mystery was solved!

1/24th Scale Tin Art Deco Dressing Table & Bedroom Cupboard - Identity Solved!
I have to say that when I first set eyes on these two little pieces I assumed that they were from the Dolly Varden dolls house furniture range made by Dinky Toys (Meccano) from 1936 - 1940, as the design and details are almost identical. But having handled and sold Dolly Varden furniture over the years, I could see that these had not been made by Dinky Toys. For one thing, there is no makers mark. Secondly the Dolly Varden furniture was made from some sort of metal alloy material that is renowned for suffering from metal fatigue all these years later - these two items were tin. 

If you take a look at these photos and compare, you can see that they are almost identical in design.

Here is the tin version of the dressing table...the drawers are non opening. 

And here is a Dolly Varden dressing table that I sold a few years ago, the drawers opened. 

Here is the tin version of the bedroom cupboard.
Although there is an illusion of two lower drawers, it opens as one. The doors above are mock and non opening.
And here is the Dolly Varden bedroom cupboard that I sold a few years ago. The lower drawers opened in the same way as the tin version ie. illusion of two drawers but opens as one. 

So there we you can see they are almost identical in design. 

But then, after a little bit of Googling I found some other identical tin furniture being sold with a bundle of Dinky Dolly Varden dolls house furniture, on an auction house website quite some time ago. Now the auction house described the tin bedroom furniture as being made by Holdfast. With that in mind, I dug out my ancient and out of print Marion Osbornes book of  A-Z 1914 to 1941 Dollshouses and looked up Cartwright, as I do know that they marketed dolls house furniture sets under the names of Holdfast and Gwenda. And there, tucked away on page 49, which I had not absorbed up until now (duh...), is information about a "Gwenda Bedroom Set" from the Toy Trader of 1938. . 

Marion has added a note...."The Gwenda bedroom set in the Toy Trader advert is very similar to the Dolly Varden furniture by Dinky. The Gwenda set is from pressed tin, whereas the Dinky items are cast metal". 

According to the information in Marion's book, it looks like these little tin items came out in March 1937. So that means that would be about a year after the Dolly Varden items had already been  in production. I wonder what Dinky Toys thought about it all?

These unusual little tin items that come in a blue painted finish, are currently for sale on the following link and are suitable for a 1/24th scale dolls house. 

Various other antique and vintage items are currently for sale on KT Miniatures website:


Giac said...

Hello Celia,
these are wonderful. I loved the bathtub, but was blown away by the gorgeous art deco dressing table. what a wonderful piece.
Big hug

Elizabeth S said...

Some Very Pretty miniatures Celia and no doubt that if each could talk, they would tell an fascinating tale of who, what, where and when.

KT Miniatures said...

Giac, the dressing table and cupboard sold almost straight away unsurprisingly. Quite unusual pieces.

Elizabeth, funny you should say that. I often wonder at some of these gorgeous old dolls houses or items that pass through KT Miniatures and try to imagine who would have owned them and the stories they could tell! It is quite lovely sometimes to find an inscription or little bits of child drawn notes shoved in miniature drawers, etc. Celia