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 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:

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