Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Some Interesting Dolls House Dolls

Over the past few hours I have been putting up for sale a variety of dolls house dolls on KT Miniatures website. Amongst them are a set of antique Pomona wooden dolls and some dolls made by Susan Dumper, who was an artisan around in the 1980s. Susan's dolls are so stunning that they have once or twice been mistaken for antique dolls!  And then finally there is a truly unusual but simply magnificent Georgian style doll, which is a bit of a mystery, as to date I have not been able to find out the maker. 

c1920s-1930s Pomona Dolls

Set Of 1920s-1930s Pomona Dolls

These Pomona wooden dolls made around the 1920s/30s era, are utterly charming and evoke such nostalgia. They were made by London based Pomona Toys, whose shop was firstly based in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea and then subsequently Holland Street in Kensington. So one assumes from their location that the status of their clientele were supposedly the higher end of the market. They were known for their wooden toys, including these little dolls. 

Mother Pomona Doll 

Larger Pomona Girl Doll In Red Dress

Pomona Doll's Distinctive Painted Facial Features & Hair 

Painted Hair & Facial Features On Larger Boy Pomona Doll

Each doll is of carved wooden construction with movable jointed limbs. Their hair and facial features are painted on a spherical head. Mother doll is the tallest at 4 1/4" high. The two little girls are the smallest and measure 2 1/2" high. 

Pomona Doll's Carved Shaped Wooden Arms

Side View Of Young Pomona Girl Doll Standing Freely

Some Pomona Dolls Have Black Painted Shoe Detail On Feet

Pomona Doll's Carved Shaped Wooden Legs & Feet

View Of Pomona Doll's Leg Joint

The arms and legs are beautifully shaped, along with the feet. Some of the dolls have black painted feet to represent shoes, but some are just plain wood. The ends of the feet were a little fragile and prone to splitting. Seen directly above is the mother doll, who has lost both of her toe caps. 

Pomona Ink Maker's Mark On Back Of Pomona Doll

Another Example Of Pomona Ink Maker's Mark On Back Of Pomona Doll 

Two of the dolls have the PAMONA ink stamped on their backs. I am curious as to why not all of the dolls have an ink brand stamp on them?

Young Pomona Doll In Yellow Dress

The little girl doll in the yellow dress, in comparison to all of the other Pamona dolls, is in the most worn condition, in so much as nearly all of her painted features have been worn off. But she still has charm. 

These little dolls would enhance any little old dolls house. 

SPECIAL NOTE: An excellent article by Rebecca Green with further information on Pomona dolls history can be found on the following link: https://www.dollshousespastandpresent.co.uk/Magazine/Issue-7-November-2010/Page-5

c1980s Susan Dumper Dolls

Set Of Four c1980s Susan Dumper Dolls

Susan Dumper was a highly regarded bisque doll artisan, who used to sell her dolls through the famous Singing Tree Dolls House Shop in London, back in the 1980s. 

Article on Pembroke Palace at Wilton House

She was also known for making the dolls that reside in the old Pembroke Palace dolls house, that is on display at Wilton House in Wiltshire. Seen above is part of an article about Pembroke Palace that appeared in Issue 49 (October 1996) of Dolls House World Magazine. Susan's dolls were given a mention and can be seen in residence. 

c1985 Susan Dumper Mignonette Doll With Blonde Hair

c1985 Susan Dumper Mignonette Doll With Brunette Hair

c1981 Susan Dumper Sailor Doll

These three Susan Dumper bisque mignonette dolls are truly stunning, with moveable limbs and wobbly heads. The two taller dolls measure 5" high, and the little sailor mignonette doll measures 4".

Susan Dumper Mignonette Doll With Glass Eyes

Susan Dumper Mignonette Doll With Glass Eyes

Smaller Susan Dumper Doll With Glass Eyes

They each have beautiful facial features and glass eyes. And all have tiny bead earrings dangling from their ears. The two larger dolls have long crimped hair, the little sailor girl has her hair up. 

Susan Dumper Dolls Have Distinctive Painted Laced Boot Detail

Back View Of Susan Dumper Doll With Painted Lace Boot Detail

Blue Painted Version Of Susan Dumper Doll Lace Boots

The Susan Dumper dolls have unique and distinctive painted weeny boots with lace up detail. The little sailor girls weeny boots are blue and the other dolls have beige boots. How cute are they?

c1989 Susan Dumper Soft Body Doll With Bisque Head & Limbs

The mother doll is a little different again,, as she has a soft body with a bisque head and limbs. Her dress is long and lacy, plus she has a hat and matching bag.

Beautiful Susan Dumper Mother Doll Close Up Facial View

Her lovely facial features are very much like the mignonette dolls, she too has glass eyes. 

Susan Dumper Mother Doll With Blue Earrings

Her hair is styled in a bun and she has pretty weeny blue bead earrings. 

Side View Of Susan Dumper Mother Doll

Her clothing is styled quite differently to the mignonette dolls and she is taller at 5 1/2" high. 

Undergarments & Feet Of Susan Dumper Mother Doll

However, she has weeny boots very much in the same style as the other dolls. 

Pre-loved Georgian Style Doll
This doll is a mystery, she is very unusual and I have yet to discover who made her. She has been skilfully created and is just fabulous!
Stunning Georgian Style Doll - Maker Unknown

Rear View Of Unknown Georgian Style Doll

Side View Of Unknown Georgian Style Doll

This doll has a fabric head and torso, with woollen bound wire limbs and white painted lead shoes. She is dressed very much in the Georgian style, her hair too is very much in the style of the Georgian era. 

View Of Embroidered Eyelashes & Mouth, Plus Slightly Protruding Nose Of Unknown Georgian Style Doll 

Her eyes and eyebrows have been drawn on, but her eyelashes and mouth have been embroidered. Her nose is slightly protruding within the fabric. 

View Of Georgian Style Doll's Undergarments & White Painted Lead Shoes With Blue Ribbon

Her undergarments have also been beautifully created and her white painted lead shoes are adorned with a blue ribbon bow. 

Georgian Style Doll Holding Lace Fan & Tiny Fabric Bag

In her right hand she is holding a lace fan and a weeny fabric pouch in her left hand. She also has tiny bead decoration on her bodice. 

Stunning Detail Of Georgian Style Doll's Dress

Her dress is stunning. It has been made from different fabrics and heavily embellished with lace, braiding and even embroidered stars with bead decoration...gorgeous! NB. If anyone out there reading this can shed light on who the maker of this mystery doll is, please don't hesitate to get in touch, I would love to hear from you. 

Well I hope you have enjoyed taking a peek at these. If you are tempted enough to find out more  about any of these dolls then at the time of writing this blog posting, they are currently up for sale  on the following page:

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Restoration or Renovation?

This 1920s Lines Bros DH/D dolls house had been sitting on the floor by my desk for quite some time. Inside it had four rooms instead of  two, with no original interior decor, roofing, etc. To be honest, I had been left pondering on what to do, as one of my little granddaughters was drawn to it each time she came to visit. So dilemma...do I restore and sell as a collector's item, or do I renovate and let my granddaughter have it?

Now,  I'm usually all for restoration and preservation with regards to these old treasures, rather than renovation. But on weighing up the fact that this had already been greatly devalued due to its loss of original features and the changes in construction, I felt on this occasion it was ok to make an exception. Plus it was coming up to my granddaughter's 3rd birthday,  so yep...I chose the renovation route, and it was to be for her. 

Although the original roofing paper was long gone, having been replaced by some unusual thick embossed tile covering...I didn't dislike it and it had been done nicely, so decided to keep it.

The original metal windows were there but as often the case, had been considerably overpainted, were bent in places and badly encased with flimsy plastic glazing. My original intention had been to remove the metal windows for safety purposes and create simple wooden ones, but once all the internal mess had been removed and the windows cleaned down, it was quite an easy job using pliers to bend struts back into shape and paint in bright yellow enamel paint. (Yep, I know some of you out there will be horrified that I painted them yellow, but then I was doing this for a 3 year old). I then glazed each window with 2mm thick perspex that was cut to fit using craft knife, metal ruler and brute force! The new glazing was kept in place with fresh internal beading and painted cream. 

The black gabled front and burgundy edging were all painted white. Just with these few simple steps, the whole of the exterior already felt bright and cheery, suitable for a 3 year old. The original textured exterior I left untouched, as it had clearly recently been overpainted in white, and was in good condition. 

The back still had old brick paper, and although a little tatty, it was not too bad so I decided to leave it, as a nod to its past.

The front door no longer had its original green paint,  but thankfully the Lines Bros. metal letter box plus lion door knocker were still there. However the door frame had clearly been replaced for some reason, and had been unevenly cut down the left side, but it all adds to the quirkiness of the house and just makes me smile.  

Daughter-in-law requested a bright fuchsia pink colour for the front door, which I admit I was a little dubious about. And unsurprisingly, I could not find that colour in enamel paint, so had to use an acrylic paint, then seal with three coats of diluted PVA glue to give it a hard glossy finish. But you know, even though I admit on having reservations on this colour initially, I actually love it now!

All the modern papers were ripped out, right down to the bare wood, so I could start decorating from scratch. Luckily the ceilings appeared to have recently been painted white, so I didn't have to touch them. The back of the frontage was tidied up with an off white emulsion paint and interior doors painted in white enamel. 

The bedroom was given a pretty modern patterned dolls house wallpaper, a big bold patterned craft paper floor, plus one of my old imitation 1930s paper friezes that I used to create.

The bathroom was given white emulsion walls and a blue patterned craft paper flooring.  A pair of vintage lace curtains were set in place by using tiny metal eye hooks and picture string. 

The lounge floor was covered with a remnant of antique pink wallpaper ( I literally had one small rectangle of this left and it is so pretty). The two side walls were given a pink acrylic painted finish and the back wall covered in a heavily pink pattered craft paper.  

The kitchen walls were painted all over in a pale yellow acrylic, the flooring was craft paper and the paper frieze was another replica I used to create, based on a 1920s design. 

All acrylic painted walls and craft papers were sealed with two coats of diluted PVA glue at the end, to make them more hard wearing. Two sets of fabric curtains were handmade with the tiniest stitches that I could muster, and fixed into place via metal eyelets and picture framing string. 

The base was freshened up with two coats of dark green enamel paint.  Finally, I created a simple name plaque out of a small offcut of wood and acrylic paint, sealed with PVA glue, then fixed to the front. Job done!

And there we are...needless to say, when my granddaughter was presented with this on her third birthday, complete with a few carefully chosen pieces of vintage furniture, she was rather thrilled.  It is currently home to her Sylvanian Kangaroo family. This century old treasure may look a little different to how it started way back in the 1920s, but in this latest chapter of its long life, it is now back to being used for its original purpose...a plaything for a little person.