Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bib and Bibbi Bunny

I found these bunnies at a neighbour's garage sale for 50¢ each.

I recognized them as Steiff right away. They have that quality about them.  I knew they were older, but I was very surprised when I looked them up on eBay and saw the prices they were selling for.

These Steiff  bunnies are Bib & Bibbi, each about 12 cm or 5 inches tall. They are from the late 50's or early 60's, I think.
The rabbits have a heads of mohair plush, rubber hands and feet, and felt and cotton outfits. I found out that they originally carried baskets on their backs, but these are long gone.
Unfortunately, neither one has the ear button button and only Bib has his tag.

The rubber hands and feet are in excellent condition compared to those I saw in some of the eBay ads.

I saw them listed on German eBay for the equivalent of $375.00 for the two and they were in no better condition than these two with only one basket between them.

I also saw individual Bibs abd Bibbis selling for $50 to $100 each.

I think they are adorable, and the perfect size for a dollhouse, but I don't collect Steiff. I am thinking of listing them for sale. I need to support my dollhouse habit somehow.

Does anyone have an idea of what a fair price would be here in North America?


Sunday, June 27, 2010

There's a new house in Mindolton The FAO Schwarz Peasant dollhouse!

Mr. and Mrs. Tirolo, Bruno and Ursula,  have moved to Mindolton with their two young children, Axel and Anneliese.

They have found the perfect house. They feel right at home at first sight of the house. It is even furnished to their exact taste.

Mrs. Tirolo is very happy, and the children are curious and excited. They can't wait to go inside and look around.

Two neighbour children (from Erna Meyer) wait on the upper balcony to join in the tour.

Here is the parlour.

Here is the kitchen

The loft bedroom is one large space. The furniture is exactly duplicated on each side of the room  - like a mirror image.

It seems that the previous family has moved out and left a baby behind. The baby is looking around curiously, wondering what is going on.

Axel and Anneliese are so happy they do an impromptu dance in front of the baby

The family settles in and Mrs. Tirolo prepares a snack in her new kitchen.

This is the peasant dollhouse imported from West Germany by FAO Schwarz and featured for many years in their catalogue, starting around 1958. It came with 25 pieces of decorated peasant Dora Kuhn furniture. The Caco family was sold separately but meant to go with this house (from International Dollhouses and Accessories, 1880s to 1980s by Dian Zillner - page 113).

I was delighted to find the house and it's entire contents, including the family, in mint condition.

I had to glue a couple of table legs back on, and one bed support but otherwise the furniture looks brand new.

The vintage Caco family is in lovely condition, but father had lost his head somehow - probably worrying about how to take care of his growing family in this economic climate. I glued his head back on and he seems to be okay now.  The dolls have metal hands and feet.

The baby in the cradle is not part of the original family but was included in this lot. Baby is also vintage Caco and is the same size as the older children. I guess it will be the new baby in the house. I hate to separate it from the family as it has been packed away with them for 50 years or so and has probably grown attached to them.

I had never seen the Bavarian stoves like those included in this house until I skied in Kitzbuel, Austria a few years ago. Apparently the stoves are used for warmth and cooking. Both stoves have benches attached so you can sit there and get warm just like we did in Austria when we were taking a rest from skiing.

This house came to me with 8 chairs, as it should, but only three chairs are red. Five are blue. I think this may be the way it was originally shipped. A mistake on the part of the store. I don't mind though.

This lovely little wooden farm was included in my purchase although it is not original to the house. I think it is adorable and the children seem to enjoy it.

I already had these two sweet Erna Myer dolls. They match the style of the house perfectly, but must be neighbours or cousins because they are obviously not from the same gene pool as the rest of the family.

They are actually a better scale for the house. The Caco family is a bit small on scale, but they are original to the house.

I have seen this house called 1" scale, but I disagree. I have some of the painted West German furniture in a 1" scale and it is larger than that in the house. I think this is a 3/4" scale with short people.

The house was offered for sale for many years. Here it is in the 1967 FAO Schwarz Christmas catalog.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new dollhouse.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Earthquake, Tornados, Riots, Vandalism - In my city????

It's been an exciting week in Toronto!

This post is about as far from my peaceful, happy, dollhouse world as one can get. I am home, safe in my quiet lakeside neighbourhood, but, yesterday, five miles west of me all hell broke loose.

Wednesday we had an earthquake, then two tornadoes north of the city. This weekend Toronto is hosting the G20 Summit.

It's like we are living in a different city, a different country, a different world. This is not my city.  Check out this link for pictures from yesterday.

The world leaders are discussing the global economic situation in hopes of finding solutions to prevent another recession and bankruptcies of countries as we saw recently with Greece. Barrack and Michelle are here along with our Prime Minister and his wife the leaders of 18 other countries.

Activist groups saw the G20 as an opportunity to make their voices heard. City parks and other areas of Toronto's downtown were set aside for their peaceful demonstrations and marches.  Many of these groups had valid causes to present.

Thousands of Police officers came into the city from all over Canada to help out. They are using the old Toronto Film Studio on Eastern Avenue (two kilometres from my house) as a staging area for the police and as a temporary jail for those arrested.

Yesterday - Saturday June 26, 2010  - a group who call themselves the Black Bloc infiltrated the peaceful demonstration, donned black hoodies and balaclavas and went on a violent, destructive spree of vandalism. These are not activist with a cause, nor are they our regular tourists. They are a bunch of thugs who need to get a real life IMHO.

Police used tear gas for the first time in the city's history. Mounted police did cavalry charges on the crowds to disperse them. Police in riot gear were everywhere. Take downs on the streets were everywhere.

The hospitals on University Avenue went into lockdown. The Eatons Centre went into lockdown. Stores on Yonge Street were vandalized, windows were smashed, there was a report that feces were thrown into the stores (are these people gorillas?)

 I am watching the news right now (10:30 am Sunday) and the police are doing a raid on the University of Toronto campus and have arrested more than 70 people (these are not the students. They are visitors with bad attitudes).

Since the vandalism yesterday afternoon the police have arrested about 500 people. I hope these vandals will learn that they can't treat our beautiful city that way without consequences.

As I write this the crowds have marched on the old film studios to protest the arrests but the police in full riot gear have driven the crowd up towards Queen Street. It's like a war zone here.

More news stories can be found at these links:

Life sure is exciting here in Toronto. No wonder I enjoy my dollhouse world so much.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Earthquake in Toronto today

I must be getting too involved in CM's and Rebecca's reminisces of old San Francisco.

I was sitting in my desk chair at the office at 1: 45 p.m today and the chair started to shake. A 5.5 earthquake hit eastern Ontario. What a shock. People ran out of the office buildings into the streets (we didn't, but we are brave, or maybe foolhardy). Luckily no injuries were reported. More info here.

On an happier news-of-the-area note. The tiger and the two camels that were in a stolen trailer were found safe and in good health yesterday. Thank goodness! It would be a tragedy if they had been mistreated.

I heard that the tiger, who was hand-raised, is up for the role of Richard Parker in the movie version of the Life of PI.

Jonas, a Bengal tiger, is seen in a trailer that was recovered Monday June 22, 2010, in Saint-Edmond-de-Grantham, about 90 km east of Montreal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Decorating Challenge

One house. Two Families. Who does it better.
A room by room comparison.
(My apologies for some repeated pictures)

Caco family master bedroom.
Biggar-Flagg family master bedroom.

Caco family children's bedroom
Biggar-Flagg family children's bedroom

Caco family dining room

Biggar-Flagg family dining room with sitting area

Caco family living room

 Biggar-Flagg family living room

Caco family kitchen. I haven't set up the kitchen for the Biggar-Flags yet, but as I imagine them living in the early 1960s I think it might be very much the same as this one.

The bathroom will also be the same for both houses unless I can locate some nicely coloured blue or pink sets, so typical of the 60s.

Yes, I have the same salt and pepper shaker washer and dryer as Florine in her post A New Home for the Ainsleys.  I like her bathroom fixtures much better than my newer ones. In fact Florine's look like the ones that were featured in the FAO Schwarz catalogue with the house. I believe all her furniture is original to the house.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Can anyone identify this?

Does anyone know what type of electrical appliances this was designed for? I can find no marks on it and I can't find it in any of my usual reference places

I picked it up at a vintage shop the other day. It seems to work fine with Lundby lights although their prongs are too thick for it. If you touch the prongs to the little metal receptacles on the back the Lundby lamps light up nice and bright.

The lamps sold nowadays for 1/12th houses glow a little when plugged in (yes, their plugs fit) but do not light up. A different circuit I am afraid.

If you want to see the scale it is in the living room in my last two posts. It could be used in either Lundby or 1/12th.

Kids in the FAO house - They love their dogs

Buried Treasure?

Don't you just love the half moon Petite Princess Sofa? Don't you just hate the way the glue has dried up over the years and stained it? And also how the arm covers are always missing?

I decided to recover one and stripped off the green upholstery. What I found when I did so surprised me.
The sofa form is made out of a gray marbleized plastic. I like it! It is so sophisticated looking. I think I will make a couple of throw cushions for it, accessorize it like crazy and see how it looks in a room, or a shop, or a waiting room.

What do you think?

Different Strokes for Different Folks

This is a Keystone 1" scale house sold by FAO Schwarz circa 1966. It is in very good condition despite missing the chimneys, cupola and two of the three flower boxes.
I took it completely apart and washed 44 years of dirt, crayon marks and unidentified guck off it. I even took the windows out and cleaned them thoroughly. The house looks wonderful now and it's true colours show - literally.
Daphne and her extended family love the house she bought on her trip south. They have decorated it with Strombecker furniture with a piece here and there from other mid-sixties dollhouse brands.
But wait, the one inch scale Flaggs love it too and have taken the interior decoration in a completely different direction. (yes, it is the same house - the difference in colour on the end wall is because I used a different camera for the second photo and set the lights up differently. It washed out the colour. The wall really is blue)

The Biggar-Flagg family has chosen mid-century modern for their decorating scheme.  You will probably notice the three new Reac of Japan Chairs and the Strombecker coffee table (which is the only piece used in both houses - not counting the bathroom and kitchen which are not shown here)

The sitting area in the back (or front) of the dining area is a Lucite love seat, chair, coffee table, end table and lamp. I was told they were by Mattel, but will look it up to confirm. I remember seeing these in one of Dian Zilner's books. They are a recent Rubylane find, as are the wonderful art deco Strombecker couch, chair and ottoman in the living room.

The rest of the furniture is from Germany - mid to late 60's. This includes both bedroom sets, and the dining room set. There were only two tulip chairs, so I added the white Reac chairs so the children would have somewhere to sit. Don't you just love the big double bed. Lots of room for Mom and Dad, and the kids can pile in on Saturday mornings.

More to come.