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Found 2 results

  1. Hi all, Hoping that our forum of educated dollhouse builders/rehabbers may be able to point me in the right direction here. I'm looking at possibly buying an incredibly old and to my eyes lovely dollhouse -- but I know it will need restoration. I do not want the value to depreciate b/c I've attempted to rectify problems with it's current condition. However, there are also no qualified rehab artisans of antique dollhouses anywhere near me. If nothing else I would at least like to find some books on restorations and the how to's of, and indeed the older houses like Bliss and Gottschalk dollhouses to educate myself more. I was amazed today that though my local library has literally no books on dollhouses or miniatures at all, the librarian called the district director and they bought the book "The Genius of Moritz Gottschalk" and are going to contact me when it's in. I know I was beyond surprised they would do so, but was incredibly grateful as that book is expensive! I've a few books on Bliss houses already, but again -- nothing in regards to the restoration of antique houses. So now I'm left wondering if there are actually any books, or if folks may be willing to share sources and/or tips on antique dollhouse restorations? My thanks in advance for any possible help!
  2. Hello All, I found this forum while doing a search for Christian Hacker doll houses. I see that this forum is for people who are interested in houses made in the last 50 years, while my interest is in houses twice that age or older. However, thre was a question at one time about Christian Hacker houses,, so I thought I'd join and answer it. and see what I can learn here. I can also offer advice to anyone who wants an older house. I am also interested in purchasing old items, and have some later things to sell. My husband and I have always liked old houses, enough that our wedding gifts to each other were a pair of early folk art clocks, set in frames made to look like houses. We have since acquired several large and miniature antique houses and a roombox shop. The prize of our collection is a 4 story Christian Hacker house that was made in Germany in 1901. It has a clockwork elevator that originally stopped at every floor. It was this house that brought me here. I call it Blitz House, because it spent a century in England, and looks like it went through the London Blitz. However, it probably just suffered a reign of terror by rowdy children. They clambored over the roof and broke off the three dormers and gleefully overwound the clockwork mechanism that once ran the elevator. The largest dormer was replaced with a barn door (!) and the elevator mechanism was replaced with a countrbalance system between the first and second generations (sometime before 1920). The house was repainted and repapered at the same time. The repainting was unfortunate, as Hacker houses are best known for their intricate hand painted details and ornate decals. Sounds like quite a prize, doesn't it? Experts assure me this is typical condition to find these houses in, and I should be very pleased with my find. I am. And, I'm very gratefl that subsequent generations were much more caring, as all of the damage appears to have occured that first go round. In Swantje Kohler's excellent book on CH houses, there are original catalogue illustrations of two 4 story houses with elevators; one of which is my model, but the only known examples aside from mine had staircases, and by the 1903 catalog, my model is shown with stairs instead of an elevator, too. Obviously, I have a lot of remodeling to do before Blitz House is inhabitable, but I've been picking up family and furnishings up in anticipation, while we remodel our real house ( ironically, an 80 foot tree fell on our roof the month I brought the CH house home, so it takes precedence). These early houses were passed down, and would acquire multiple generations of furniture, as the houses were passed down and each generation added something. Therefore, the 1860's/70's Rock & Grenier & Kestner bedroom pieces I've found are more correct than they'd be if this were a house that was newly made to represent 1900. The definition of 'accurate' is different for collectors of older houses! Another difference is that while scale is vitally important to modern miniaturists, it is equally important for scale to be somewhat skewed in antique houses. Nothing will make an antique house look more wrong than to have everything be a perfect 1/12" scale. I search far and wide for accessories that would flunk any miniaturist's 'just right' test. Inside my real kitchen, there is an antique kitchen scaled for a child, but with a set of silverware and a couple other items that must have been made for giants. I have no idea why this appeals to me ( I can sense some of you are cringing!) but perhaps the seed was planted the first time I read a book by myself, which was Little Red Riding Hood. Although I'm a perfectionist of the first stripe myself, I do remember wondering why she cared so much about a bed that was 'too big' and I knew that porridge that as 'too hot' will cool off in short order. Most of our other houses were made between 1900 and 1920. Most are hand made (kit made) by capable craftsmen, so far as I can tell, though I do have two Schoenhut houses that are no bigger than shoe boxes ( perfect for German Erszgebirge/Putz carved people and animals). I look forward to getting to know all of you!
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