Thursday, March 22

Oh Albin!

My dolls house was originally my Mom's and until recently I'd never seen another one like it. The other day I finally thought to switch my google search to German (doh!) and I found out that the little house in my blog header was made by the Albin Schönherr Holzspielwarenfabrik (Albin Schönherr wooden toy factory) in Niederlauterstein, East Germany.

The company was founded in 1886 and remained in private hands until the 1960s, when it was amongst the last East German companies to be nationalized.
After browsing the bilingual blog Die Puppenstubensammlerin/The Dolls House Collector I was finally certain of my little abode's origin, thanks to a few key features typical of Albin Schönherr:

As long as I can remember my Mom's dolls house was covered in carpets. I remember peeking under the edge of the grayish fibres, getting a glimpse of the pretty flooring underneath.

Before the house first featured on my blog my Dad took on the painstaking removal of the stuff and if you'd seen how generously the glue had been applied you'd know he is an incredibly patient miracle worker. I never thought the floor would be in such great condition when I first lifted up those edges. It's only a thin paper layer though, so I used some lacquer to make it a little harder wearing :)

I've always adored the panoramic window spanning two of the living room walls. One side is real glass and you can slide it open from either end.

It's the pattern of the little stone border on the outside edge of the house and the flowers lining the window that I am told are also typical of Schönherr houses.

These colourful little paper flowers are clearly the most brilliant feature of the house. Or at least they feel like thick paper to me. Whatever they are made from, they are surprisingly hard wearing and just so darn gorgeous :)

I was unable to remove the bathroom tiles I'd put up last year without taking the colourful wallpaper right with it. Underneath I found this stuff. A lot of collectors seem to go wild about original 50s dolls house wallpaper - personally I can't say I care that it's wrecked. Well, I had to at least show you :)

Here are the wallpapers the house has been covered in as long as I can remember. The living room paper is my favourite. The kitchen one is getting a bit tatty and the bathroom/bedroom one is now gone. It was pretty cool though, no? I definitely want to stick with bold & crazy when I pick a replacement.

Next time I'll show you how I am framing my miniature painting by numbers pretties and what passes for a roll up map around here :)
Nearly the weekend you all! :D

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