Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Most Amazing Lines/Triang Dolls' House Collection!

As promised in my last post, this post is about a private collection that I had the privilege of viewing recently with my friends and fellow collectors Clair and Brooksey.

The collection is owned by a couple with a passion for G&J Lines and Triang toys and their collection is VAST!

Filling several very large, two-storey outbuildings, the collection includes not just Lines and Triang dolls' houses but just about every toy that Triang manufactured, including dolls, dolls' prams, rocking horses, pedal cars, model cars, aeroplanes, ships, forts, trains, garages....and so on!

Mr Triang Collector seemed to have a particular passion for pedal cars and this photo and the one below show only a fraction of his collection of them.

It's possible that this is the largest collection of Triang pedal cars in the world, however, we were told that the largest collection of pedal cars generally is held by one George W. Bush... well you learn something every day!

As far as dolls' houses are concerned, I took photographs of about sixty individual houses but that would, I think, be less than a quarter of those on display.

Our eyes out on stalks, we were shown room after room of fabulous houses.  At times we were speechless - now that doesn't happen very often!

I had never stopped to imagine what all [or nearly all] of the Lines/Triang houses would look like if they were all gathered together and displayed in one place.

I can't possibly include all of the photos I took in this post - it would be HUGE - so I'll have to limit myself to some of my favourites and maybe some of less often seen models.

Then again, how do you single out favourites and rarer models from amongst a line up like this!

OK, well I'll start with this one. I assume that this pretty little house is an early G&J Lines model but it also has a look of Gottschalk about it, which is not surprising as there was a lot of copying going on between the major manufacturers at the start of the 20th century. The windows on the far side (only just visible in this photo) are quite an unusual feature.

It really was lovely to see some of these earlier G&J Lines models 'in the flesh'. The big house in this photograph is [I think] the No. 25 which came with its own garden (c1909-10)

The smaller house on the far side of it is the G&J Lines No. 13 (also c1909-10).

This is a model, presumably early G&J Lines, that I'd never seen before and so I can't tell you anything about it - other than that I love the design!

More familiar is this G&J Lines No. 17 - the front-opening version of the side-opening No. 17 I own myself (c1909-10).

And a fancier version with no less than three balconies (presumably also dating to about1909-10).

I can't recall having seen a model quite like this one before. It's similar to the much-loved Kits Coty (c. 1909-10) but with a number of distinct differences.

Another G&J Lines, this one is a No. 31(1909-10).

And a G&J Lines 'Clock House' (again from around 1909-10).

This is the lovely four-storied G&J Lines No. 73 (c1915) - I hope I'm getting my facts right here!

And this magnificent mock-Tudor mansion, G&J Lines No. 80 (c.1925) opens front and back and has eight rooms.

I'm not sure I've seen this model before. It's similar but not the same as the Triang DH/5 (1919-21)

It also looks rather like the house that Marion Osborne shows and describes at the start of her Lines and Triang book as being attributed to G&J Lines from about 1900, however, that information might well have been superseded by now (and I look forward to Marion's new Lines book which I understand is not too long away now!)

The beautiful Triang DH/10 with wonderful fancy timbering (c1934-35).

This sweet little Triang cottage known as 'The Queen's Dolls' House' (1922-30)

I'd never seen this cute DH/H 'Country Cottage before (c1924).

And this Triang DH/2 bungalow isn't seen very often either (1927-1933).

I do like these rarely-seen Triang No. 45s which are similar to the 'Ultra Modern' but with a more traditional pitched roof (1936-40).

Here we have a No. 55 from the Triang Mayflower series (1928-1933).

And a No. 54 from the same series.

I do know, however, that this is a Triang No 64 which was the largest of the 60 series at 45" (1.13m) wide (1933-1944).

It's not often you get to see the little Triang Bungalow No. 32, (1930-41).

And there was this lovely example of the No. 71 (1932-36), often referred to as the Half Stockbroker.

Well, I could go on because, as you can see, there were many, many more fabulous Lines and Triang houses in the collection but I really can't cover them all.

Before I end my post though, I do just want to cover a few of the other interesting not-quite-dolls' house toys that were on display:

Like this wonderful Triang greenhouse - something I have hankered after for a long time.

The little Triang cold-frame.

The fab Triang houseboat!

The equally fab Triang motorhome!

The Noah's ark.

The carriage and horses for your dolls!

A Wendy-house sized Triang shop - oh how I would have LOVED this as a child!

Literally the Rolls Royce of Triang pedal cars.

And finally, something completely different since it's neither Lines nor Triang - this is Mr Triang Collector's working steam train. To give you an idea of scale, if I was stood on the footplate, only my head would be visible over the canopy bit and I'm 5'8"!

The train runs on a miniature railway which loops around the sizeable garden. Living the dream eh!

So, that's it from me - needless to say, we had a fabulous afternoon viewing the collection and I can honestly say that it was beyond my wildest expectations!

Until next time,

[With huge thanks to Mr & Mrs Triang Collector for allowing us view the collection and also for giving me permission to blog about it. 

With thanks also to Marion Osborne and the Dolls' Houses Past & Present website for providing the information I needed regarding model numbers and dates - apologies if I've missed or mis-interpreted anything!]

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Claire's Collection

Just over two weeks ago, I made a four hundred mile train journey to Cornwall to visit my friend and fellow dolls' house collector Claire. With me was my friend and fellow dolls' house collector Brooksey.

Claire had arranged for us to stay in a gorgeous little holiday cottage which will be four hundred years old next year.

The cottage is in the little costal village of Kingsand on the Rame peninsular and the beach was only a 200 yard stroll away. And look at the weather - it was perfect!

Not that we had time for sunbathing or sightseeing as we had a full-on, dolls' house-packed itinerary to get through.....

First off was Claire's own collection.

I have been friends with Claire for about six years now and during that time we've met up several times, we chat on the telephone every week (boy can we chat!) and we've shared countless photographs of our collections. However, nothing could have prepared me for seeing her collection 'in the flesh' for the very first time.

Having collected dolls' houses and miniatures with a passion for many years and having been fascinated by all things tiny from a very young age, she has managed to accumulate the most amazing collection of houses, furniture and well... suff!

Oh and little dolls. Hundreds of little dolls - she's not affectionately known as Bobadoll for nothing!

A lover of Lines/Triang (amongst other things), she has some fab examples, including this biggie - the capacious Triang DH/12 which is nearly four feet wide.

And a lovely Triang No. 80.

Here we have a Triang DH/3 - I wish I had photographs of the insides too - they're all packed to the gunnels with amazing treasures.

I was particularly pleased to see this lovely G&J Lines No. 32 (aka a "Half Kits Coty") as I made the replacement sloped roof piece with the window and widows' walk on it for Claire a few years ago (apart from the turnings which were made by Cliff Hirst) and it was great to see it in situ.

The windows on this G&J Lines No. 37 (I do hope I'm getting the numbers right!) are the beautiful tin litho ones. This house was one of Claire's legendary bargain buys, costing the grand sum of £6.50!

This is the official "Dolls' House Room" in Claire's real house. I suspect it filled up and overflowed many years ago!

Anyone who knows Claire will know that she has long been a fan of Barton and has a very comprehensive collection of Barton dolls' house furniture. She also has no less than three of the rarely seen Barton houses.

Tucked away on the upstairs landing we have a towering Lundby dwelling.

One of the wonderful things about Claire's collection is that it is truly eclectic.

The more modern white property in the centre of this photo has been made into a fabulously groovy Pippa fashion boutique which really takes me back to my childhood!

The huge castle to the left of it is relatively modern too and is beautifully and imaginatively decorated in a quirky gothic style.

This huge, early 20th Century house has been beautifully furnished and is packed with mouth-watering treasures!

And talking about packed with treasures.....this is Peggoty Leggoty's house. Every room is a feast for the eyes. This is one of the few houses I remembered to photograph the interior of (I'm always too engrossed and forget!)

For some reason, however, I forgot to take a photo of the exterior...😊

Finding just one of those little wooden eggs with a tiny peg doll in it would make my day!

I could have spent a whole week looking at just this one house.

Back to exteriors and next there is this tiny Silber & Fleming type house - home to a group of lucky
wee Grecons.

And this beautiful, larger Silber & Fleming - lovingly rescued from under a layer of white gloss paint.

I love the bays, the arched window and the balcony on this beautiful house.

This interesting house has, most unusually, bay windows on two sides and is currently being beautifully furnished with stylish treasures from Bassett-Lowke as well as the rare Triang 1930s 'modern' dining suite.

This one is a more modern box back, beautifully crafted by Frances England. And you might just be able to see some very rare pieces of Ladies Guild furniture in the upstairs room (as seen on The Antiques Roadshow!)

There is a more modern shop....

....or two.  This is the eccentric Madam B's shop of weird and curious objects. Believe me, Claire had no shortage of "weird and curious objects" with which to stock this shop since her taste is, by her own admission, somewhat quirky. And, I would add, fab!

This is 'Mouse Castle', home to quite a number of cute little vintage cloth mice, and complete with an imprisoned kitty in the dungeon! I'm kicking myself for not photographing the busy, quirky interior - especially the nursery with a line of adorable little cradles made from walnuts shells.  

Incidentally, I had a good play with the Sooty, Sweep and Sue glove-puppets you can see here too - I loved watching them on TV as a child, and I have to confess that since I've returned home I've acquired a set of my own! Sweep has a squeaker - how fab is that!!!

Ahem, anyway, back to the collection. This is Bartons Antique shop (run by Dolly Barton!) - a shop I could spend an entire day browsing in.

Here we have some wonderful vintage shops - a Binbak doll shop on the left and a rare Barton toy shop on the right - both packed and overflowing with mouth-watering mini toys.

And a Kaybot Wheeler grocery store next to a vintage radio which has been cleverly converted into Bartons Second Hand store, owned by Grecon grandpa Albert Barton.

A Jenny Wren shop just like my own little treasure. And more tiny things.

And finally, at least for the purposes of my blog, a little cabinet packed with some of the most beautiful dolls' house silverware, glass, china and more - something for everyone to drool over in here, I think! 

One of the fantastic things about Claire's collection is that she has built it up steadily over many years; scouring car boot sales, second-hand stores, charity shops, fairs and eBay to find the most amazing items at bargain prices - oh that I had her eye for tiny treasures lurking in dark corners!!

So, there we have it - Clarie's wonderful collection, or at least some of it - trust me, there was more!

Thank you to Claire for sharing it and for allowing me to blog about it. I really hope to see it again
one day so that I can spend many more hours taking it in. 


In my next blog I'll show photos from another fabulous but entirely different collection we viewed during my visit to Cornwall.

Until next time,