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Dolls’ Houses from The I

Collectors of early toys favor the typical paint colors of this early Christian Hacker grocery store. The pale seashell pink and the contrasting cobalt blue ring all the right bells (as the expression goes) and the graceful arched roof is an uncommon and very pleasing feature. There is great charm in this small package.

It seems there are many grocery, millinery and dry goods shops to be found, but how often do you encounter such a shop as this? Not only is this Tobacconist’s Shop very rare, but the condition is noteworthy as well. It is remarkable that so many of the contents are intact and the handsomely dressed gentleman dolls look quite appropriate in this setting. 72

by Susan Grimshaw

f you didn’t make a pilgrimage to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to see the antique dollhouses in the Toy Museum at Old Salem before it closed, you’ll get a last chance when they are auctioned by Noel Barrett Antiques and Auctions in New Hope, PA the weekend before Thanksgiving. Six major antique dolls’ houses, along with several fully furnished German shops and kitchens, will be offered and approximately 200 lots of furniture and accessories will be removed from the houses and sold to collectors. The houses include several wellknown miniature edifices including the lovely mid-18th century Van Haeften house formerly belonging to the late British dolls’ house connoisseur and author, Vivien Greene, and the Spanish Second Empire house that for many years belonged to early collectors Donald and Helen Mitchell. Both these houses have been featured in earlier publications and were substantially restored before earning their places in the Museum. They were acquired by collectors Tom Gray and his mother, Ann, who together founded the museum in 2002. The Van Haeften house already had a well-documented history when it resided in Mrs. Greene’s famous Rotunda Museum outside Oxford and it was the only major house she left unfurnished so that its remarkably pure Georgian features could be better appreciated. It was in rather shabby condition when she purchased it in 1966 from Baroness Ann van Haeften who relayed the story of how her own mother had saved her pocket money to purchase it from a second-hand shop in 1885. Eighty-two years later, Mrs. Greene had much of the missing trimwork replaced but left all the restoration work unpainted so visitors could tell what was original and what had been replaced. Before its comparatively shorter time with the Toy Museum, the house was further

Profile for Antique Doll Collector Magazine

September 2010  

Special Chase Dolls • All Bisques • Meet the Bumsteads • Dolls’ Houses from the Old Salem Toy Museum • UFDC Salesroom • Antique Blue Ribbon...

September 2010  

Special Chase Dolls • All Bisques • Meet the Bumsteads • Dolls’ Houses from the Old Salem Toy Museum • UFDC Salesroom • Antique Blue Ribbon...