Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My buys at the Sydney Miniatures and Dolls House Fair 2015

I've been back from my holiday for a week, and I want to show you what I bought at the fair. Unfortunately, one of the things I picked up last weekend was a good dose of the flu, and I am still not up to taking new photos of everything - so here are the photos I took on my mobile phone, in my hotel room in the evenings.

After saying hello to Norma Bennett and Anna-Maria, I made my way to one of the few stalls that consistently has a few vintage pieces - Diana Simms'. She did have some vintage and antique dolls, but none that said 'buy me!' These are not really vintage, but I like them: plates hand painted by Judy Keena, and a plate of egg & toast soldiers by unknown.

When I went back the next day, I had a rummage through Diana's boxes - and she kindly provides an empty one, so you can take out things you've looked at as you go, and see what's right at the bottom. I found two lovely paintings by Turner, published as cigarette cards with gold borders, a Wills cigarette card of Beechworth in Victoria (where yummy apple juice comes from!), plus a jumper, two beanies and a scarf.

As I was leaving Diana's stall on the second day, I noticed these bevelled mirrors, so I went back towards the end of the fair and bought one of each of these three shapes: an oval, an octagon and a circle.

At the back of the hall I found Robyn's Minis, whom I've bought from at a previous fair. She said she had more old things in the morning, but had sold a lot. The food was marked as $1 each, but she reduced it to 50c!!!

I couldn't see at the fair who made the chair, but thought it would go well in my Armin Koch house. When I removed the sticker over the signature, guess whose it was - Armin Koch! 

Actually, I thought the last name was spelled Kod, and the person I bought my dolls house made by him from thought he had been based in Brisbane - I was never able to find him in any online sources, though. I went back to Robyn's stall the second day, as she had sounded as if she knew of him - and yes, she told me that he was the toymaker at Nambucca Heads! Knowing that, I have been able to find him in the 1980 electoral roll - and discover that his last name is Koch, not Kod! I'll show my dolls house made by him soon.

Robyn was packing up her stall when I got there on the second day, so I looked through what was left and found these - 2 terracotta pots, a badge with 2 characters I don't recognize, some lemon and lime slices (or maybe the green and white ones are cucumber or zucchini?), a cushion, and jars with tiny shells and tiny paint tubes.

On the first day, I looked through the bargain boxes on several stalls - I'm afraid I didn't take note of which stalls they all were. I found these beach balls and tennis racquets:

And on Nora Lee Maingard's stall, these shoes (which she had bought in Mauritius) and a Japanese jug:

Nora Lee had brought in some vintage furniture, which she offered to Anna-Maria, who wasn't so interested and showed it to me. There were several Marx pieces - I do like this yellow sofa:

With the Marx pieces was a Sonia Messer sink. None of us had seen ceramic Sonia Messer pieces, but it's stamped on the back, copyright 1975:

 Also on the first day, I got these wonderful macrame hangers from Norma Blackburn (MinisbyTwinmum) - so I won't have to learn macrame!

I also found Margaret Crosswell's stall. She was there last year too, but I don't think I noticed her wonderful Clarice Cliff and other reproductions. I chose a number of vases, bowls and plates on the first day:

and went back on the second day for another look. I spent some time choosing what's almost a matching tea set of Cottage ware (the sugar bowl doesn't have a yellow door, but never mind), plus a model cottage, a jug with a rooster and a hollyhocks jug. I bought two more hollyhocks vases, too - one will be a prize for a Dolls Houses Past and Present giveaway competition. (Sorry, these really need better quality photos to appreciate them, but I hope you can make out the fine details.)

Just opposite Margaret Crosswell's stand was Wyn Garside, and I spent some time looking and wondering what to buy. When I chose this tea cosy, she said, oh, you've chosen the dowdy one! I said it was for a 1940s house. 
The jumper in this photo is by Helen Palenski - it was my last purchase of the second day. Helen said that she had had 4 or 5 different cat designs this year, but by the time I saw them, there was just a Siamese and this cat.

I have bought flowers from this seller before - Dianne Cotterill, of Miniatures to Di For.  I was almost going to buy nasturtiums, but a quick look at my blog post on last year's fair reminded me that I bought some then. Then I thought about a spider plant in a hanging bowl to go in Norma Blackburn's macrame hangers - the kind ladies at this stall suggested that I take it up to Norma's stall and try it. The pot was a bit small for the hanger. So I decided on some red geraniums!

These plates of pawpaw and mango were only 50c each! I probably should have got more - it seems appropriate that some of my dolls houses in Darwin should have tropical fruit. I don't know anything about the maker apart from that they're called Del & come from Queensland.

This is a 1970s book for kids, I think, on making dolls house furnishings from bits and pieces. Only the cover is in colour, but in all the illustrations of the rooms they are peopled by bears and chicks!
And finally, my second-last buy of the fair, cushions from Norma Bennett - my combinations of her designs. Norma very kindly gave me a lift both afternoons to Ashfield railway station - there was trackwork, so this saved me two bus rides to a station where the trains where still running. Thank you Norma and Gordon!

I had carefully measured the inside of my suitcase and taken a tape measure to the fair, in case of finding a vintage dolls house which appealed to me - but I didn't see any at all. Other years, there have been one or two at least - either there weren't any this year, or it/they sold before I got there.

I have photos of some of the displays to share, too - they were taken on my camera, so hopefully will be a bit better quality than these ones taken on my phone!


  1. Some great purchases Rebecca. I especially like the Margaret Crosswell ceramics. I look forward to seeing your Armin Koch house in a future post. I hope you are feeling better soon. Curl up with some good doll house magazines and give yourself a dose of TLC.

    1. Thank you, Sharee, I am much better now, though still getting back my energy! I'm glad I realised what wonderful things Margaret Crosswell has - other bloggers have posted about her, but mainly about her pieces with applied flowers. I didn't realise she made such a range of designs! So delicate, and so cheap!!

  2. My goodness that's quite an eclectic collection of purchases :) Was lovely to see you, such a pity there was no opportunity to just hang out.

    1. I have quite an eclectic collection of dolls houses for them to go in! ;-) Yes, the most hanging out time we had was in the car!! Still lovely to see you, hopefully another time I'm in Sydney we can catch up in a more leisurely fashion :-)