Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1860s China Dolls

Just got this family of little china dolls, all circa the 1860s. The 8 1/2 inch doll on top has such a sweet face, I thought. She just looks like she wants to bake you some cookies and hear all about your day. The two tiny dolls on the bottom are dollhouse sized, 6 and 4 inches, respectively. Although worn, they've got a lot of character, I felt. I wonder what they've seen in their 150 years...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Addams Family Card Game

Just found this vintage Addams Family game at my local antique mall. I was trying to save it to post around Halloween-time, but I just couldn't wait that long! I'm a big Addams aficionado, so there'll be more of their stuff coming later, including my favorite piece: an original Colorforms set...

Monday, June 15, 2009

1895 Cooke's Fairy Furniture

Just found this wonderful piece of miniature furniture made by Cooke's Indestructable Toys way back in the 1890s. It's held up quite well for such a fragile item, so the company was apparently well named! Cooke's called this dollhouse accessory line their "Fairy Furniture," as can be seen in the accompanying original ad. Printed on heavy cardboard, the ad actually forms the base of the sofa, and makes this set readily identifiable.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Peng Peng Buddha Bear

This tiny teddy bear, only about 5 inches tall, is one of my favorites from the Chicago artist Peng Peng. Peng Peng makes this bear in an incredible variety of materials and designs, all called "Buddha Bears" because of their short stature and portly proportions. (You can see more at her website: http://www.peng-peng.com/.) My little Buddha Bear likes to visit this vintage 1950s toy refrigerator, complete with some original items. Looks like he's got a little box of ice cream at the moment. (Maybe that's why he looks the way he does...)

1908 Teddy Bear Dolls

These are two of the most unique items in my antique teddy bear and doll collection. Called Teddy Girls or Teddy Dolls, they were made around 1908, the year that the teddy bear craze swept America. Doll sales temporarily plummeted, causing manufacturers to worry about their Christmas sales figures. Their solution was the creation of this hybrid half teddy bear, half doll. It was not well received: children wanting either teddy bears or dolls rejected it as being neither, and everyone else was just generally creeped out by it. Dismal sales led to a short shelf life, and Teddy Girls are now rather scarce. I was thrilled to find two very different examples. The large doll features a German-made painted metal head with glass sleep eyes, attached to an American-made bear body. The smaller doll is of a much simpler, more common type, with a celluloid face mask inserted into a teddy bear hood.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Birthday Bears

While decorating for my birthday party last weekend, I made this arrangement of vintage toys on an antique cake stand. The big bear wearing the straw hat is a funny English teddy from the 1930s; next to him is an old mechanical bear who "drinks" from his red wooden cup; down in front are a 1920s Steiff duck on wheels and a miniature Steiff lion; to the left is an original set of Bill Ding Clowns; perched just below the mechanical bear is a tin-faced Shuco monkey; and riding the duck is Ting-Ting, a fabulous bear made by teddy artist Peng Peng from Chicago.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

1930s Hoosier Cabinet with Vintage Kitchen Toys

Just got this 1930s Art Deco style Hoosier cabinet made by the Sellers Company. I'm using it to store my vintage board game collection and to display some of my old kitchen toys. (Just visible at the top right are some 1930s Woolworth's lunch counter signs, too.)

1914 Cass Grocery Toy

A recent find was this fragile toy grocery, made by the Cass Company in 1914. The little counter in the front folds up into the base for storage. The whole thing is about 9 inches tall.

I was also able to find an original ad for this item, which gives precise dating and also shows the products that came with the grocery. It's always an added thrill to find ads like these: they add a lot to a toy collection!