Finally! I can write about the last item from my delivery last week. And I had to save the best for last.
In all honesty, I actually found this on Aparello.de – which I guess I can best describe as an online antiques/vintage store that’s based in Germany. I found it by accident during my search for German mid-century mod miniatures, and upon finding this item, explored the site some more….and found the two sets I mentioned in Part I and II. But seriously, even if the other sets didn’t exist…I still would have found a way to bring this home.
After talking with BK about this (he was totally game with it thank god), I initially tried to purchase them through the Aparello website – but for some reason, it wouldn’t allow me to complete the transaction. I was so close to giving up until BK suggested that perhaps the vendor is selling the same merchandise on eBay. That was such a brilliant idea – becuase it turned out the seller not only had listings on eBay…but he was also selling all three miniatures. And even better – I had the option to submit a best offer!
Not sure about you all, but apparently the mini gods decided to smile benevolently on this village idiot. Because I did put my offer on each item, and they were accepted a few hours later. [imagines a huge yellow arrow pointing above her head going “AW YEAH!”]
Now if anyone (at least those in the United States) is thinking of hunting for miniatures in Germany for the first time, I’ll pass on the following advice:
- Keep an eye on the currency exchange rates. When I bought my items, the exchange rate was 1 USD = 0.901 EUR. If it had been the other way around…I would have been forced to walk away from these goodies because it’d be just too darn pricey.
- Be prepared to not just possibly pay alot for shipping but also expect to pay for the VAT (value added tax). And customs fees.
- And be prepared to wait for a bit. Found out that my shipment arrived almost a week late because my shipment stayed in a warehouse in Frankfurt before it was shipped to New Jersey (as port of entry) and handed to the US Postal Service for delivery.
- If you don’t know German…use a good translator. Or in my case, bribe my husband to read and translate German for you. And use Google translate on days he’s too busy/annoyed to help. Now I owe him several dinners at his favorite Thai restaurant. 😀
Okay, I’ve rambled enough….let’s get to the finale yes?
So the last item was pretty big….well, it was large enough to begin with. But the vendor made it even bigger thanks to the…I dunno, several yards worth of bubble tape and shipping tape used to wrap this mysterious beauty. I tried to be careful but after 10 minutes for frustration, BK saved the day by procuring some scissors and cutting at some strategic locations.
Once the wrappings were removed, BK and I moved the item to our dining room table, where he left me alone to gape (and drool) at what’s to come. Prolly a good idea too – because once the wrappings were removed, I started coughing at the amount of dust that was disturbed. I ended up going upstairs to get a face mask before resuming.
After removing the papers, more of the mystery item was revealed. Wow, the vendor did a really AWESOME job packing it.
Am sure you guessed what it is at this point. This is actually a handmade dollhouse that was made sometime in the 1970s. But the sweet part about this house? The vendor was selling not just the dollhouse, but all of its contents. And I mean EVERYTHING.
But before I could show you the contents, I pulled out the wrapped items because I wanted a closer look of the house. The vendor provided pics in the original eBay listing which were lovely and all. But it’s definitely different seeing it as the new owner…
We’ll start with the living room….I was surprised that the wallpaper was still intact. And the curtains were still in almost perfect condition.
Moving onto the next room – the kitchen. I didn’t realize how small the doors were….and how they were framed with red electrical tape! Similar to the living room, it looks like the ceilings were covered with some kind of white vinyl contact paper….I might have to look at either trimming the loose edges or possibly stripping that off and replacing it. (still mulling)
As weird as this sounds…this room captivates me. Not sure if it’s the wooden stairs, of the flower pots glued on the window sill….or the yellow wall lamp and plug on the wall. I’m gonna have to figure out if these light fixtures are working! *crosses fingers*
The second floor was set to display two bedrooms. The first room is pretty huge. Sadly, I was bummed to find out that the wires for the wall lamp on the far right wall was cut. Hopefully I can figure out a way to rewire it.
The second bedroom’s ceiling light was in just as bad a shape. You can see whoever installed the lighting used strips of white contact paper to hide the wire leading to the wall….which was also torn in half along the wall. Looks like I got some seriously pondering to do in terms of fixing this…. 😦
With the rooms inspected, I started the long but ridiculously fun process of unwrapping the contents of the house and putting them inside my newly acquired property. Huh, guess there’s a color them going on here….
Once I started placing the furnishings for the bedrooms…I was wondering why the white parts were looking gray and dingy. Only to realize that all the furnishings were covered with a thin layer of dust. And my
fat-ass sausage-like alien-shaped clumsy fingers were smearing them everywhere! 😦
(To do list #2: make mattress and new bedding. The “bedding” the pieces came with….smelled really funky. Enough to make me not want to find out what it is)
In my excitement, I forgot to take pics of the accessories that came with the furnishings. It was actually funny opening up drawers and doors and having mini cups, lamps, pots and pans, etc., spill out onto my dining table. Or in most cases, on my lap. And like the furnishings, they were all dusty.
(Update on to-do list #1: clean up LOTS of vintage minis)
And of course…what’s an apparently loved and cherished puppenhaus (or puppenstube) would be without its miniature occupants?
If I’m right, the mother and father (and the baby on the far right) are Caco dolls from Germany. The other dolls I’m sure of, but I did find them wrapped with the children’s bedroom set.
While the children dolls look like they’re in good condition (they’ll need a good dusting/washing I think), the Caco dolls were in not so good shape…
I’m gonna throw this out there to my dear readers: anyone interested in giving these dolls a home and possibly a makeover? The father and mother doll’s necks look like they’ll break at any second, and the father doll’s head/neck is completely seperated from the body.
I was tempted to borrow a soldering iron to maybe connect the head/neck to the body (since they have a wire skeleton inside). But I’m worried that even the slightest bend will cause them to seperate once again. So again, if anyone thinks they can fix these dolls, let me know and they’re all yours.
That’s it for now. I have to think of a name for this vintage beauty. And I got a pile of minis to clean in the next few days. And prolly cough my lungs out from all the dust. But hey, totally worth it yo!