My old house has prompted some discussion on the Dolls Houses Past and Present website. The general feeling is that it is probably not an actual G & J Lines dolls house, but a copy of one made around the same period, being the early 1900s. Imagine a little girl falling in love with a picture of a G & J Lines dollshouse and her father/grandfather making her a dollshouse very similar. I bought it thinking it was a home made house and hadn't even heard of G & J Lines at the time. I like the thought of the house being made with love for some little girl. Whether that is the case or not I will probably never know, but I will run with that thought for now. In a way it gives me a little more artistic licence with the decorating and I will probably install lights.
In any event I have decided that the old house will be my project for now. While I love the Arts and Crafts Movement and want to make pieces from that period, I don't have a house yet to put any pieces in. I did consider using the old house for my Arts and Crafts Movement house, but the old house deserves to retain its quirky oversized fire places, which aren't suitable for the Arts and Crafts Movement.
My old house is named "The Laurels" and has the date "1895" on the front. I am going to use that as my starting point. I have therefore today spent some time on the internet looking at old wallpapers, articles about events that happened in 1895 etc. I still haven't formulated an exact idea of what I want to do with the house but I think it will have a lounge, kitchen, bedroom and library and the small rooms will probably be an entranceway and a bathroom. I just need to think about who is living there and create their story.
I did come across an interesting old book from 1895 called Lee's Priceless Recipes. Written in 1895 the cover reads 3000 Secrets - For the Home, Farm Laboratory, Workshop, and Every Department of Human Endeavour. I made a little mock up of the book to go in The Laurels. I deliberately made the cover a bit grimy like it had been well fingered, but unfortunately putting it on the scanner has flattened the spine and the tatty corners I had given it. I didn't think I would be able to photograph it very well as it is only 2cm long. I was hoping to be able to print the image of the cover directly on to old book cloth but it didn't work. I will have to get a better quality printer at some stage.
Another thing on my wishlist!