I have repeatedly stated that I am a maker, not a collector, but I have recently succumbed to a number of purchases that have taken me off my maker's trajectory. The interesting thing about buying an unusual piece, such as the Marx clock, is that, if you are curious like me, you learn a lot. Sometimes it is something every miniaturist knows, or should know, but I am, as noted, not a collector, and I really don't know much about dollhouse and toy companies.
Last week in Stockholm, a friend took me on an antique shop round, which we usually do when we meet. I was tempted, and I fell. I could have fallen for more, but I showed character. This is what I bought:
I didn't have any particular project in mind, but I couldn't resist it. I think that by now I recognise an interesting piece when I see it.
In fact, the only piece I recognised was the Arne Jacobsen chair, The Egg.
I learned about Jacobsen when I was in Copenhagen some years ago, staying in a hotel that had Jacobsen furniture and folders explaining it. They also sold models in 1:6 scale, which I refrained from buying. I had since then been scouting for the Lundby-scale Egg on ebay, and it turns up every now and then, fetching fancy prices. I paid a fancy price for this one, but somehow it is different when you hold it in your hand. It feels authentic in a way you cannot be certain about a picture on ebay. Of course I know that sellers "age" their merchandise, but I am pretty sure that this chair is a genuine Jacobsen from the late '50s. (And if it isn't, I don't care).
Another piece that needed some research was this sofa:
The piece of paper says "Dollhouse furniture, architect J Udd". The person in the shop could not provide any further information. Web search yielded meagre results. "Architect J Udd produced models of dollhouse furniture of good quality in a nice, period-correct '50s design. Produced in the Gothenburg area". Hmmm... helpful. More search. Picture! Just like mine. "Fantastic sofa by architect J Udd. He produced his furniture during the '40s and 50s outside Leksand". Right, slightly contradictory information, but someone in my miniature group confirmed that John Udd made dollhouse furniture and lived in Dalecarlia, not far from Leksand. My miniature-collecting cousin said she had some furniture by Udd, and yet another virtual friend displayed a whole dollhouse of Udd furniture. So now I know that I have a rare piece, but so far I haven't been able to find any further information about the mysterious architect, not on the web, not in the National Encyclopedia or Who Is Who. Investigation continues.