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Monday, August 29, 2011

New Sturdy Future Hitty House

I bought this sturdy little cabinet for five dollars at a rummage sale last Saturday. I think it is what is known as a "pie safe" but I'm not sure. Please correct me, if I'm wrong. Anyway, it has two shelves, as you can see in the rather fuzzy picture, and so this will be a rather compact house for the Hittys. Right now, though, I only have one of the two Hittys I've finished (the second, Beatrix, residing with my mom) so the house should be plenty big enough for a single Hitty and even a few of her sisters when I finish them. (I have so much going on right now that I haven't carved on them much at all lately.)

Anyway, I have ditched the foamcore board house I was making, as I found it lacking in sturdiness and artistic appeal. I like old things, so this "pie safe" suits me fine, and I will try to get to work on it soon.

I haven't decided if I will cut a hole in the first floor ceiling and build a stairway or not, but I am thinking I will. My dad made me a four room dollhouse when I was a child and I was always bothered by the fact that it had no stairway, so I'm thinking I'd be bothered if this house did not have one, either. Still, it will be a challenge to figure out the number of stairs, width of step, etc. But I'm fairly good at math, and I'll search online for help. I'll probably make one of cardboard first, to make sure everything works, and THEN cut one from wood. I think I'll look online for slats of basswood, or perhaps I could use tongue depressors; I'm confident I'll find a way. I belong to HittyGirls and I'm sure some of them have built stairways in their Hitty houses.

More Info about Tuck Comb Dolls

According to my online research, "Tuck Comb dolls," are classed, along with other "peg woodens, or pennywoods" as Grodner Tal Peg Wooden Dolls, but they are in a special subclass because of their superior workmanship: carved wooden hair combs, fancy earrings, and lovely feminine shapes. They were produced in the Grodner Tal (Valley) in what was Bavaria but became part of Germany during WW II.

Like other pennywoods, these dolls were made in the nineteenth century, 1800 to 1850, and the paint on them contains lead. I'm not yet sure if they were always sold without clothing as the less-detailed pennywoods were.

"These are often referred to as "German" Tuck combs, probably because they were sold via the German Nuremberg Toy Market...." (Lotz Doll Pages) They are also sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Dutch dolls" from the word "Deustch" (ie. "German").

Their fancy hair comb was sometimes removed so they could wear hats or other headwear. The James Orem doll I bought (see previous post) is about 11 1/2" tall, the same size as my other pegwooden "Jane," who was given to me by a friend who owned two of these dolls (below). In exchange for making clothes for her undamaged doll, my friend gave me the damaged ("disabled," she said) pegwooden who was missing a lower leg. I made a new lower leg for her, and then she looked good as new.

I named my first pegwooden doll "Jane" because in Beatrix Potter's Tale of Two Bad Mice the pegwooden in the dollhouse is named Jane. It is weird that in all the times I read this book to my daughter Connie, I paid little attention to that doll. AFTER I received the pegwooden from my friend, I happened to purchase the book for my granddaughter and in reading it to her, noticed the pegwooden in the dollhouse.

Pegwoodens were made in every size from 1" to 17", but the ones most commonly for sale on Ebay are 11 1/2" and Jane is that sized, too. If you search "pegwooden" on my blog, you will see more pictures of the two dolls as I made clothes for them and repaired the one given me.