Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

Tim's Secondhand Shop by Rebecca Green


A couple of years ago, inspired by my blogging friend Pubdoll, I put together a secondhand furniture shop.


It's not as nice as Pubdoll's or Wendy's, being based mainly on one here in Darwin where I have bought a desk, some bookshelves, etc. It is crammed - tables sitting on top of other tables, passageways so narrow in some places that you have to go sideways - and sometimes you come to a dead end and have to go back.


The other room in this little secondhand shop is more inviting - nice lounge suites, embroidered doilies and table cloths, tea-sets, nick-nacks, and even a couple of dolls - are all displayed to tempt the buyer.

The shop assistants are not here at the moment - it must be after closing hours. But I hope they do sell some of their stock - I could fill this space over again with other spare furniture!

The roombox I've used for this secondhand shop is one I bought from Germany in its box:

According to  the Puppenhausmuseum website (50er - 32), it was made by the firm W. Fritzsche, ca 1958.

It's a construction set, made of wood and masonite. The upright wall posts slot into the floor with pegs, and the wall and window sections slide down between the posts. It's very easy to put together! I've chosen to have both windows in one room, but you could put one in each, on the side walls or back walls, or even one in the wall between the rooms, I think. If I was using it for any other purpose (such as the hospital I need a building for), I'd probably want to paint or wallpaper it. But it's perfect as it is for a secondhand furniture shop!


Let's have a look at the secondhand furniture shop through the eyes of some of its customers. Tim is the owner and manager:

The Bodensee family, Nicholas and Judith and their children, were the first customers. They have an established home, and just browsed for interesting pieces.

Judith Bodensee is making some large paper flowers to decorate her bedroom, and wants something to stand them in.

"Mm, what about the stoneware jug? No, the mouth is too narrow. This copper jug will be perfect when I've cleaned it up and given it a polish."

The kids are looking around too. Thomas spots some binoculars. "Can I have these, Dad?" "What for?" "I've been reading that bird book, and I want to go out bird-watching." "OK then," says Dad, thinking this is a good hobby - quiet, and gets him out of the house.


Liesl has spotted the ballerinas on the lamp.

"We're not getting that," said Mum.
"You've already got a lamp in your bedroom, and there isn't room for another one."
"Can I have the doll then?"
"You've already got dolls."

"But I want this one in the green dress."
"OK," says Mum.

Teenaged daughter Kirsty spots the record player.


"What do you want that for?" says Dad.
"So I can listen to records in my bedroom," she says. "The other kids are getting things, and everything else in this place is too old-fashioned. It's not fair if I don't get anything."
"OK, OK," says Dad.

Dad wanders off into the next room.

"This is more like it," he says.
"What do you want that old fridge for?" says Mum. "We've got a perfectly good one at home, and that one doesn't even have a door on the freezer compartment."
"It'll be just right for keeping the beer in on the patio," says Dad. 



"What on earth do you think this is?" says Mum. "Is it a teapot? But the handle's really thick. Do you suppose it could be an old-fashioned bedpan? Where on earth do they find these things? It's so ugly."

"OK, that's enough," says Dad. "Can you deliver the fridge?"



"Oh, but look," says Mum. "Here's a phone. We haven't got a phone, and this is a nice yellow one."
"All right. Now let's go. We've bought more than enough for one day."


Next, the Swans came to see what they could find in Tim's shop. Narelle and Mark Swan have a daughter Nicole and a new baby, and are setting up a new home.

"Good morning, can I help you?"
"Oh, good morning. We don't have any kitchen appliances - do you have any in stock?"
"Certainly, if you'll just come through to the other room."



"Oh, Mummy, look at these gold cups! They must be for giants! Have you met a giant, Mr Tim?"

"Just through here you'll find stoves, washing machines - even a kitchen sink!"

"Terrific - we don't have a sink either."



"Come on, darling, we can ask about giants later."

"Hmm, an old twin-tub, even one with a wringer - don't fancy washing the baby's nappies in those. But this stove looks alright."



"This washing machine looks better - much more modern. Can we have it down to have a look at it?"
"Certainly, madam."



“Oh yes, that looks fine, don't you think darling? What about a fridge, do you have any?"

"I'm sorry, madam, we don't get them in very often, and unfortunately I've just sold one."

"Oh, OK, we'll have to try the Trading Post then. So what else - could we have a look at that kitchen sink you mentioned?"



"Just back in here, madam - here we are. I can get this down for you too if you'd like to have a look?"



"Oh yes, please, that would be good.
Oh, this wall unit is great! And it's got a built-in stereo system. We'll take this too, thanks."



Tim gets his assistant Johnno in to help him move the sink.


Johnno's a young bloke who looks a bit rough - shaves his head, and doesn't look too clean. But he's a good worker, and is a real help to Tim with moving the stock in and out.


The sink and matching kitchen cupboard are rather out-of-date, but they'll do for now.

"What else do we need, darling? Oh yes, kitchen chairs. We have an old table, but nothing to sit on, just the good dining chairs."

Johnno sets out several kitchen chairs for the Swans to try.



"Oh, this red plastic one is much too low. How's yours, darling?"
"It's fine - do you have any to match it, mate?"
"This other red one is really too small, I can't get comfortable on it."
"We have one chair to match the wooden one, sir - and there's a single chair that's very nice - we'll just get that out for you to try, madam."



"Oh yes, very comfortable. I suppose it won't matter to have odd chairs in the kitchen for a while. We'll take the white one and this wooden one - not that other one, it's too old-fashioned."

"I noticed a few things in the first room you might like to have a look at, darling."
"And so did I, Mummy! Come and see what I found!"
"What do you think of this cabinet for the dining room?" 




"And I want the ballerina lamp, Mummy - ple -ee- ease!"
"Yes, we do need some lights, so you can have it, darling, especially as you remembered the magic word. The blue one would be good for the family room, too."
"Oh thank you, Mummy! And look at this little desk! It's just the right size for me. Wouldn't it be good when I start big school?"




"There's some more things over here too, darling - come and have a look."
"If we could just have a look at this bookcase, please, it might do for the kids' books and toys."
"Oh, and look, here's another lamp in the corner, it would look good in our bedroom."



"OK, that's pretty much it. Oh, but do you have any occasional tables?"
"Just this one, madam, I'll get it out for you."
"Mm, the top's loose, but I'm sure I could fix that. It'll do for now."



"Thank you, that's all for now. Can you deliver everything, please?"
"Certainly, madam. There's a $20 fee for delivery. Could I have your address, please?"
"Swan House, Caroline St, Barton."
"No problem, we can deliver it first thing tomorrow."
"Oh great, thank you, that will be wonderful, then we can unpack and move in."
"Thanks, mate, we'll see you tomorrow morning, then."
"Thank you, sir. Goodbye, madam, and thank you."

You can catch Tim at home, relaxing with a game of cards with Johnno, on my blog here. NB: Tim has adult tastes in decoration.