Thursday, December 30, 2010

F.A.O. Schwarz School Room


Who knew that school room boxes could be so addictive! I already have one, purchased last spring on US eBay, and I have now acquired another, also from US eBay ($30). Unlike my other school room, this one came in its original box, which was a complete surprise! It is odd the seller did not mention this, but I was happy to see it.

Here is the box, and then its original price tag:


You'll see that it is clearly from the legendary toy store F.A.O. Schwarz, in New York City, which was founded in 1862. I am not sure what the "19-69" is -- I doubt it is for "1969," since this school room looks like it dates earlier, but I am not completely sure.

When I opened the box, I saw that the room box was a fold up variety, which is very neat indeed, so clever! I immediately saw that the condition of the item was pristine, also a nice surprise.


The bottom pieces is clearly stamped "Made in Germany."


As I was doing some more research about F.A.O., I noted that the store's founder, Frederick Schwartz, was a German immigrant, so it is not a huge surprise that the store imported German items. I have read this before, and I even suspected that my other room box was of the same type, as it is stamped "GERMANY."

The pieces easily fit together, and I also figured out how to incorporate the window sill with the flowers, which the seller said she could not set in properly. The piece comes apart and then the dowels fit into the sill area.













I love the flooring...


This particular school room has inhabitants -- a school teacher and two young students. The dolls are Caco with plastic feet, and also in very good condition. Teacher even has her original label.



It says "Made in Germany" and "Biegsam" with the Caco logo. I am sure some of you are familiar with this name...? She is lovely, and she will keep her wrist tag.

Other items that came with the room include twelve Bodo Hennig books, as well as a watering can (also Hennig?), three glasses, four student desks and chairs and the teacher's desk and chair.



The map on the wall is in English, as is the wording on the front...



Please share if you have any information on this school room and I will also keep investigating links to this piece (which is also not a real estate hog in my progressively cramped doll house room)!

UPDATE, 12/31/10: Reader diepuppenstubensammlerin has identified my school room as one made by Bodo Hennig in the early 1960s for F.A.O. Schwarz. Please see the comments for her full response. Thanks, diepuppenstubensammlerin! I have learned a lot from you this year, and appreciate your expertise and your informative blog!

25 comments:

  1. What a wonderful treasure! I can imagine how lovely it must have been opening the package.

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  2. Wonderful, I just loved it, and you took so very good photos, answering all my questions. I am quite convinced that you bought a Bodo Hennig school room from the beginning of the 60s, exclusively produced for the American market imported by Schwarz. The USA were Hennig's main export country and for such an important customer he designed special items. A school room with an American map would be typical and the making of the room box reminds me very much of his early 60s roomboxes - the exquisite craftmansship of the windowsill with the flowers is also a hint. I could send you a close photo shot of Bodo Hennig flowers of 1964 and you could compare them - just as another proof. As there is no catalogue or any information of Hennig's American product line I am so happy to add this piece of information in my personal Bodo Hennig reference material heap!
    By the way I also envy you the Caco teacher doll a lot - I have many Caco dolls in my collection but not one with this company tag.

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  3. Thanks, Minna! It was like Christmas morning (a bit late)!

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  4. Thanks, diepuppenstubensammlerin! I had a feeling that you would know all the answers! I am very pleased to have this room and the dolls and I appreciate the information that you have provided. It is too bad that no Hennig catalogues exist for their American product lines. Sounds like you might be compiling your own! :)

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  5. Wow! What a bargain. The condition looks pristine. I love the books! Congrats!!!

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  6. "Biegsam" to the best of my knoledge is bendable....
    Congrats and a happy new year!
    Neomi

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  7. Hey, Mini Dork! The condition is really perfect. It looks like it had never been played with. The books are cool and are also in great condition. Ironically, I won some of the same books as part of another auction, so now I don't need as many. I am planning to put them up on eBay.

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  8. Thanks, Neomig! Makes a lot of sense. I hope you have a wonderful New Years!

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  9. Happy New Year Chris! The school is wonderful, and especially so, since it came with all its parts! I must show it to Mari, she really wants me to make a school for mine and hers doll children. And so fun it was from FAO Schwartz! I have gained a fondness for that store after our visit there :-)
    So sad to hear you couldn't visit your family due to the snow. So good that you were able to look at the bright side of things despite the change of plans. Since I had to work this year my Christmas wasn't exactly like I wanted it to be either, but at least we got family visiting. And like you, I have thought of everything I actually have to be thankful for and infact been very content :-) Using all my best tableware and silver at Christmas is also a great joy for a materialist like me :-)

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  10. I have been looking for a blog about miniatures and found this one. I used to have a really great schoolhouse dollhouse as a kid that I now greatly regret giving up when i was forced to move a year ago; I've just now gotten back into miniatures, but am buildingn dollhouses out of carboard boxes. I like how each box inspires a different house style. I look foward to following this blog

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  11. Hey, Pubdoll! I, too, have a new fondness for FAO! Like you, we still had fun. Some days were a little crazy with my little guy...I don't think he knew how to handle having both parents around all day, all week! It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas. I hope your 2011 is great -- perhaps we will meet up again? ;)

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  12. Hi Sarah-Anne! Thanks for your interest in my blog, and I would *love* to see your cardboard creations, whenever you are willing to share. Feel free to email me at call-small(at)call-small(dot)com. Happy New Year!

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  13. It is so nice to see that something I watched on eBay went to a really good home! :)

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  14. That looks really amazing! :)
    Happy New Year!

    Warmest greetings, Jollie

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  15. Thanks, Florine! That's very funny that you were watching it too! I actually made an offer as soon as I saw it, since I saw it had been reduced in price!

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  16. Hi A Little More Minis! Thanks for your comment, and Happy New Year to you as well!

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  17. Any kid today must envy the way schools were. You caught the spirit of bygone times schools.

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  18. Thanks, Drora! It is hard for my kids to relate to this as "school." We read the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" book series a few years ago, so that helped them believe that school rooms actually looked like this!

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  19. Happy New Year, Chris! I love this school room - how wonderful that you can buy it, diepuppenstubensammlerin can identify it, and you both benefit from each other :-)
    It looks like some of the classrooms I had as a kid - although we never had window boxes of flowers - more like succulents in tins, and beans in glass jars with blotting paper, and maybe a jar of flowers some kid had brought in, plus things we picked up on a nature ramble.

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  20. Happy New Year to you, Rebecca! I do love the community created by this hobby, and that we can benefit from each other. I loved learning of the school room's origins. My classrooms as a child were very industrial-looking; and the decorations (living or not) varied greatly across teachers. And we lived in the city, so no real ramblings, unfortunately! :)

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  21. So sweet. It reminds me of my school classrooms. I was in school in the 1960's. Thx -

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  22. Hey Barb! Glad it brought back some good memories! ;)

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  23. What a great school house! It's wonderful.

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  24. Thanks a lot, Laryssa! Glad you like it!

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  25. Hi! A best friend of mine has been scouring the earth for the boy doll. He has one that has the same face of the baby boy doll for his daughter and has been desperately searching for another one for his younger daughter. It will bring him a lot of joy if he could have this second doll. His idea is to take them and the dolls on backpacking/adventure trips and take photos at each location. They are absolutely in love with this doll. If you are willing to sell him, could you please please please let me know?? Thank you!!!!

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