Becky, an avid collector and friend, just sent me some photos of her collection. I just love how she has used Salesman Sample furniture and other unique display items to showcase her collection and tell unique "stories".
Here's her collector story - Enjoy!
Once I stumbled upon the world of feves quite by accident, I was hopelessly hooked! When I was a child, I had a great dollhouse that my Dad had made complete with electricity, so I was naturally drawn to feves. When I was in my 20's, elaborate doll and miniature shows were very popular, so I upgraded to high end miniatures. More recently came the question of how to properly display the feves to their best advantage. I knew I wanted something better than printers trays or a thimble display
I saw a set-back hutch on Ebay that was about 17"x13"x6" and asked the seller (who was also the builder) to make the 2 wide shelves into 4 narrow ones so more feves could be displayed. Then I selected the perfect paint that would show off both light and dark feves and it was called "peanut butter". After some distressing , for more character, the hutch was a perfect "starter piece". It became the center of a collection that would grow, in 3 months, to occupy my entire dinning room table. It also became the piece by which all other pieces came to be measured for proper size.
I'm sure you quickly noticed the furniture and the feves are not the same scale. The furniture pieces, all but the two "peanut butter" pieces are true vintage and considered Salesman Samples. This larger scale furniture lets you display 20 perfume bottles or jam jars on the Saleman's Sample while true 1:12 dollhouse scale would only display 1 or 2. Makes perfect sense-there is method to my madness! Once piece alone might look odd like this, but take up a whole table and for awhile you have entered a wonderful miniature fantasy land.
It was probably the most difficult to find the right stove. I felt like Goldilocks, with them all being too big or too small, too low or too deep. All did seem to have one thing in common-not much actual display space. When I saw the green doors, I knew this was the right one, as I love all things green and I could just envision the different areas displaying my kitchen feves. It seems to be everyone's favorite piece. The tiny red and white checked potholder , obviously more feve scale than proper scale for the stove, came with it. I knew that was an omen that "feve size" was meant for this stove. It stays on display as a tribute to the previous owner whoever she may have been.
The vintage red kitchen chair displays one of my favorite series of feves - holiday desserts from various countries.
The cupboard was also a newer Ebay piece, but once it was painted the same peanut butter color and distressed, I was pleased to find it a perfect match for the hutch. I felt that it should have a vintage looking latch and found one on a craft box at Michael's and removed it with tiny screw driver and re-purposed it for the cupboard latch and of course aged it as well. Since it was a bit shorter than the hutch, the fruits and vegetables and gourds add color, height and make it even more co-coordinating with the hutch.
Every piece of furniture is a reflection of the personality of its owner. Well, the owner of the workbench has somewhat varied interests. He fixes clocks and watches, makes ships in bottles and tiny furniture, and collects vintage model cars. However, if you can see into his drawer, it shows that he is dreaming of travel and a better life and sometimes fuels these dreams with his stash of liquor bottles. He also likes the ladies-especially Marilyn Monroe. Not sure if he is an Aries who likes to walk on the beach, but by the looks of things he would like to run away to a beach and longs for more excitement.
Since feves are about celebration and feasting on King's Day of Ephiphany, it is logical and expected that many of the most intricate and delectable feves are feast items and pastries. The drop leaf table and tea cart proudly display examples. Can you find the mischievous purple mouse who has taken up residence in the chocolate eclair? Hope you do before you take a bite!
I previously displayed the dresser, china cabinet, and upholstered chair on my fireplace mantle so I was very fortunate they were the perfect pieces to match the style and size. Oh and all the drawers are lined with French newspaper that my French friend sent me. I found that by pulling out the drawers just a little it makes a great ledge for carefully displaying as well-see the flowers, fans, and high fashion forms. Drawers also hold overflows that make varying the displays easier.
China cabinet needed something lighter color to show off the fine art glass and pottery that the family has amassed. They have Daum, Galle', and other fancy pieces of which they are proud. Vintage cream colored paper doilies lie flat and help make things more visible. I have to admit I wished that I could have some of Alice's "DRINK ME" to shrink down to place these items inside. More than once I had the domino effect when one slender vase toppled and took the whole shelf down with it.
Every house needs a great old trunk to store holiday decorations, old photos and postcards, and the "junk" you can never part with. This wonderful embossed trunk is unusual and serves this purpose in style by storing two series of feve nativity sets. Makes a great catch-all so you know where your garden gnomes, gargoyles, and old license plates are when you need them - which is usually NEVER!
In collecting feves I just found myself gravitating to the kitchen, food and general household feves (probably going back to my dollhouse days). But since every house needs some in-inhabitants , I do have a chair to welcome various "people" who visit or live here. They range from Muppets, cast and crew of Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Betty Boop. Of course Alice In Wonderland and all the wild characters are here. This time you see all of the Cheshire Cat and not just his smile.
Feves go from very vintage, to religious, humorous, and ordinary and all the stages in between. You never know what you will find, until you find it. I even have a caricatured head of actor Sean Connery and a 007 sign in honor f my Scottish Terrier of the same name. You always find totally unbelievable feves and the searching is just as much fun as the finding.
Hope you have enjoyed your brief stay in my version of "Wonderland"."
Wasn't Becky's collection amazing? And how she'd displays everything is so inventive. Show me how your collection is progressing...