|My first few Dept. 56 Williamsburg houses|
Most of the houses in the various collections are designed from an artist's imagination seemingly based on nostalgia, though a number of them are copies of actual structures, especially in their Snow Village series, which tends to recreate Americana from the 1940's and '50's.
And the Dickens Village is very loosely centered on old London.
Though the nostalgia thing is pretty cool, real American history was not to be found.
Until I found this cellection (which, by the way, is now out of print, from what I understand).
|Finally! An actual historically accurate lighted house collection!|
Now, just so you don't think I am blindly purchasing this set by name alone I did a bit of research on the original structures to see how closely they resembled their ceramic counterparts.
Perfectly! They matched perfectly!
So, what I have here are photos of the original buildings as they sit in Colonial Williamsburg followed by the Dept. 56 miniatures I had purchased.
You be the judge:
|And here is the Dept. 56 ceramic version of the Wythe house.|
|King's Arms Tavern: This was one of the best-known taverns in Williamsburg and, during the Revolutionary War, the proprietress, Mrs. Jane Vobe, provided food and drink to the Patriots fighting the Redcoats.|
|Dept. 56's accurate rendition of the King's Arm Tavern|
|Here is Dept. 56's fine replication of the Taliaferro-Cole House.|
|And here is the Dept. 56 replica of the Taliaferro-Cole Shop .|
|And here is Department 56's miniature of Bruton Parish Church.|
|Tarpley's Store: John Tarpley began his store at this location in 1755.|
|And here is the copy|
Next up we have a building that is not located in Colonial Williamsburg but in Philadelphia. I am including it in my Williamsburg collection for two reasons: 1) because it fits the colonial look of Williamsburg since the original buildings were made around the same period. And 2) because there is no other historical collection from Dept. 56. So, what else was I supposed to do?
Don't worry, I do let folks know about it when they see my set up, just as I am doing now.
|And here is the wonderful miniature from Dept. 56.|
And here are some "scenic shots" of my historical village:
|My Colonial Williamsburg collection (with a little bit of Philadelphia!)...|
|Being that this is a pretty historical collection, I keep it up year 'round!|
|The accessories make it seemingly come to life|
|Yes, you see Paul Revere riding his horse on the right. Now, what's Paul Revere doing in Colonial Williamsburg? Well...where else am I going to put him?|
|A farmer's market and candle dipping - - perfect for fall.|
I got nearly every piece available, plus some, so I am pretty happy with my year-round display.
By the way, it must be noted here that the photographs of the original buildings of Williamsburg are not mine; I took them from books that I own.
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I wish Dept. 56 would team up with Greenfield Village and do replicas of the buildings there. I would love to have a ceramic lighted house of the Daggett Farm, Firestone Farm, Noah Webster's Home, The Wright Brothers and the Ford homes...
Update: - - - - what to my surprise - - - ?? Read on...
One of my most favorite houses inside the open-air museum of Greenfield Village is the Daggett Farnhouse.
What's a Daggett Farmhouse you ask?
Why, THIS is a Daggett Farmhouse:
|The 1750 Daggett Farm|
There are now presenters who work here while wearing 1760's period farm clothing. They cook and do chores from the colonial era to give a wonderful impression of what life was originally like in this home during that early time in our country's history.
Right next to the Daggett house is the Cape Cod Farris Windmill, built in 1633.
A friend of mine and his fiance were at a local collectables store recently and made sure they stopped by to tell me that they had seen a lighted ceramic Dept. 56 Daggett-style house for sale there. Of course, I went to the place myself to see it.
Yep - there it was! And it was beautiful. In fact, there were four of these houses sitting on the shelf, but they were considered used (they're out of print from maker Dept. 56) and had no box or packaging of any kind.
Unfortunately, they were also rather pricey, so I had to pass on purchasing one.
I thought about how cool the lighted house looked every-so-often. I really wanted to get it, but money was tight.
However, after some time (and some money I acquired by selling a few books I didn't want), I decided to see what I could find on Ebay.
There it was! It was listed under the title "Home Sweet Home."
And guess what? With it, in the same box, was a windmill. A windmill that looked suspiciously like the Farris Windmill.
It wasn't being sold that way at the store - - - hmmm...something's amiss here...
No matter, the price for both - the house and the windmill - in the original packaging was less than half the price of just the house itself from that collectables store.
I bought it off Ebay. (That collectables store I went to was kind of a rip off, wouldn't you say? In more ways than one.)
It took only a few days til my package arrived - and here they are together:
And this is how the two structures look together as they sit inside Greenfield Village:
Compare the two photos - - - - pretty cool, huh?
These two Dept. 56 ceramics were introduced in 1988 and were discontinued in 1991.
The original Daggett House was reconstructed in Greenfield Village in 1977 and opened to the public in 1978, while the Farris Cape Cod Windmill was reconstructed in the Village in 1936.
They are v-e-r-y close in comparison, especially considering they came in the same box.
It's almost as if...hmmm...do you think...? Dept. 56's website says that the house is "Inspired by the East Hampton, NY historic landmark home of John Howard Payne, composer of 'Home Sweet Home'."
Is there a windmill near his house?
Let's look and see:
|The home of John Howard Payne|
So now I sort of have my own personal corner of Greenfield Village as well as the landmark historical home of the "Home Sweet Home" composer John Howard Payne all in one on my shelf.
I think it's kinda neat.
Until next time, see you in time...