Black Forest Chalet – (Half-Scale German Chalet)

Although I did not create this piece, it is one of the most cherished in my collection. I purchased it a number of years ago from a very elderly lady of German descent, by the name of Marion Dena Merkle, who lived in the midwest. She handcrafted this delightful chalet using only hand tools. Her inspiration was derived from memories of her own father having made similar chalets when they still lived in Germany. As she related the story to me, her family was very poor and her father would search the countryside for scrap wood and other things that he could use to make these pieces. The chalets he made were only displayed at Christmas time . . . it was a very special family tradition. I have a wonderful 2-page narrative from Marion that describes all of this history and more, but it has been misplaced (in one of my famous and dangerous “safe places”, no doubt). If or when I find it, I will post more information.

The chalet came with furniture that Marion crafted, and while I did keep some of it in the house, I couldn’t resist upgrading the inside a bit. I added several pieces of furniture, several knick-knacks, pictures, pillows, cats, dishes, rugs, etc. . . O.K. – I admit . . . the interior is drastically altered from when I got the chalet. I did, however, save the original (now unused) pieces, and I hope to display them alongside the house whenever I manage to devise an improved display area for my dollhouses. My changes to the interior were not done in a sense of disrespect for Marion’s creations . . . far from it . . . I felt that upgrading the interior better displayed the beauty of the chalet itself. I also felt that the furniture Marion had crafted for this chalet was done thinking that children might play with this piece, as they were more along the lines of “sturdy” toys.

The photos below will give you an idea of the charm of this diminutive chalet, but they really cannot capture the wonderful creativity that this truly inspiring lady wrought with those loving hands.

Last modified on: April 7th 2012.