During the next two weeks, I’m going into production on nine sets of William Halsey Wood Blox based on his design for the Chauncey French house in Orange, NJ. It is one of three Agincourt-related designs by Wood that will be (already have been) fabricated. You may recall the French house as one of my all-time favorite residential designs—by WHW or anyone else, for that matter.
Chauncey French’s home was the model for Claire Tennant’s dollhouse, built in 1905 for the Christmas she might not have survived. [Happily, she did and lived long enough for Peter Vandervort to build her wedding dress in 1920.] The dollhouse was built without knowing the interior layout of the house itself; actual plans weren’t found until years after the fact. So we relied on a basic cube, with gabled roof and engaged cylindrical dining room. It was that scheme which became the basis for the second set of WHW blox by the Tennant Manufacturing Co.
The challenge, as you might imagine, is threefold: #1) abstract the house design in the spirit of Friedrich Fröbel; #2) do it in such a way that precisely the proper number of blocks will fit into a storage box, with none left over and no voids; and #3) present the user with the fun of building the house and getting all the blocks back into the box. That’s what these little square plans are all about.
The nine sets will be identified by the nine letters of A⋅G⋅I⋅N⋅C⋅O⋅U⋅R⋅T and one will be auctioned to raise money for a scholarship fund. I hope some of you will get into the auction spirit and bid.