Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kage furniture in a Keystone of Boston house.....

This is a Keystone of Boston dollhouse from of their many English Tudor models.  It is furnished with Kage furniture just like the Rich Tudor house in my previous post. This house has  additional Kage pieces to share with you.

This small 4 room house is the perfect size for the Kage furniture. Kage did not make bathroom furniture, so this time I have used a Strombecker set of the same scale.
A former owner painted the interior of this little house with a neutral color paint and added a vintage  wood-patterned linoleum to the bottom floor. I made a second floor for the one that was missing. The white flower box to the right of the front door came with the house...I added the red one, however, I have seen other models with tall shrubs on either side of the door.

New Kage items in the kitchen include the pantry and the large buffet. A smaller buffet is shown later in this post.

Several new Kage pieces are found in the living room...a piano, wall clock, flower stand, standing ashtray, coffee table, 2 lamps, and a log basket.

The lone Kage item in the bath area is the table holding the "electric" Strombecker heater....and actually it is the piano stool. J

Kage items found in the bedroom and not shown in my last post are the narrow 3 drawer chest, the larger 3 drawer chest with mirror attached, the newer model chair with spooled front legs, and the  desk with drop down writing surface. The bed came with the coverlet and matching pillows, and although it is vintage fabric, I don't think it is original as it doesn't match the fabric attached to the bed frame.

(A unique thing about the Keystone of Boston houses with swing-out French windows, is the metal rods holding the window in the frame have extensions on the inside to hold the window curtains.)

The radio and grandfather clock were not used in either house.

The desk may be the only functioning piece Kage made....I added the desk blotter. Pianos were made in 2 sizes.

Two different size fireplaces Kage with an unstained wood mantel. The one on the right looks brand new even though production ended in 1948.

Four different chest or vanity designs...there may be more!

Three table sizes with different legs, two sizes of buffets, 2 chair sizes with different leg designs.

I have several Kage sofas, but found that all of them were one of these 3 models.

Five different chair models. I actually have 2 with the same fabric! I think the chairs/sofas with the ball feet were the newer models...anyone know for sure?

Two different models of beds, each with the original fabric and pillows. Old English scratch cover does wonders for these great old pieces!

All of these pieces are in 3/4" to 1' scale. Did you know Kage also made 1 inch scale furniture? I have a few pieces....I will post about it later.  J

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Remodeling a remodeled dollhouse

My favorite Rich Toys doll houses are the yellow and brown Tudor houses from the 1930s. They range in colors from bright, medium, and pale yellow to pale green trimmed with  brown "timbering".  I knew this was a Rich Toys house when I first saw it, but I didn't remember seeing this model with an extension with the ranch style window.  I loved the curved opening on the exterior rear wall....and even though it was missing the door and windows, I thought it would be a fairly easy fix.
 This is how it looked when I found it on ebay....
...and the interior.
Luckily I won it, and the seller took the house apart for shipping.  When it arrived and I was reassembling it, I realized the wall with the curved opening was  similar to a garage opening in a  Rich Toys house in a Zillner doll house book. I looked, and there it was on page 151 of Zillner's Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings.
 A former owner had remodeled the garage, making it an additional room. He/she raised the floor of the garage to make it level with the other rooms on the bottom floor and cut a door into the new room that had formerly been a garage.   A ranch style window was created in the solid back wall of the garage and placed on the front of the house.  The wall with the curved opening (that at one time had garage doors attached) was used as the back wall. 
I liked the additional room they created, but I also liked the look of the garage doors on the front. So I decided to keep the additional room but also try to reclaim the original look....and here is how it looks now.

I made....
  • a new front door and garage doors,
  • new windows,
  • replaced the dark shutters,
  • added original flowers to the window box,
  • cut a small roof for over the front door and added a similar light fixture,
  • cut a porch from an old Rich Toys chimney I bought on Ebay for $5,
  • and painted a flagstone driveway on the board that a previous owner had attached as a base. 

I loved the vintage wallpaper in this house and was able to salvage two rooms.  Because the window frames were glued in place, I had to make new frames to hold the plastic windows. I left the wood-toned contact paper on the floor and added a period linoleum paper flooring to the kitchen area.  I took the liberty of creating two rooms on the second floor and a small attic at the peak of the house.
My house is now furnished....mostly with Kage furniture  produced between 1938-48. Kage is known for its adorable upholstered pieces. The wood pieces are non-functioning....and  a bath set was never produced.

All the furniture in the kitchen is Kage; and, when the lady of the house is washing dishes at her little Kage sink, she can look out her window and see the lovely house across the street.
With the exception of the red table lamp, all the living area is furnished with Kage. Several models of chairs and sofas were produced by Kage.
The chest-on-chest, the bed, and the vanity and chair are the Kage pieces in the bedroom. Kage dressed their beds with a snug fabric over the "mattress" and matching pillow. I have other beds that include a matching coverlet but I'm not sure if they are original. The vanity and chair also came with matching skirts. This fabric is not original....all the pieces were bare when I purchased them, but the fabric is vintage 1953 found in my mom's scrap bag!  The lamps are not Kage products',nor are the chaise, the bedside table and the beds in the boy's room. They came with my latest doll house and I am unaware of the brand name.
When I removed the soiled fabric from the chaise, I found it had been padded with folded newspaper from The Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio, March 8, 1942. The pieces resemble Strombecker furniture of the same era, but it is a slightly smaller scale and not the same quality.

I think the toilet is part of the Nancy Forbes 3/4-1" scale furniture, the sink and shower look like the smaller scale Schoenhut. I have not identified the has a lovely curved end which is not totally visible. The shower was missing a side...I installed  a "glass" wall.  These pieces were either off white or natural wood....I gave them a uniform color.
The little Caco boys share a room next to the bath. The beds, toy chest and chair are an unknown brand. The dressers are Kage....with added wooden knobs for deco.
Here is a closer look at the Kage furniture found in this remodeled Rich Tudor...

 The floor lamp may or may not be Kage.  A piano bench is being used as a table in front of the sofa...Kage did make a coffee table.
 ....and a pretty blue motor car now lives in the garage! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coming to America!

Christine and Hans-Herman Anderson  left their home in Minden, Germany and immigrated to Texas .... the US state with the most embarrassing politicians.

The Andersons were residents of Püppilottchen’s Toy Blog . They decided to sell their Lundby Stockholm villa and move to Texas where Hans-Herman will be setting up his pediatric practice. Here you can read the story of how they met and fell in love.

Since they are making this a permanent move, they brought lots of luggage.
The appointment with their realtor, Chantelle Seller, is at her home. Christine and Hans are thinking that Texans dress very casually....but they both agree that she has a very nice home. Chantelle introduces them to her husband Chip.
Chantelle has found them a very nice rental that is fully furnished, and hopes they like modern houses. This home, she tells them, was built by Brio in 1966. The Andersons are thinking they should have rested after arriving this morning....they have a feeling they look like zombies.
Entering the house, Chantelle first takes them to the kitchen. Christine comments that she likes the color scheme of lime green and turquoise, then laughing she says "We come all the way to America and we get a European size fridge!"  Hans-Herman, who considers himself quite the chef, tells Chantelle it looks like a good work space.
Next they check out the bathroom. "Hmm, only one sink," says Christine, "but I think the mirror is large enough to share!"  "It looks like I stepped in something, " says Hans-Herman, "and I'm tracking it everywhere! What is this? Tacky wax?"

Christine falls in love with the dining room.  Hans-Herman likes the corner area  where he and Christine can relax with an after dinner drink and contemplate just what makes Texas conservative politicians bat-shit crazy.
 Up the stairs! says Madge.
"Come, come! Come see your new living area. I just know you will love it!" 
"So, what do you think? Do you like the fireplace? You rarely need one in Houston, but we just turn the air as low as it will go and light a fire!"
Christine starts playing some tunes on the baby grand. She had to sell her piano before leaving Germany, so she is happy to see one as part of their furnishings.
"Awwwk! Your boobs are falling out of your halter top!" says Hans-Herman. "OMG did I say that out loud??? I was trying to say where will I put the wide screen TV?"
 "So nice to have a vanity table since the bathroom is so small, " says Christine.
Hans adds, "The bed looks large enough for three.....I mean comfy for both of us."
"Yes, comfy, very comfy indeed!" 
 "Christine, I think we will be very happy here."
 This Brio house was sold in 1966.
Needing to date your house? Go to  Swedish Dollshouses  where you will find dollhouses from the Swedish, Danish, and English toy companies Lundby,  Brio, Lerro, Micki Leksaker, Kährs, Lisa of Denmark,  Hanse, and Barton.
Elisabeth also has catalogs, from the 1950s to the present, showing dollhouse furniture from Lundby, Brio, Caroline's Home, Lisa of Denmark, Hanse, Bodo Henning, Dora Kuhn and Modella. If you haven't discovered this wonderful website previously, discover it now!
Four sets of Brio furniture can be found in this house....

three bedroom seen in the 1974 Brio house on the Swedish Dollshouse website...
dining set of 6 pieces which can be seen in the 1977 Brio house....
partial living room set, 2 pieces (seen in the 1974 Brio house,
the table in the 1968 Brio house)
and the 3 piece bath set seen in the 1966 Brio house.

 With the exception of this wooden flower stand by Lisa of Denmark (1974), the rest of the pieces in the house were produced by Lundby.