Friday, January 20, 2017

Looking for this Keystone dollhouse.....



I am looking for this Keystone of Boston dollhouse. I have quiet a few Keystone houses, but not this one. I hope someone can help me find this model. I have never seen a photograph of this house;  I did not know it existed until I found this black and white picture of it in a 1951 Union catalog publication.  


Because it had graphics similar to two other Keystone houses I have that were made at the same time, I  sloppily enhanced the catalog picture with color to help identify it.  

The Union catalog described it as "six room dollhouse set up, ready for simple attachment of wing to house. Interiors, exteriors and floors are decorated in many colors. Made from tekwood and wood. Equipped with large picture type windows, staircase and recessed entrance. Length, 32½ inches; width, 12½ inches; height, 17 inches."   
In 1951 the cost for this house was $10.50 

To give a better idea of the color scheme, here are my other two houses that were made in the early 1950s with similar graphics. 
 This is Keystone's small Put-Away house, 

 and the interior with Ideal furniture and Ideal family.


The other house with similar graphics is in need of a door, 
and the interior is inhabited by mice. 

If you have this dollhouse or know of someone who does, are willing to part with it and have it come to a loving home, please contact me at 
florinebettge@comcast.net. Maybe we can make a deal! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ardee: plastic dollhouse furniture from 1946.... with a modern flair!


This is a Rich Toys dollhouse from the early 1950s. Bench seats on the porch, the fence post with lantern, blue shutters with  red roofs and porch make it an attractive little dollhouse. 



I have furnished it with Ardee Plastics' modern design furniture made in 1946. Ardee Plastics, Inc., one of the  early manufacturers of plastic dollhouse furniture, made their products from Lumarith, a product of Celanese Plastics Corporation. Their furniture, along with the early plastic furniture marketed under the Jaydon name, has had a tendency to warp. An interesting article about Lumarith, made of cellulose acetate, told that with time this plastic broke down, giving off a telltale vinegar smell. 




This  four room dollhouse was a very nice size for children to furnish and play with. Ardee did not make kitchen appliances or bath furniture....I substituted Plasco products for these areas. 



With the exception of the unique design of the sofa and chair, Ardee furniture is very plain with no working parts. The "mahogany" parts of these pieces have a decorative ribbing design. 



You notice the warping in the sway of the fireplace mantel and the lean of the floor lamp. (The smoking stand is a Renwal product.) 




I love the shape of the sofas!  If you think my curtains drape nicely, it is because they are made from a picture of drapes printed on index card and "hung" on a bamboo skewer painted gold. 



The table and chairs are a bit larger in scale than the rest of the Ardee furniture...and made in a design popular in the late 1940s. You can see the ribbed design in the table top, buffet top and chair seats.



The only Ardee piece in the bathroom is the vanity on the right. The drawer design is printed on the cabinet, as are the bricks on the fireplace and the doors on the buffet.  



Furniture for the bedroom includes a vanity, chest of drawers, bookcase, chair, night stand and table lamp. A vanity bench was also made but I donated mine to a worthy cause....another dollhouse collector! Actually, Myrtle said she would cut me if I didn't give it to her.



The Ardee bed came with a cardboard bedspread...this original spread is in fairly good condition at seventy years old.   





Pieces of furniture in my collection include:


The dining room furniture consisted of 
a table, two to four chairs and a buffet.



The style of this chair and sofa would go as well in 
an art deco house as in a mid-century modern home. 



I added the fire insert. 
I do not know if one was originally included.


Fancy pulls were printed on the chest of drawers. 
The drawers did not open.


Notice the similarity in the vanity drawers and this night stand table. The bases of the lamps are unusually shaped.



A very modern bookshelf....also made in one-half size. 



The bed was made with the head and foot the same height.




I am lucky to have found original bedspreads in both pink and blue. I do not know if other color spreads were produced.




Furniture was also produced in other colors. 
Here is a medium blue chair and a very rare pink bed
courtesy of Patty Cooper.  





Myrtle has the chair in this lovely shade of blue....
along with the vanity bench.



Here is the half-size book shelf and the elusive coffee table.


If you have other Ardee dollhouse furniture 
or pieces produced in other colors, please share with me at florinebettge@comcast.net.  I would love to add them to this post....giving you credit for being the lucky owner, 
of course! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lookin' for a home.....just lookin' for a home.....


I was constructed, probably by a loving dad or granddad, in the 1930s in Wisconsin where I now live, just outside of Milwaukee. 


In the 1960s I came to live with a little girl named Mary Eileen. Her mother redecorated me just a bit....adding some pretty seashell papers in the bathroom and a lovely mauve paper in the bedroom. Mom also made some carpets for the bedroom and living room. 



 In these pictures you can see that Mary Eileen has removed the carpets and my fine hardwood floors are showing.




I still have the wonderful 1930 era floors in my bathroom and kitchen. Isn't the "linoleum" design in the bathroom and the kitchen "tile" great!



Check out my door with doorknob and the nice molding forming the door frame....and a closer view of the original "linoleum". 





My roof is painted blue,  my backside is rather plain....




...but my gables have formed eaves and blue half-timbering with a stucco effect in between the timbering. 




My front gable is similar, but with added corbels in blue and ivory.


Mary Eileen has decided that it is time for another little girl to enjoy my companionship....so like the old song about the boll weevil, I'm lookin' for a home....just lookin' for a home. 


This stately old lady is made of wood and fiberboard....possibly masonite.  She stands 31" high and is 28½” wide.  Front to back she measures 19½” deep.  She needs some TLC but overall is still a handsome house. 

She is much too large and heavy to ship, so Mary Eileen is hoping that someone in the Wisconsin area would like her to live with them. Now that can be a little girl....or an older "girl" who loves and collects dollhouses and will cherish her the same way the family of Mary Eileen has cherished her for the last 80 plus years.  

You may contact Mary Eileen at meswart (at) sbcglobal (dot) 
net.

UPDATE:
Mary Eileen has discovered that this house first belonged to twin girls who were born in 1912. That would put this house being constructed around 1920. It then passed to her first cousin-once-removed, and then to Mary Eileen.  
If you recognize the maker of this wonderful old house, Mary Eileen would love to hear from you. 



Friday, September 30, 2016

A NEW book on Kage Dollhouse furniture now available!!


Kage Dollhouse Furniture 1938-1948 by Patty Cooper and George Mundorf  has forty pages and over 120 color photos documenting the style changes of this company from depression era Art Deco through the more cozy traditional style popular during World War II. Kage furniture is still findable and perfect for furnishing vintage dollhouses such as Rich or Keystone.

The Kage book is available through The Blurb Bookstore for $33.59 plus shipping. A preview of this book is available on their website.

If you would prefer to pay by check, this book can be purchased directly from Patty for $34.00 including first class mail.  Please include your name and address with a check to: Patty Cooper, 3237 Garden Drive, Knoxville, TN 37918. If you have questions, please email Patty at gardenmont@aol.com.

Patty Cooper has done it again...and this time she brought George Mundorf with her! They have produced a wonderful resource book on the popular Kage dollhouse furniture that so many of us love. From the early large furniture called "Modernette Miniatures" to the later cozy upholstered pieces for which Kage is so beloved, Patty and George have provided scores of samples ...and I guarantee you will want all of them in your collection! New pieces rarely seen are included...a table top radio, a baby scale, table lamps and vases. Wonderful room settings and a history of the Kage Company complete this great resource book. 

This new dollhouse furniture resource book joins Patty's previous book on Schoenhut dollhouse furniture as a must have for the serious collector of the wonderful American dollhouse furniture produced from the late 1920s through the 1940s. And more good news as they also plan resource books on Strombecker, Menasha, Miniaform, Converse, DeLuxe and Lincoln. Thank you Patty and George!

A link to the purchase information has been added to the Pages column for quick access.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My little Trixytoy dollhouse from 1928



This is my small Trixytoy dollhouse made by the Durrel Company 
in Boston, Massachuesetts in the late 1920s. 
It is made of heavy cardboard and still in great shape 
for a cardboard house approximately 88 years old. 
The roof was originally red but has faded to tan.





Mine is a one room house with opening door 
and 4 windows that still retain the original cellophane windows. 
I made a stand alone wall divider 
to give this grandma a bit of privacy.



Here is grandma's bedroom.


The dresser, chair, lamps, bed and bedside table are Strombecker from the early 1940s.


Grandma's comfy chair was made by Kage, 1938-48.


 Grandma loves her open living room kitchen combo. 



Grandma likes to relax on her sofa and listen to her favorite radio programs on her radio. 
The sofa, chair, radio and end table are Strombecker from the mid 1940s. 



Tweety, her little red bird, is kept in the kitchen 
because he likes to spread his birdseed everywhere! 
The sink, stove and table and chairs are from 
Strombecker's 1934 production line. 
The fridge is Kage, 1938-48. 



Grandma does think this is her "Home Sweet Home"!

This is a two room model house also made by Trixytoy. 

...advertised in the 1928 Sears catalog for $1.29 
and included Tootsietoy furniture. 

The Durrel Company also made Trixytoy furniture for their houses. This is the kitchen set, made in half inch to one foot scale, from four layers of cardboard glued together. 


The dining room set....
two tables, 4 chairs, sideboard and server were made.

Trixytoy living room set.


This add for my little house appeared in a 1920s toy flyer 
issued by J F Colson & Co in St. Charles, Illinois.