Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What do you know about dollhouse bathrooms?

 Was the chamber pot the original indoor "plumbing"?

With an introduction on chamber pots  by Rhu McBee, the newest book by Patty Cooper is all about dollhouse bathrooms. 

From the "almost lovely" wooden bath pieces produced in Germany around 1900, to their metal bathroom pieces and bath roomboxes in the 1920s, collectors of dollhouses from this time period have a large variety of bathrooms to choose from. 

Not to be left behind, America and the UK  jumped right in with bath pieces made of metal, wood and plaster. We find them in the same colors that were popular in actual bathrooms during the, blue, orchid, pink and aqua.

Following right along with the new popularity of bathrooms in dollhouses, makers of dollhouse accesories produced a myriad of items to complete the dollhouse bathroom decor.

If you are looking for a resource to help you furnish a dollhouse in a period appropriate way, this book is for you!

Patty Cooper has published 26 books on dollhouses and dollhouse furniture that are a valuable resource for collectors, all available on Blurb.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

A Keystone of Boston dollhouse from 1938-39

Say hello to the Jurgensons....
Jerry, Janice and their little daughter Jezebel.

This is their home, a two story, five room house
with side chimney and attached kitchen.
It was manufactured by Keystone of Boston 
and appeared in their catalog of 1938-39. 
Jerry and Janice saw it, liked it and ordered it immediately.

Janice insisted I wallpaper every room, 
not my favorite thing to do.

         Here we find Jerry and Janice sitting quietly in the living room.
Pick one:
1) not on speaking terms.
2) waiting for the other one to fix dinner.
3) hoping the other one will tend to the demanding  Jezebel upstairs. 
4) stoned.

No one has set the table for dinner! Janice must think that is a job for me. 
But she is very happy with her modern dining room furniture.

I hate cooking. (That's me talking, but I think Janice must feel the same.)

She needs to figure out a way to get out of cooking. 
(I did, but that's my secret.)

Hopefully he lifted the lid. At least the blinds are shut.

HELP! I'm stuck in a bamboo prison! 

WAAAH! Get me out of here!

Often Janice sits in front of her mirror and thinks
"Beauty is in more than the eye of the beholder."

 Yes, this is the original color of the modern dining room set.
The lace curtain was decoration on a dress I bought in 1967. 
Anyone else a hoarder?

The appliances and table and chairs set are Strombecker. 
It seems like I use this floor paper in all of my houses.
 Some little critters found the floors in this house
to be tasty, so the floors had to be covered. 

Nothing like a pink and blue bedroom for adults. 
The spreads, pillows and curtain 
all came from different Ebay sellers. 
I was not feeling crafty when I set up this house. 

More Strombecker furniture in the bath. 
The first, and probably the last, time I attempt to make a shade. 
Hung it anyway.

I tried very hard not to over-decorate. 
More successful this time!

One of the unique features of this dollhouse
 is the side chimney.
 As far as I am aware, this is 
the only Keystone house with a side chimney.

This is the only cupola appearing on a Keystone dollhouse 
until Keystone produced a dollhouse 
sold exclusively at FAO Schwarz in the 1960s. 
It was modeled after their largest dollhouse, #510, produced in 1955.

The kitchen window has a curtain printed on the interior side. Keystone printed shades on the interior sides of their earlier 1935 dollhouses. 

This dollhouse (lower right) was shown
 in Keystone's 1938-39 catalog.

 I am assuming it came in two different color designs....
red roof with white quoins and the combination
 on mine, green roof with red quions. 

This is a nice little Keystone of Boston five-room dollhouse. 
It came from the collection of Geraldine Scott.

 The Strombecker chairs, sofa and end tables were introduced in 1942, while the grandfather clock as early as 1934. The fireplace is a remodeled Nancy Forbes, the coffee table, missing the mirrored top, is also Nancy Forbes circa 1940, and the lamps are Dolly Dear.

Strombecker produced this Modern Colonial Dining Room  in 1938.

This style kitchen table and chairs set was produced by Strombecker as early as 1933. The three appliances were part of the New Modern Furniture sold in 1938.

The bedroom set was sold by Strombecker starting in 1942. The lamps
 are Dolly Dear and the "bamboo prison" is a Japanese import.

Strombecker introduced the bath set in 1942. The clothes hamper is Nancy Forbes.

The Jurgenson adults are small scale German Caco dolls produced probably in 1950-60s. Jezebel is a larger scale Caco and produced later when the dolls still had metal feet. The best information on Caco dolls can be found on

Now this post is ending and we must bid adieu to the Jurgensons. 
Wave goodbye to Jezebel!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Do you know about Trixy Toy and Tiny Town dollhouse furniture?


Do you remember playing with blocks like these that appear on the cover of Patty Cooper's lastest book about two companies that produced dollhouses and dollhouse furniture in the early years of the last century?

The Embossing Company that made these wonderful blocks also made dollhouse rooms and dollhouse furniture sets. These roomboxes and furniture sets were sold as Tiny Town Furniture under the slogan Toys That Teach.  On the small side, this embossed wooden furniture came in colors of brown, gold,  red and blue. 

While The Embossing Company was making embossed dollhouse furniture, The Durrel Company was making dollhouse furniture out of layers of cardboard glued and nailed together. Labeled TrixyToy,  it had simple designs with bold color combinations in a somewhat Art Deco style. Four room sets of furniture were made to furnish the 1, 2 and 4 room cardboard dollhouses made by The Durrel Company.

Both companies made products that were promoted for their educational value. Patty Cooper has provided wonderful histories of two different companies of entrepreneures who, during the Great Depression, made affordable toys for boys and girls.

A preview of this book can be found here

Patty Cooper has authored 24 other books on dollhouses and dollhouse furniture, also found on Rarily a day goes by that I do not refer to one or more of her books when writing a blog or when I am contacted for information on dollhouses or dollhouse furniture. Her biggest fan?  Most likely! 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

A 1934 Schoenhut Dollhouse


This dollhouse was produced  in 1934, the last year of production for the A. Schoenhut Company of Philadelphia, Pennsalvania. It has suffered some water damage, is missing the chimney, and was missing the door and two windows when it arrived. I will get around to making a chimney one day. I made the door....and then installed it the wrong way, that's why the door knob is on the right side. I "borrowed" two windows from the side of another small Schoenhut, because in my Dollhouse Village, having front windows is more important than having side windows!

This illustration is from a 1934 dealer's catalogue and appears in a soft cover book Dollhouses and Dollhouse Furniture (Manufactured by A. Schoenhut Company Philadelphia, Pa. 1917-1934) compiled by Margaret Whitton. Notice that it came with lights in each room and a removable back cover. This illustration shows the extension on the right side, while the extension on my house is on the left.

This illustration of the entire page might explain why. Notice that all of the houses are facing left. It is possible that the graphic designer flipped the image to create a more visually pleasing composition.

A cute little family has moved in to "No.208E". I might know their names by the end of this post.

The house has 5 rooms....two bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living room. No bathroom, and no outhouse in sight. 

The living room is furnished in German Red-stain furniture. The seating pieces and the clock can be found in International Dollhouses and Accessories by Zillner and Cooper, page 214. This book, published in1998, indicates the maker of German Red-stain furniture was unknown at that time. Twenty-six years later we are still trying to discover that information. 

The lamp table is Donna Lee  from her Deluxe Bedroom set no. 302. 

The lamp base is incised Germany; it came without the celluloid shade. I fashioned one of textured paper, not the same as the original but it works for me.

The dining room has a Schoenhut dining room table set and buffet from their 1931 production line. 

The maker of the hutch is unknown, possibly a German or Japanese import.

The kitchen is furnished in Schoenhut with a Kage fridge. 

The stove, sink, table and chairs are Schoenhut from 1932. The fridge is Kage from the late 1940s. 

I found this wonderful handmade crazy-quilt on Ebay and thought it was just perfect for the Kage bed. 

The bedside table and dresser are Nancy Forbes with a Strombecker clock to wake dad in case he has a job. A former owner added the knobs on the dresser. I added the mirror, but it should have a border around it. Just another error I need to correct because I didn't research. The chair is not marked as to maker. 

The children share a room, each having their own little corner. I see a girly toy but no boys toys. Hmmn, girls rule? Yea!

A Kage chest holds a Strombecker lamp. The small chair  part of the Tiny Suite made by The Spartan Company in the late 1940s. The blue bed may be from Miniaform, made when they were moving away from making the more expensive Art Deco furniture with wire legs. The brown bed is early UK Barton.

My little family has introduced themselves! Gervais and Colette Perreault and their children Laurent and Lisette. They are new immigrants from France....because of the way they are dressed, possibly time travelers? 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Ohio Art Midget Manor Neighbors

Midget Manor is a good descriptive name for this little tin dollhouse manufactured by Ohio Art between 1949-1951, as it measures only 6" wide, 2" deep and 5" tall. 
It sits on a base 8¼" by 3", lithographed as a yard and side patio.

Theodore and Maxine Bumfielder live on the
west side in their little tin house.

Their house is well furnished with the plastic furniture 
that came with it when they bought it. 

Theodore is waiting in the kitchen for Maxine to fix his breakfast.
He is dressed for work and has his briefcase and umbrella at the ready
....and his hat on in the house.

Maxine is dressed to go to her job as a bartender at Smitty's Downtown Tavern. That explains the lowcut dress, nothing explains the brown hat.

The second bedroom is for Theodore's mother when she comes to visit.  
It is sparsely furnished for a reason.

The living room has a comfy sofa and two chairs. 
Also Theodore's grand piano and a radio for Maxine.  

Hmmn, they have their chairs close to the fireplace. 
Hopefully they won't catch fire and melt their house. 

Both Theodore and Maxine enjoy sitting outside on their patio. 
 Theodore always claims the green chair.

Theodore is still in the kitchen waiting for his breakfast.

Maxine is still in the bedroom, 
thinking that Theodore already has his hat on, 
and his briefcase and umbrella in his hands. 

To the east side live Mickey and Minnie Maus.

Because both of them work at Disneyland as stand-ins 
for a pair of famous movie stars, they are able to afford 
Toostietoy Midgets furniture for their house. 

Their bedroom has art deco beds in a shade of green
 with a pale blue chiffonier.

Their spare bedroom is for family visits, 
but when not in use, Minnie likes to think of it as her boudoir. 

Their living room has a stylish sectional sofa in red, with a casual blue chair. 
Also in the living room is Mickey's piano and guitar.

Their kitchen has appliances made of index card
 and a plastic table and chairs.

Their patio has more Tootsietoy Midgets
....a library table and two lounge chairs.

Mickey is deciding whether he should play his guitar or piano
....maybe he will play both at the same time!

Oh, look who is visiting Minnie and Mickey!

According to Dian Zillner's American Dollhouses and Furniture From the 20th Century , Ohio Art Company offered this tiny house in 1949 furnished with 28 pieces of plastic furniture. My set is missing 2 straight back chairs. 

It is certainly sized for tiny hands 
with the bed 1 " long, chest " tall,

table  ¾ " wide, 

chair ½" wide, piano 1' long, and sofa 1 ¼" wide.

The Tootsietoy Midgets furniture is on the same scale 
as the plastic furniture that came with the Midget Manor. 

The Dowst Brothers Company produced Tootsietoy dollhouse furniture 
from 1922 thru 1937. These Tootsietoy Midgets 
reflect the art deco style popular during that period. 


I have the beds in green and pink, 
but it is possible they were also produced in blue. 

I was delighted to find the piano. 
The piano stool is  plastic from a modern production.

I am not aware if Dowst produced a kitchen 
for their Midgets line of furniture.

The gold chairs came with the living 
room or bedroom  set. 
The table can be used as either a coffee table or library table.

When there is space enough, some of the
 Midgets furniture is marked TOOTSIETOY. 

Other pieces, like the gold chairs and 
the living room chairs, are marked with a winged T.

The furniture was sold in room sets. I am not aware if they were sold individually.

The bedroom set.

With the great graphics on the box, 
any little girl seeing it 
would definitely want this dollhouse to play with!