Thursday, August 2, 2018

Help save Dolls' Houses Past and Present e-zine

"Dolls' Houses Past and Present (DHPP) began in 2009 as an online meeting place for owners and collectors, conservationists and restorers of both old....and new dolls houses......From that very small beginning, it has grown considerably and is now an internationally significant collaborative information site which:
  • is referenced by museums and sellers of antique and vintage dolls houses
  • researches and documents dolls house makers of all periods, production in the USA, the UK, Germany, Sweden and other countries 
  • has a Photo Gallery with over 38,000 photos in over 2500 photo albums, uploaded by individual members
  • holds detailed photographic databases of dolls houses made by the famous UK firms G & J Lines and Lines Bros Triang, Vol. 1: 1919-30, Vol. 2: 1930-41, and Vol. 3: 1946-71
  • lists over 165 dolls house makers as Categories in the Photo Gallery, aiding recognition and identification of their dolls houses
  • has 30 back issues (click on any issue to view contents) of the e-zine...., which publishes original research, presents rare antique dolls houses, and shares members’ collections and original creations
  • has Discussion Forums with over 32,000 posts by members in over 2500 topics, which are particularly important for enabling members to get help identifying and restoring their dolls houses. There are nearly 1200 members worldwide, many of whom gladly share their expertise in identifying makers, restoration, or finding materials and miniatures....."

"Dolls Houses Past & Present is not a business, so has no income. Membership is required to be able to post on site, but joining is free. The site is not monetized and carries no external advertising."

"Dolls houses can be culturally significant, adding to social history by perfectly preserving, in miniature, homes of a given period in time. Queen Mary's early1920s dolls house at Windsor Castle in the UK is one well-known example, but by no means are all royal residences! Many examples of much more humble homes exist, and a great number are represented in the Dolls Houses Past & Present photo albums."

"The site is now in crisis, because the structure of the website itself is failing. The web host used since the beginning no longer supports the site. The alternative site builder that was offered by the current host is not compatible with the sites needs. DHPP has only recently learned that the host does not hold back up of DHPP files, neither can it access DHPP data by any file transfer protocol, so there is a very real danger that the unique archives may soon be lost.  DHPP is now faced with the need to raise £10,000 for a new website to be developed urgently to its specification."

"Please, if you are able to help Dolls Houses Past & Present, any contribution, no matter how small, will be very gratefully received. We recognize that this is not a life or death cause, and it may affect only a small number of people, but this unique specialist archive once destroyed would be very difficult, if not impossible, to restore."

Because of copyright rules, I wasn't able to share pictures from this e-zine, but I have added many links to different information shared from the many issues already published. Please check them out, but know that there is so much more information that has been shared by members....from restoration helps and making dollhouse furniture and food, to the history of so many different dollhouse makers from the 19th and 20th centuries. 

As stated earlier, DHPP is not a has no income, membership is free, and the site has no external advertising. Rebecca Green, site owner and editor of DHPP, and her group of administrators give freely of their time to produce and run this website and they would like DHPP to remain with free website access to all. 

You can donate by clicking on the following link:  FUNDRAZR

Things to know before you donate...
 →FundRazr hosts small campaigns like this one for free, but does ask for a voluntary contribution from donors. The extra contribution towards FundRazr's running costs is voluntary, and contributors can opt out. To do so, set the amount to £0.
→You do not have to open a FundRazr account in order to contribute a donation. 
→Donation amount is shown in British pounds. As a rough guide, against a few major currencies, £1 today (8-2-2018) is worth €1.12, US $1.30, Can $1.70, Aus $1.77...obviously, these values fluctuate daily. Paypal can be adjusted to send in another currency or to show the PayPal conversion rate. Paypal Help has full details.

No matter how large or small, every single donation will help to save a truly wonderful dollhouse website. Please help if you can....and many thanks!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A re-purposed Dora Kuhn armoire

This is a 10" Dora Kuhn armoire....
a good size to use as doll furniture for 8-10" dolls. 

Because I am not a doll collector, I have re-purposed it 
as a dollhouse for my collection of small Dora Kuhn furniture. 
I removed the vertical divider and the two shelves to the left side
 and added one shelf to form the second floor of my newest dollhouse. 

 The first floor houses the living area with a corner heater, an armoire,  
a table, two chairs and a bench. I printed a border on cream colored index paper to mimic the wonderful Dora Kuhn room boxes. 

 The second floor is the parents bedroom with a four poster canopy bed, an armoire and a trunk beneath a picture of children playing in the park.

The top floor is the nursery for the new baby in the dollhouse!

Lina and Ernst Klein live in this little dollhouse 
with their new little daughter Zelda.

The armoire is 2¼” tall. The bed is 3½” long and 2¼” tall.   

The table is 2" long and 1¼” tall. 
Each chair is 1½” tall, while the bench is 2" long. 

The heater is 2" wide and 1½” tall. The 2 drawer chest is 2" wide.    

The trunk is 1¾” wide and the cradle is 1½” wide.
There are no working parts on this tiny furniture.  

Guten tag from Lina and Ernst!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Can you identify the maker of this dollhouse?

Jane is trying to find information on her dollhouse that she received in the middle to late 1960s. Specifically, she would like to know the name of the company that produced this lovely large dollhouse. It is made of Masonite with plastic windows and stairs. 

It has 5 large rooms and an entry hall that houses the stairs. It looks like a great dollhouse to play with....for both little and big girls! 

This is the second time I have been contacted about identifying the maker of this particular model dollhouse. Several years ago I was contacted by Julie, but as far as I remember I was unable to help. Here are pictures of Julie's house.

We know two people have this lovely dollhouse....there are bound to be more houses that survived through the years.  

If you can identify the company that produced this wonderful dollhouse, please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me at  Or, if you have this same dollhouse but don't know the maker, feel free to send me a picture and I will be happy to post them on this blog. I am hoping someone will be able to tell us more about this special dollhouse!

Update:  Thanks to Troy Bettridge for letting us know that he posted about this model dollhouse in 2011 after seeing it in the Smithsonian Institute in a display of Toys of the White House Children. The dolllhouse Troy saw belonged to Amy Carter, daughter of President Jimmy Carter. 
Searching further, I found an article in Rebecca's Collections blog explaining that this model dollhouse was made from a "Craft Patterns Doll House Packet" designed by prolific dollhouse designer Albert Neely Hall. The pattern was first printed in 1958, with later patterns that included the house, breezeway and a garage.  The craft pattern included the brick paper, paper to cover the shutters, and plastic windows. 
Information was also included that this pattern can often be found on Ebay!  Thanks to Troy for sharing his information!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

My largest Keystone of Boston dollhouse....

At 36" wide, 15" deep and 27" tall to the top of the chimney, this is my largest Keystone of Boston dollhouse. It was manufactured around 1938 and was one of their specialty houses with many extras.  

Starting with the awnings on all nine windows, 

 moving inside, it has wainscot in the living room,

window frames on all the windows 

plus baseboards in all the rooms, 

molding on all bare edges,

 a "tile" backboard in the bathroom,

a broom closet under the stairs,

and a lighting system with two transformers.

The transformers were attached to metal plates on the interior walls that conduct a low current of electricity to the outlets for small light bulbs on the plates. Because I don't find it necessary to light my dollhouses, I did not use these transformers. They will go with the dollhouse when it travels to join a new owner. 

Here is a picture of this same model dollhouse with lights, being lovingly restored as a surprise for a mother's 60th originally belonged to her mother. The house was missing the transformers but the young man doing the restoration was able to create magic for his mom! 

Maybe I should reconsider lighting my dollhouses!

 This large house has five rooms and an entry hall that holds the staircase that faces the front door. I sanded the floors to remove the years of discoloration...they turned out great! When removing the window facings and baseboards, I discovered the original pastel colors underneath and was able to color match them at Home Depot to bring this house back to its original beauty. 

The entry hall is painted a soft blue

 and furnished with German red-stain pieces. 

 The living room, in pale yellow with white wainscot, is furnished with German pieces from the 1930s with the exception of the grandfather clock. The desk lamp and the wall lamps are also German products, and the oval area rug is a furniture doily made in Japan....but oh so great for dollhouse rugs! 

 The sofa and chair are actually a very dark green. 

Here you can see the brackets for the light bulbs 
on either side of the picture above the desk. 
This is where the transformer with the picture 
of a fireplace was attached.

The kitchen, in a light peach, is furnished with Wisconsin Toy furniture and other unknown brand pieces. The fridge is a German piece. The second transformer was in the right hand corner.

 The hutch, along with the table and chairs and the green stool were made by Wisconsin Toy Co. The table and brown chairs are from the dining room set, while the 2 green chairs are from the kitchen table set. The green stool was part of the bathroom set; a taller stool came with the kitchen set. 

 The stove is metal with an opening oven door. The friend I purchased it from said it came to her with an electric cord ...and looking underneath I see a heating plate under the range top and under the oven. Can you imagine a child being allowed to play with this in present time! 

The sink is a Japanese wooden replica of the Arcade iron sink made in the USA during the 1930s. I also have a replicated bathroom set made at the same time.  You can see it in a previous post. Have you discovered any other wooden copies of the Arcade furniture? 

The broom closet under the stairs....
I could also have used it as a pantry.

 At the top of the stairs, the bathroom is furnished with Wisconsin Toy Co. pieces with the exception of the towel shelf on the left. The pieces are cast plaster with a wooden seat on the toilet. The medicine chest over the sink is also wood, while the sink is missing the faucets. Besides this set in lavender, Wisconsin Toy also produced it in white and green. 

That's the original curtain on the bathroom window
...shear with fuzzy roses in pink and green.

I built the stair railing 
to keep my dollies from falling down the stairwell!

The maker of the lovely hand painted chest, vanity, chair and cradle is unknown to me. I did see a matching bed available on eBay at one time, but was not able to add it to my collection. 
This bed, which looks to be home crafted, was a good match in color but I had to paint over the orange and blue flowers. 

 This lovely 30s style dresser has crystal beads for drawer pulls reminiscent of the glass drawer pulls of that era. I think the lamps are German. The curtains were made from a vintage 

That's new baby brother in his cradle below the pictures of his proud big sisters...with Ranger, the new puppy, standing guard. 

This is the bedroom shared by the two little blonde daughters. This furniture was made by Wisconsin Toy Co in the 1930s. 

 The curtains and matching bed cover were made from a vintage child's handkerchief....and the area rug is another furniture doily from Japan. 

Their room also includes what every little girl should have..their very own dollhouse! 

MEET THE SAWYER FAMILY...who live in my Keystone dollhouse.

The Sawyers are all bisque Nancy Ann dolls from the late 1940s and ranging in size from  5¼” to  6¾”.

Here is Sam preparing to pay bills at his desk....

...and Jena in the kitchen deciding what to fix for supper,

while Sally and Mollie play with their dollhouse.

Jena checks on baby Sam....

...while Sam checks to see if he needs a shave

before he meets Jena in the kitchen for a quick snog.

Furniture from the living room and entry hall....from Germany and usually referred to as German red stain. 

Furniture from the kitchen, Wisconsin Toy and unknown brands:

Furniture from the pink bedroom:

 From an unknown maker. 
If you can identify this furniture, please let me know!

A home crafted bed!

Bedroom for the little girls:

Wisconsin Toy Co is wonderfully crafted dollhouse furniture.

and the Wisconsin Toy  lavender bathroom:

And another Keystone of Boston dollhouse is restored 
and takes her place with her Keystone sisters!