Monday, March 30, 2020

The Fold-Away Dollhouse and Playbook of Cut-Out Furniture

I'm sure most of you have seen this fold-out dollhouse made in book form for sale on Ebay or Etsy. It was published in 1949 by Garden City Publishing Co. of Garden City, New York, with artwork by Catherine Barnes. It came with a playbook of small furniture to cut out. But, like with many toys of that era, additional parts are most often missing. 

The first of my two books came without the small furniture. I ended up furnishing it with Renwal and Ideal plastic furniture that was made at the same time the fold-away book was published. It was the first item I ever sold on Ebay!

My second book came with furniture already cut out.  That is what I will be showing you....a fold-away dollhouse with cut-out furniture.  

The book opens to show graphics of the back of the house 

plus a diagram of how to set up the book as a 3 room dollhouse.

Opening further, we see additional graphics 
of the back side and a floor for the nursery.

Following the diagram, the book sets up to show three rooms. 

A nursery, or child's room...

...a dining room or living room...

...and a kitchen.

Furniture was supplied for a nursery, a dining room, and a kitchen. 
It is on a smaller scale than the rooms themselves.

The nursery has a crib, a dresser or chest, a rocking horse, and a play table with two chairs. 
All the furniture is put together with slot and tab design. 

The dining room is furnished with a large dining table holding a bowl with a turkey, 3 high back dining chairs (I'm sure there were originally 4) and a hutch with dishes. 
This room also holds a TV (with a screen large for 1949!), 2 side chairs, and 2 end tables. 
These extra pieces make me wonder if the playbook originally had a sofa and/or chair included 
that are missing from my set. 

In the kitchen we find the 3 necessary appliances...fridge, sink cabinet, and stove. 
A small kitchen table with 2 chairs completes the furnishings. 

For the dining room,

additional pieces used in the dining room, 

furniture for the nursery, 

and furnishings for the kitchen. 

Did you notice that all the furniture is in shades of white, blue and pink? 

The backside of the house is also attractive,

with windows that open.

The interior has 2 doors that open connecting the 3 rooms...

nursery to dining room, 

                                 and dining room to kitchen.                      

The back of the book

shows the diagram for assembling this little house

and more artwork from Catherine Barnes.

For fun, I have furnished this fold-away dollhouse 
with other dollhouse furniture produced 
about the same time as the book.

Shown here with Ideal plastic furniture

with Plasco plastic furniture

 with Kage wooden and upholstered furniture

with Strombecker wood furniture

and even vintage Lundby furniture!

If you see this little fold-away dollhouse for sale on Etsy or Ebay, 
give it a chance to bring fun and smiles to your life!

A reasonable price for this unique little dollhouse without the furniture is $30 USD or lower. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Saving dollies from the dust bin and stories to tell...

I have a friend in the far north....well actually just Wisconsin...that is an avid collector of dollhouses and the little dolls that live in them. We discovered that we had the same Keystone of Boston dollhouse in our childhood years....the Keystone Tudor from 1947. Neither one of us were able to keep our dollhouse, but we both have a wonderful replacement that we cherish. 

Jamie often sends me funny little stories of a day in the life of her dollies, and I love sharing them because they always bring smiles and laughter to my day.  Here's her latest! 

Featured is the Caco Dad doll that I had found cleaning out a cupboard. 

Unfortunately his wrappings underneath his clothes were rotting away to dust, 
so that's why he had to go through a de-mummifying. 
Not only were the foam like wrappings turning dusty, 
but his clothes were dirty and his poor head was barely hanging on, 
so double trouble for the poor old boy.
His clothes were put away to make a pattern off of 
but think they mistakenly got thrown out, 
so the doll seamstress will step in once again....

This is the B.D.A.T. ....or Broken Dolls and Toys support group. 

They are waiting for their own make over and meet once a week 
to whine about their sad situation to ad nauseam! 

You can spy our man second from the left 
having to hold his own broken head in his lap, 
but he miraculously hears every word of encouragement 
his little friends give him. 

 Yes, and even one handed monkeys are welcome long as they behave.
The Victorian bisque lady has one fatal leg injury,
 and will probably be looking for a replacement job.
 She hates coming to the meetings, 
as it feels so unlady like exposing her leg for all to see. 
She'll never get over Victorian propriety. 

The Flagg doll in the foreground seems to dominate encouragement 
by his outward gesticulating arms.  He suffers from a bad wiring job gone south 
and can not put his arms down.

And finally the reveal picture of a pretty dapper looking young gent if I do say so myself. New wrappings, new clothes do make the man!

My friend Jamie makes wonderful new clothes for her dollies....from sweaters, like the red one above, to precious little dresses for little girl dolls and even underwear!  
I will share more in a later post. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Day in the Life of a Rich family.....

This is a guest post from fellow dollhouse collector Donna Rau. I hope you will enjoy learning about her dollhouse family and seeing all her vintage dollhouse furniture, along with her Caco dolls and the wonderful wallpaper she has added to this vintage 1948 Rich Toys dollhouse. 

The grandfolks are visiting the Rich's this week, 
so of course, pictures have to be taken.
 Our little family is so happy with their mid 1940s Rich house. 
They have recently had some interior work done, 
and the house now boasts all new wallpaper (from the 1940s) and curtains....
just the thing to show the grandfolks how well Dad's job pays! 
The Rich's sturdy walnut furniture was made 
by the well regarded furniture company Strombeckers. 
Mom's especially proud of the brick surround on the fireplace. 
This line of furniture is called the "Custom Built" line and is made of fine walnut. 
Mom bought the furniture a few years ago, in 1938.

 Ordinarily Mom wouldn't have papered over old walls, but at some point, 
the children scribbled all over the walls with black and green crayons 
that no amount of scrubbing would remove from the brown Tek wood.

Dad and Grandpa are discussing world events and relaxing, 
while Mom tends to her daughter who has fallen and torn her dress. 

The maid is hanging out in the kitchen with the baby, 
trying to clean up the breakfast dishes. 

The stenciled Strombecker furniture is old, 
but the maid keeps it clean and takes good care of the wood. 

The pans, canisters, and oh so cute Salt and Pepper shakers are by PlayTown.

Here are more pictures Donna sent to share the wonderful furniture and vintage wallpaper she has used in her lovely Rich Toys dollhouse.

And the exterior of this lovely 1948 Rich dollhouse!

(This Rich Toys house can be seen on pages 182-83 of Rich Toys Dollhouses 1935-1962  by Cooper, Belanger & Goranson.)

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The remodel of a mid-century modern Gottschalk dollhouse

I found this wonderful mid-century modern dollhouse on German Ebay several years ago. 
The company that produced this dollhouse wasn't known to the seller. 

Later, I saw this dollhouse on German ebay 
and decided that the company that made my dollhouse
 also made the same design in a single story house. 

I wanted to be able to name the company that produced  this dollhouse before posting about it, so I contacted Astrid at her diepuppenstubensammlerin  blog. As gracious as always with answering questions about German production dollhouses and furniture, she told me that my dollhouse was the original single story Gottschalk dollhouse shown above that had been remodeled by adding the second story. Astrid thought the remodel had been done very nicely because of what it entailed...first lifting the roof with terrace railing, adding the self-made second floor with the self-made window and fake balcony door, then replacing the original roof on top. 

Astrid said that the red brick paper on the balcony and  the ground floor on my dollhouse is not Gottschalk paper and would have been added during the remodel. The bottom floor of my house has the original floor and wallpaper, however, wallpaper in the bedroom is of West German origin and often used in Kibri houses.  The bedroom floor paper is a textured-surface wallpaper, and the "tile" floor in the bathroom is a sheet of wallpaper that came with the house.  

Comparing the houses, you can see that the remodel added lovely climbing vines to the trellis. 
I added the flower box before finding out there was not an original. 

The remodel continued the curved corner of the house....

with the curved balcony following the line 

of the curved "glass" window of the lower floor.

The left side of the window on the lower floor slides open while the smaller side remains stationary. Real glass was used for windows in this dollhouse.

The window on the upper floor is also glass, but is non-opening. 

The porch features a side-opening front door and flower boxes under the window 
and at the edge of the porch. The mailbox was added to cover up holes 
left by a switch box that had been installed previously. 

Here you can see how the construction of the upper floor is not  finished as professionally as the original lower floor.  Also, the lower floor has a stucco finish, while the upper floor does not.

Finn and Hannah Weber are here to show us their remodeled home!
(Finn and Hannah are Ermey dolls standing 6" tall.)

This is the  interior of this mid-century modern 
Gottschalk with 2 floors.

The kitchen has the sliding glass window that fronts onto the porch.

The left side of the kitchen holds  a fridge, a cabinet with work space and a broom closet.

The right side of the kitchen holds the sink underneath the window,  
a cabinet of drawers, and a stove....
with the table centered in the room under a bright yellow shade. 

 To the right of the kitchen is the living room, with plenty of light 
for growing plastic plants in front of the large window. 

Finn and Hannah have a TV/stereo combo facing the sofa. 
They also find enjoyment watching the large fish tank. Yes, they lead an exciting life.

 A good reading lamp is found beside the sofa.

 An original watercolor by California artist Kathy Smith hangs over the sofa. 
(Sorry, Kathy, I had to hang it sideways to get the effect I wanted.) 

Located above the kitchen, the large bedroom holds 
a very large wardrobe, a king-sized bed and a vanity and stool. 

Matching bedside tables are on either side of the bed.

And still room for Hannah's (or Finn's) vanity and stool.

The bathroom is large enough for the 3 fixtures set it holds. 
I like the choice of the aqua wall tile the remodel added.

The over-the-sink mirror came with the house, 
which explains why it is positioned so low. 

The towel rack was also attached and not movable. 

The builder installed a privacy window in the bathroom during the remodel.

The six piece bedroom set is a product of Germany....
and a perfect fit for this large dollhouse. 

If I scrolled thru diepuppenstubensammlerin's website, 
I am sure I would discover which company made it! 

Astrid, of diepuppenstubensammlerin website has just shared
 that the bedroom furniture was produced by EMS in 1955!
EMS is the logo for VEB Erzgebirgische Möbel- und Spielwarenfabriken 
in Niedersaida (Erzgebirge).
VEB stands for Volkseigener Betrieb = Nationalized firm, 
meaning "owned by the people of East Germany" 

Astrid has also identified the makers of several other 
pieces of furniture displayed in this house. See below.

The bathroom fixtures were made by Bodo Hennig.

The chair and sofa were also made by Bodo Hennig.
The standing lamp was produced by Beco,
 and the living room table is a product of Wichtelmarke.

More German productions.

I was very happy to add this aquarium to my collection. 
It was made by Rudolf Süß.


This TV / stereo combination is a product of Edmund Müller.

Bodo Hennig produced all of the kitchen pieces, 
all with functioning doors and drawers! 

"Guten tag" from Hannah and Finn!

A sweet thought from Astrid:  "I think it is possible to rebuild the original Gottschalk house if you want to....or you keep it as a reminder of creative fathers who react to their daughter's wish for more rooms in their dollhouses. :)"

This dollhouse will stay the way the creative father remodeled it!

A big thank you to Astrid for identifying so many of the 
wonderful German-produced pieces used in my dollhouse!

PS:  I am currently unable to reply to your comments because I am technically unable to determine what the problem is!