Friday, September 25, 2009

A Tudor Dollhouse by Rich Toys

This wonderful old dollhouse was produced by the Rich Toy Manufacturing Company sometime during the mid to late 1930's. I have seen at least 6 different models with this same color scheme...cream walls, brown roof, stone chimney and brown shutters. This house is 32 inches wide, 18.5 inches tall, and 15 inches deep.

This dollhouse is made of US Gypsum hardboard according to Dian Zillner in American Dollhouses and Furniture from the 20th Century. The Rich Toy Mfg. houses made during this period have metal strips on the corners and roof for stability. The shutters are made of thick paper and evidently glued on very securely since they are still attached after almost 75 years!

This little house is in excellent condition; it has retained all of the silk-screened acetate windows and even the cardboard frames securing them to the inside of the house. The flowers in the window boxes are originals, and look more colorful in the pictures than they actually are!

According to Dian Zillner, the Rich Toys houses of this period had plain brown walls and floors. This house has a slick cream colored surface on the walls and floors; perhaps it was a deluxe model. Previous owners wallpapered the rooms with soft-colored paper...a pastel bouquet on the top floor and daisies on the lower floor. The original walls remain in the kitchen. The previous owners also made the kitchen smaller than the pre-drilled holes indicated; however, since they put a wonderful old plastic wallpaper on the floor that looks like 1930's linoleum, I decided not to enlarge the room.

A German Caco family live in this little house; not sure of their age, could be anywhere from the 1950's thru the 1980's. The furniture is Strombecker from the 1930's in the 1 inch = 1 foot scale.

Papa Caco reads his newpaper with an original hand-painted picture of a thatched English cottage sitting on the table behind him...a gift from my friend Stella in UK. The Governor Winthrop secretary in the corner and the Pier Cabinet (hiding behind the lamp) are part of the Strombecker "Custom-Built" line. Strombecker stained pieces are made of walnut. The red grandfather clock and the sofa, chair and footstool are from the 1931 furniture line. Yes, that's a Lundby rug on the floor!

The fireplace is also one of the "Custom-Built" pieces made by Strombecker. The tea trolley has working wheels; the drawers on the buffet do not open. The maker of the pink highchair is unknown.

Notice the great "linoleum" on the kitchen floor...and how narrow the kitchen is. My grandmother had a sink just like that in her kitchen when I was a child. The Strombecker stove has a lid that closes to cover the burners just like real stoves had in the 1930's. The stove and refrigerator with the coil on top are from Strombecker's 1936 furniture line. The metal trash can and the baker's rack are not Strombecker.

This bedroom set made of walnut is also from the 1936 line of furniture. The vanity has no functioning drawers, but the chest in the background has one top drawer that opens. The lamps on the vanity were made by Dolly Dear; all other items, with the exception of the suitcase, are Strombecker. The holes found in the floors evidently were there for an electrical connection.

This children's furniture is popular with collectors. It first appeared in the Strombecker line in 1938.
The small table and chair are not Strombecker; they came with a similar children's chest and the pink highchair found in the dining room. The maker of the baby cradle is also unknown.

Isn't this a great color of green for a bathroom set of the 1930's? I love the little electric heater sitting on the lavendar table. The wallpaper "linoleum" is also so appropriate for this little house.

I have 9 other Rich Toys houses and this is probably my favorite....mainly because it is one of the oldest, yet it is in the best of shape. The little girls or boys who played with this house over the years certainly took great care of it.


  1. i´m absolutely in love with this house and the inhabitants :) my fav´ is the childrens room, but also the bathroom in light green...


  2. Please if you have any idea what a doll house like this would sell for; with or without furnshings?

  3. I won this one on eBay several years ago unfurnished for $200...excellent condition with all window inserts, original flowers, etc. A friend paid $240 for the same house in good condition last year..also on eBay. Sometimes houses will sell for a bit more with quality furniture, but people usually like to decorate it themselves. Hope this info helps!

  4. Thank you very much.

  5. I just purchased one for my shop. I had no idea the background when I purchased it. It has columns out in from of the house and had the orginal picket fence included. Anyone looking for one. I can send pictures, email me at

  6. Could I send you a pic of a Rich house I bought with attached garage and original picket fence?

  7. Most definitely! I think I know the Rich you are talking about...just a great house and rather rare. If you like, I can post the picture in my blog and include any information you want known. You can remain completely's just great to share wonderful dollhouse finds! thanks for sharing! Florine

  8. Dear Florine
    Love all the Keystone & Rich. Have 3 Keystones, but need windows & some of the molding to put around a front door. You mentioned in one of your blogs that you were able to get some resin moldings in the past. Is there any possibility of getting any now & any idea where the molding could be obtained?

  9. JoAnn Belanger makes replacement parts for both Keystone and Rich houses. She silk screens the black and white clear plastic windows and also makes resin molds of the lattice shutter on Keystone houses and resin windows for the 1950s Keystone and Rich houses. She makes porch lights of all different kinds but I am not sure if she makes door moldings. You can sometimes find parts for houses on Ebay...that's how I have refurbished many of my houses. JoAnn is super nice, reasonably priced and can be reached at Michaels carries craft moldings that could be used as a substitute. Good luck!

  10. Hello, I have my Tudor dollhouse from the 1950's or 60's - I was born in 1948. It is in very good condition, except the front of the chimney was painted (when it was loaned out) dark brown. The sides of the chimney and the lower half of the house has the same pattern that your chimney shows. I am fixing up the doll house for my grand daughter and would like to repair the front of the chimney. Is your pattern just painted on or is there some kind of "covering" with that pattern to repair my chimney? Any suggestions? Thank you ever so much. Janet Hall

  11. Hello, I have my very large Tudor doll house from the 1950's or 60's. It is in very good condition except - when it was loaned to a friend - the front of the chimney was painted brown. The chimney had the same pattern as in your picture. I am fixing up the doll house for my grand daughter and would like to repair the chimney. Is the pattern on your chimney painted on or is it some kind of applied finish or do you have any suggestions? Thank you very much, Janet Hall

    1. The chimney is painted on...I think the pattern was silk screened or stenciled on. Have you considered trying to remove the paint? If not, you could repaint it a pale grey for the grout and then hand paint the stones on...I did that for a drive way on another Rich Tudor but it is not easy to match the look of the vintage stone. Or, send an email to me at, and I will take close up pics and send to can then reproduce and glue on or trace and then paint on. Your granddaughter is very lucky!!

  12. Just exquisite! Beautiful! All of the details a family's house would need.