Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Tudor dollhouse by Rich Toys

In American Dollhouses and Furniture of the 20th Century, Dian Zillner lists several characteristics of the early dollhouses made by The Rich Toy Manufacturing Company which fit this little house....doorbell, front chimney, metal shutters (similar to the Keystone houses but smaller), interior walls and floors without graphics, solid color roof (Keystones houses had silk-screened shingles).
This house arrived with one cream colored metal shutter; I've recreated the acetate window panes found in other Rich Toys home of this same period (1935-1939) , but hope to add something in cream at a later date.
This house also arrived falling apart! The gypsum board/masonite of the 1930's is soft and flaky; I had to replace the second floor and add a piece underneath the first floor. I took the liberty of creating a bathroom for this house at the same time, but I forgot to add flowers in the window boxes!

This house is filled with furniture made by The Kage Company from 1938 to 1948. I have always been fascinated with the living room furniture that is upholstered in small printed fabrics; several designs of chairs and sofas were made. Although mine are not originals, Kage also produced beds with spreads and pillows. The dressing table and chair pictured below retain their original fabrics. Kage made several designs of the kitchen pieces...and the cutest little fireplaces! The only functioning piece is the desk/secretary which has a drop-down writing surface.

Brightly painted wooden books grace the bookcase, while short pieces of small branches are used as logs in the log basket. (That's a Toncross fireplace in the living room.) This wall clock still has its' decorative decals, most haven't survived with the decals intact. A Renwal mom and dad live in this house with their twin daughters....such a stern looking family!

Older pieces of Kage furniture featured round dowels for legs on the kitchen and dining room pieces. At a later date, Kage started using turned legs. The designs are considered 3/4":1' in size; some of the earlier kitchen tables/chairs are so short I use them as children's furniture!

Kage did not produce bathroom furniture. This bath furniture is the Nancy Forbes line from 1945 and also an original coiled braid rug from the same era.

Check out that chest-on-chest in the corner... and the reading lamp by the chair....really cute! The area rugs in the living room and both bedrooms are vintage 40's-50's upholstery samples. Those of you old enough will remember how scratchy they were to sit on.

Here is a close up of the little dressing table and vanity stool with the original fabric...and a close up of the adorable fireplace. Well, I think it is adorable!

The Renwal twins have plenty of dollies to play with in the room they share, but they don't look very happy.


  1. Oh this is gorgeous! Great work restoring it, you really can't tell.
    I love the upholstered Kage furniture in Dian Zillner's book, and when I've seen it on ebay, but haven't bought any myself. It's great to see a house full of it - and the bedspreads you've made are just perfect, and blend in so well with the original fabrics. I love that little dressing table and its stool with a very low back!
    The dolls don't look very happy, do they? Interesting that they were made like that - I wonder what kids of that era thought about them? Maybe they just imagined them happy or sad or angry as they played.
    Love the Beatrix Potter pictures too! A tiny bit of England in an all American dolls house :-)

  2. Yeah! a new blog from Rebecca! I was on the point of leaving a comment that we all needed a "Rebecca fix"! I've gone over and over your blog and I think I find something new everytime...loved the Swan's trip to the second hand shop! And now you've given me new sites to follow...I will never get my work done! It is so enjoyable seeing what others collect.
    Thanks for the kind words, Rebecca. Even though it is totally unfunctionable, I love the Kage furniture for its' coziness. I have 2 Keystone houses on one of my squidoo sites with Kage furniture...different sofas and original bedding.
    I was a kid of that era! My first dollhouse in 1949 came with a Renwal family...my sis and I called them bending dolls. Neither of us remember thinking they looked stern or unhappy. They were designed just 4 years after WW2 was over, maybe times were still a bit serious...and maybe the design is one of the reasons why they were only produced from 1949-1955! I've told my little family "No goose-stepping around the house!"
    More blogs in October PLEASE!!

  3. wonderful house. I particularly love the floral textiles used on the upholstery! lizzie

  4. Thank you, Florine! I'm putting a couple of bungalows together right now ... :-)

  5. How did you recreate the acetate windows?

  6. just received one just like this. Thought of making it look like a fixer upper in progress. Any ideas?

    1. I like your idea! Another idea I have seen is making a used furniture store of the house. Whatever way you proceed, please share with me for a blog post here...your own little story!
      The magic of collecting dollhouses is once they are yours, you can do anything you want with them. This house was one of my first little houses and I didn't get the windows correct....they should be white diamond pane windows with swing-outs on the first floor. Have fun playing with your new little house! Cheers! Florine

    2. Friend gave this to me. His mother passed away and I received as a gift. (Her house when a child.) Needs some repair. Will keep outside as is. Don't want to mess with the original painting. I love the house and thinking maybe display as. Not sure at this point.

    3. Patty Cooper indicates in her Rich Toys book that his little house originated in 1939....so you have a real treasure!