Friday, November 6, 2009

Little girls and their dollhouses.....

I collect vintage dollhouses, not the great antique dollhouses and furniture shown by Louise on Grandmas Attic - Toys and Treasures or some of Rebecca's wonderful old houses
on Rebecca's Collections . My dollhouses are the dollhouses of my youth (1940's and 50's) and a few from the 1930's...and for good measure, I also have some from my daughter's youth, the 1970-80's.
I do, however, have a fascination for vintage photographs of antique and vintage dollhouses found in books or on the internet. The photos that fascinate me most also include the little girls that originally played with these wonderful old houses.....

This photo may have been sold commercially as it shows a copyright date of 1896 by a photographer out of Pennsylvania and Missouri. Wonder if the other side of the house was decorated.....does anyone recoginize the furniture maker?

Almost missed the little girl sitting beside this Christmas tree! Baby doll on her lap, baby dolls on chairs, dolly bed and huge dollhouse....what a lucky little girl she was!

This was a miniature model house erected in Bismark Garden for a charity event in Chicago in 1915. But the little girl standing by it seems happy to be there. Love the laundry hanging on the line!

I wonder if this dolls house was a replica of this little girl's real home? It's almost large enough to be her playhouse!

This cutie-pie looks happy all bundled up and getting her picture made with her dollhouse on the roof of her house/building....1910? If you can date any of these pictures, please help!!

Another photo that may have been sold commercially. Really big dollhouse; really big furniture sitting in front; really flat dog, hope it's just a picture. Something to their left is holding the attention of both little girls....wonder what it was? With the "stars and stripes" there in the background, we can assume this in in the U.S.

What a fantastic dollhouse! Wonder if it is in a private collection or in some museum now....or just lingering and dusty in someone's attic. From the little girl's dress, I would date this 1910...give or take a few years.

I have seen this photo in several different places. One site listed it as JohaInnesburg, 1918. Another fantastic dolls house!

Another wonderful old house that could have been a replica of the house where this little girl lived. Wonder what color it was. Probably built between 1915-20; I have pictures of my Mom's little brother dressed just like this little boy...Mom was born in 1915.

This house was listed on eBay last year........

....and with it was this photo that the seller said was taken in 1918. Always great to get some history of your little houses. The house has been repainted ( I hate it when they do that, as I think the original patina best shows the character of the house), but still looks to be in great shape.

An English garden......?
Do not remember where I found this photo; I listed it as "English", that may have been to remind me, but it doesn't! It certainly could be in an English garden with all those lovely flowers in the background.

Two little girls with a really big dollhouse. Dollie carriage looks like 1920-30's, but no way of knowing unless someone recognizes these little girls or this great dolls house that's still in their family!

Was this a lucky dog with his own little house? Old style house that could have been built at any time between 1925-1955 (black and white photographs were common through 1955).

This adorable little girl looks happy to have her picture taken with her wonderful dollhouse. In Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings, Dian Zillner shows this house sold by FAO Schwarz toy company during the late 1930's (picture below left). The house had a "stucco" finish and metal windows. A pattern for the house was also featured in the Popular Homecraft magazine in the Nov-Dec 1931 issue. The picture on the right is from a 1949 publication that showcased "the best of 20 years" of make-it-yourself plans from that magazine. If anyone wants to make this great old house, I will be happy to share all 5 pages of the plans!

This looks like several of the Rich Toys masonite dollhouses of the late 1930's. I wonder if big sister let him play with this house....or if he just had his picture taken with it?

I love it when I find old photos of dollhouses I have been lucky enough to add to my collection.
That's one of my houses .....

And here is a proud little girl that received an almost exact copy for Christmas sometime in the mid to late 1930's! This dollhouse was made by Rich Toys; I have seen no less than 6 tudor models with this same color scheme made by this company.

Another Rich Toys dollhouse.....

This house dates to the late 1940's. I have one of these houses in my collection also.

This looks like a European dollhouse to me, maybe German? Late 1950's or early 60's. Anyone recognize the furniture? Beautiful beautiful smile on that happy child!

Another big smile of happiness on this cutie-pie. Another German dollhouse?

This is a metal dollhouse made by T.Cohn and first sold in 1948. Wonder if the little girl picked this house for Santa to bring...or if her mom had the final decision? I have one of these in my collection and the graphics and colors are exceptional...I think the best of any of the metal houses made at this time.

Plans for this huge dollhouse are still sold on eBay. These little girls from the early 1950's look happy enough to be playing with this house, whether it was their house or just for the photo.

One little girl is happy, the other not sure! Big dollhouse! Looks like the ones sold in the 1970's when I was trying to decide to buy or build for my own daughter. I built, but more about that later!


  1. Oh my goodness! You have a wonderful collection of photos of antique (well now they are right?) dollhouses!! I just love old photos too but have found very few over the years. Very well done! I am enjoying going over them again and again. Like you, it is fun to see a house that some of us have it looked when first given to its lucky first owner!! Thank you so much for sharing these! Louise

  2. Thank you for sharing these photos, though I'm no help with the questions. Reminded me of my childhood days, I didn't have a fancy dollhouse, all was buit by my Dad and me ourselves, sweet good memories.

  3. Thank you for sharing your wonderful collection of children enjoying their dollshouses. Like you I love looking at the detail in such photos. I've never seen any of these photos before, or these houses.

  4. What a wonderful collection of photos! Extra nice that you have some of the houses yourself. The two you thought might be German certainly look like it to me, being Puppenstuben rather than Puppenhäuser (rooms rather than houses), and what I can see of the furniture looks familiar from German ebay, too!
    Thanks for sharing these :-)

  5. Louise, you gave me the idea for this blog when you mentioned your dad gave your husband a picture of you and your first dollhouse that started your fascination with little houses...I hope this will encourage you to share that picture with the rest of us! Happy that you enjoyed these...Flo

  6. Victoria, houses made by mom or dad are the BEST houses of all! Do you have a picture to share?
    I will be watching the building of your village house with great interest as I don't think I have ever seen a Russian dollhouse! The design is wonderful, and yes I have to agree with you that Russian windows are the most beautiful of all. You did a fantastic job creating them in miniature. I just might have to try my hand at making miniatures one day. I'm glad you enjoyed my vintage photos and happier still that I discovered your wonderful blog! Flo

  7. DollMum YOU are TOO talented! My net service just flipped out and when rebooting your new blog appeared! Your baby quilt is gorgeous! I know the new mom will really enjoy this and in a few months time the new little one will be fascinated with all the bright colors.
    Happy to know you enjoyed my old photos of little girls and their dollhouses...:) Flo

  8. Louise, thank you for the German lesson! Rather embarrassing as my mom's first language was German...even though her great grandparents immigrated to Texas in the 1840's. I guess I look at the pictures much too much and don't pay attention to the written word on Puppenhausmuseum site! Need to hit that translator button. Glad you enjoyed my pics! Flo

  9. Hi Florine, thank you for visiting my blog. I have only ever seen 2 others like the Triang one shown on my most recent post! Love your blog, I think the garden certainly looks English to me. Lizzie

  10. HI Florine;
    I love, love, love these pictures. How did you find so many?

    Thanks for the information on my Keystone look-alike. I have edited the original blog to include your information. I also posted a new picture of the living room with some lamps and accessories.

    Hugs, Susan

  11. Oh, thank you very much for sharing these nice fotos. It's so funny, that on the older fotos no child is playing with the dollhouse, but standing beside very proud and excited to be fotographed. it wasn't such a normal thing in these days to be fotographed.
    I like the two girls really playing with the house and not give attention to the camera. This is a wonderfull collection of fotos, you can be proud.
    Regards from Germany

  12. These are fantastic vintage pieces, thank you for posting and sharing them :)

  13. Thank you Oese and Ron, so glad you enjoyed these pieces of history!

  14. What a fantastic collection of photos! have really enjoyed looking at them!

  15. Redrickshaw, so glad you enjoyed them...I enjoy them anew everytime I come back to this blog! Flo

  16. Your blog is amazing!!!Traveling through time and faded memories!!
    I have just become a follower and I will put you on my blogroll. I am doing a small tribute on vintage little girlsplaying and toys I will use two of your postcards with a link to your blog of course!!Thank you!!Marita from barefootcloud

  17. Thank you Marita! What a great phrase you have coined...traveling through time and faded apropos! Hope you visit often!

  18. All lovely...the perennial gift isn't it :-)

  19. Such wonderful pictures. Unlike some who seemed not much effected by the depression and had expensive dollhouses mine was just printed cardboard given to me by a neighbor in 1940. I was five and my mother and father and I made furniture for it. Later I was able to save coins and agonize over which piece of dime store furniture I would buy. I and my cousins and friends played with it for years and I suppose it was thrown away when my parents moved. It was much loved and unfortunatley no one thought to photograph it. Yes, such memories....Mary Lou

  20. I would love to have the plans for the old dollhouse featured in Popular Homecraft magazine.

    My email is

    Thank you,

  21. Notice your posting. . .I have a 1970ish masonite wood dollhouse fully furnished that I may be interested in selling. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time.

  22. I have purchased all but 2 of my dollhouses thru ebay....reaches a lot of dollhouse collectors. You may also try Craig's List. Good luck if you decide to sell. Flo

  23. OutstanԀing post but I was wanting to know if yօu
    could write a litte more on thiѕ subject? I'd be very thankful iff you could elaborаte a little bit moгe.

    my weblоg :: Small Log Cabins

  24. I am interested in purchasing the FAO Schwarz peasant Swiss Chalet type dollhouse if anyone has one to sell. Please contact me at Thank you. Love all the dollhouses above so pretty!

    1. I actually own this house. My parents gave it to me in 1965 . I have never dreamed of selling it but I might be tempted.... maybe!

  25. I would love to get a copy of the Popular Homecraft 1931 Nov Dec plans for the dollhouse in the photo. I have recently purchased a homemade version of the same dollhouse.

    1. HI Ann, please contact me at to give me your email address and I will be happy to send the copy of the plans. I would also love to see pictures of the version you just purchased! Cheers! Florine

  26. I would love the plans for this house!!! Thank you!

  27. I have a lovely picture of my maternal grandmother with her doll house. She grew up in New Jersey, USA. These pictures you've collected are wonderful! Thank you!

    1. What a treasure you have! Would you be interested in adding that picture to this post....I am sure others would love to see it and with a little history added. Please contact me at if interested. Cheers!