My Vintage Dollhouses

Schoenhut Beverly Hills 1939

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Dolly's House by Amloid

This tiny dollhouse was produced by Amloid Company of Rochelle Park, New Jersey. The design of the house, furniture and the box that housed it speak out for early 1950's....although having a tv antenna may make it mid 1950's. My family got their first TV in 1955, and we were probably the last in the neighborhood to have one of those wonder-boxes!



The box has the original sticker price of 98 cents.


Marketing on the box is great...."with 30 pieces of movable furniture".... "it's fun to rearrange the furniture"! So all little girls could have a dollhouse; no matter how small, this one was easy to afford and easy to store.
How small is it? Nine inches by six inches with walls 2.25 inches tall. This house is probably the size of houses used in model train layouts.


The roof removes for play. I have only 17 of the 30 pieces of furniture sold with this house. I am missing a kitchen table and chairs, bathroom sink, playpen and baby chest, piano stool, tv, one of sectional sofa pieces, corner table, and tall lamp. I added the fir trees on the front porch.


The living room is 3.75" by 3"... and the front door actually opens!













I do wonder what type of dollys were available for this size house. I remember the little soft plastic baby dolls available at the "dime store" during the 1950's, but little girls would have wanted parents to live in this house.




Washing machine housed in the kitchen!



























That pretty green bed is 1.75" by 1.25".

It doesn't show up in the pictures, but the living room, hallway, and entry are embossed with "wood" floors with area rugs on top. The bath and the kitchen have embossed "tile" floors, and the baby's room has an embossed carpet with blocks that spell out B-A-B-Y.
I'm sure many little girls enjoyed hours of play with this small dollhouse back in the "good old days"!

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.




Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Modern Strombecker Dollhouse

Strombecker, well known for wooden dollhouse furniture since the early 1930's, produced this masonite and wood dollhouse in the late 1950's. Bright lithographs abound in this little house that has no opening doors or windows. This house is in pristine condition and came with all the furniture that it was originally sold with; the only items I have added are the piano, radio and I have upgraded the stove and kitchen sink/counter. The little children playing on the patio were made by Flagg from the late 40's through the early 60's.
This is a five room house with the living/dining room being separated by a half wall with a planter box on top....sorry, no plants yet!

This house is 24.5" wide by 13.5" tall and 9.25" deep.


Sofa and chair are beautifully flocked...something done by Strombecker Mfg since the late 1930's. The big picture window and modern design curtains look like they are right out of a 1950 Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Neat little tea cart....wheels don't move however. Dian Zillner, in Furnished Dollhouses 1880's-1980's, said this was the last line of Strombecker furniture ever issued.

Kitchen counters have triangle shelves just like the British Twigg furniture of the 1950's.

Just like in the movies of the 1950's, all parents had twin beds.....

Strombecker produced the same toilet, bathtub and hamper from the mid 1930's thru the early 1960's. The sink vanity is an early 60's item and was not original to the set of furniture available with the purchase of the dollhouse.

I think I am probably lucky to have the railing for the patio. Although I have seen this house for sale at least twice on eBay, it has never included the rail nor do any of the pictures in Dian Zillner's wonderful dollhouse books show the house with the patio rail.