My Vintage Dollhouses

Schoenhut Beverly Hills 1939

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday nite in suburbia......

Karen Wagner cleans up the kitchen while her hubby Doug smokes an after-dinner stogey on the veranda. She is trying to figure out how to add a dishwasher to her tiny kitchen....
Doug enjoys his stogey while thinking about his single days before he met Karen. He wonders what happened to that cute little blonde he dated while working in Canada. The last he heard she had married and was living in one of Susan's Mini Homes with her hubby and kids. Boy could she put away the vino!

Stogey finished, Doug pops his favorite Art Porter CD into the player...a little mood music, he hopes! He yells at Karen to fix some martinis when she finishes in the kitchen.....


Karen wheels the coffee into the parlor.
Doug: "What happened to the martinis, Karrie-baby?"
Karen: "Oh, Douglas, I thought you would enjoy coffee more. I'll play some showtunes for you while you have your coffee! Off the davenport, Miss Sallie!"

Karen thinking: I wish he would fix that window. There is such a draft on my legs when I play. I really would like to re-decorate this room with a modern flair. Oh, did I miss a note there? Not to worry, Douglas is probably not even listening. I wonder if we could get Oese to come from Germany---I love what she does in her little houses! I would have to watch her closely, however, in case she wanted to put one of those scratchy sponge sofas in here! If I could get Louise to invite us out for a weekend visit to stay at her Welsh Princess cottage with that romantic 4 poster bed...umn....maybe I could convince Douglas to pay to bring Oese here!


Doug thinking: Coffee and showtunes. What a way to spend Saturday nite! Umn, too bad I let that party girl Dianne get away. She married that young Mike Praeger and moved back to Australia. Last time I saw her on the net, she was living in one of Rebecca's homes and still lookin' good! Wonder where that draft is coming from?

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 Johannesburg, 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!