Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

A Rich Toys house.....

Admit it, we've all done it....and I love gifting myself with a special
dollhouse on my birthday. But I think Nicola at
Puppilottchen's Toy Blog is the only other blogger I know
who has admitted it!

My birthday was back in May and my friend Patty found this
wonderful old Rich Toys dollhouse on eBay; we bantered back
and forth on which one of us should be the one to bid on this
little "YOU buy it!" and "no, YOU buy it!". 
We were both concerned that someone else would do the
buy-it-now before we made a decision.  Patty found it, I thought
she should have  first choice. When I mentioned that I liked
to find a really great dollhouse at birthday time, she told me
to go for it. So this little house came to live in Houston instead
of Knoxville. I hope she doesn't regret her generosity....she did 
insist that I pay for it! 

A similar house pictured in one of Dian Zillner's books dates this
house to the 1950s. Over the years, Rich Toys used so many different
decorative components with the same fronts but different roofs and
chimneys, that it would not be an easy task to collect all of the Rich
houses. Unlike the Keystone of Boston houses that had painted
wallpaper designs in their houses of the 40's and 50's, Rich houses
had carpets and tile painted on the floors but the walls were left
undecorated. After 50-60 years the once white walls are dingy and
hard to clean; this is my first house in which I have added wallpaper
and also painted the interior.

Looks like the lady of the house has been cutting roses from her garden for her blue vase in the entry hall. The piano came to me painted this lovely salmon...I know I should recognize the maker of it, but I don't. The lawn chair in the front yard and the kitchen chairs are all painted this color...and so long ago that the finish is very crackled. The green carpet is painted while the designed carpet is a paper reproduction. The buffet is an unidentified piece (only because I can't read the printing on the back) and a little oversized for the rest of the furniture. 

It seems the lady of the house likes flowers....on her walls, her furniture, her area rug, in vases and on the mantle! The chairs and sofa are Queen Anne Upholstered Doll House Furniture made by B. Packman of NYC in the 40s. Packman combined this upholstered furniture with lucite tables and floor lamps; I am not lucky enough to have any of the lucite pieces. The wonderful floor lamp is Schoenhut; the table lamp and log holder are by Dolly Dear; the 2 tables are Strombecker; and the fireplace is a Chinese import with a fireplace fender taken from an Ideal plastic fireplace and painted gold. :)

Rich Toys stenciled the kitchen floor with this great diamond design. The maker of the appliances is unknown, but information has them being sold in toy catalogs from the early 50s thru the early 60s. The kitchen chairs were probably made by a loving father or grandfather as they do not look to be commercially made. The table is almost exactly like the one my mother had in her kitchen in the was also stained green! It even has little support bars that swing out to hold the side extensions up...just like Mom's did.
It is marked underneath by what looks like "Germany".  The hutch comes from a Keystone of Boston dollhouse. No, the pie is not real because not only do I not cook, I don't bake either. :)

The second story floors were plain white, unusual in a Rich Toys house of the 1950s.  I used oak stain thinned with water to give the effect of wood floors; I even drew planks and nail holes, but of course my creativity doesn't show in the pictures.  :) The beds are also Queen Anne Upholstered Doll House Furniture by Packman. According to Zillner and Cooper, B. Packman produced at least 3 room sets of furniture: a living room that included a sofa, 2 chairs, 2 lucite tables, table and floor lamps; a bedroom that, in addition to the beds, included a chair, dressing table, lucite night stand and a radio; the 3rd set appeared to be a sitting or dressing room (or precursor to our modern family room) and included a chaise, a sectional love seat, floor lamp, 2 lucite tables and a radio. The dresser is an older piece of unknown origin but just happened to be the right color...and not the original color, I think!

      The bathroom fixtures are attributed to the same unknown maker
      as the kitchen appliances.  According to  Zillner and Cooper's
      Antique and Collectible Dollhouses, these pieces were featured
      in the 1951 Chesnut Hill catalog and appeared with the kitchen
      furniture in the 1961-62 Mark Farmer catalog. The hamper is
      Strombecker and the towel rack is Dolly Dear. I added the paper
      tile floor, which was a common design in American homes for
      several decades in the first half of the 20th century. If you would
      like a scan of the paper to use in one of your little houses,
      just email me.

      The upholstered chair is part of the Queen Anne bedroom set. I
      recently saw the crib on eBay, painted green, as part of a grouping
      of German furniture. The lamp, table and small pink chair are all
      Look, there is someone at home...a small Scottie pup, and from
      the looks of his pricked up ears, he hears something!

Could it be all these little munchkins at the front door?

Looks like Dad is at home also and the little Scottie is taking the opportunity to check out the noises in the front yard....and maybe to spend a little time there himself.

CONFESSION!  I had another birthday in June...then two birthdays in July...and an additional two birthdays in August. At this rate, no telling how old I will be by the end of September....