My Vintage Dollhouses

Schoenhut Beverly Hills 1939

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Obituary for a dollhouse.....


The Barclay
a Keystone of Boston house
1938(?) – 2010


Barclay, a Keystone of Boston dollhouse, met his demise late July in the state of Pennsylvania. Ron S., his previous owner, states that Barclay was "absolutely destroyed" at the Pittsburgh bulk package sorting plant of the United States Postal Service.

Barclay was “born” in Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1930s. No facts are known about his life from "birth" until  July 3, 2010, when he was invited to spend his twilight years at Dollhouse Village in Houston. Appearances point to him belonging to little children who took great care of him because, even though he was at least 70, he was still a hunk for his age -- retaining all his windows, his front door and the surround, his chimney, and his floors were still sturdy for a house of his advanced years.


















His cousin HUD was looking forward to Barclay coming to live in Dollhouse Village even though Barclay was in much better shape than himself.

HUD, cousin of Barclay

When interviewed HUD told us, “I was hoping to have a place for him right next to me on the shelf. Man, he would have made me look my age, but family is family. I didn’t even get a chance to meet him”.


There might be a small controversy over Barclay's parentage, as some might think he belonged to the Rich Toys family. And looking at Barclay, one could question if there was a little “hanky-panky” going on. The Rich Toys family produced dollhouses with similar chimneys,  red pediments over the windows, and the plastic windows which are unusual for a Keystone family member. The main characteristic that points to Barclay being a member of the Keystone family is  the supporting frame inside the house as opposed to the metal L-shaped support brackets that most of the Rich Toys family members have.  Uh, and also, his fraternal twin is pictured on page 149 of Zillner and Cooper's Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and Their Furnishings and attributed to Keystone, plus a similar house is shown in the 1938-39 Keystone catalog. And then there is his uncanny resemblance to our man HUD. ;)

Rest in peace, Barclay. Maybe we will discover one of your brothers one day. If we do, we will certainly invite him to live at the Village.


Some of the houses built by Rich Toys were given names....Avon, Birchwood, Berkshire. I am not aware that Keystone of Boston named any of their houses....I thought Barclay suited this little house that never made it to live with his new-found family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rory Hill Moves Out

Rory Hill is 37.  Recently his mom told him that he was certainly old enough to be living on his own. After taking a couple of days to think that over, he started looking for  the right place for a successful young accountant to live---a batchelor pad for Mr. Rory Hill!


He looked in The Heights, in Montrose, the Midtown area, and finally found the perfect place near Rice Village , north of the university. He felt very lucky when he found this mid-century modern bungalow built by Albin Schonherr...and at just the right price. The walls needed new paper, but Rory was too excited to wait for his landlord to install wallpaper or paint.  He wanted to move in right away.  What a great idea his mother had!  Aren't mothers always right about these things?


Rory went straight to Alabama Furniture , a store specializing in quality consignment furniture, and selected some great Bodo Hennig items from the 60s era for his living room. He asked if they could be delivered the same day. When mom "puts a bug in his ear", he acts on it as quickly as possible!



The bungalow has a great kitchen. Hmmn, he certainly will miss his mom's great cooking...but with a nice large kitchen, maybe he will learn to cook.  Yes, cooking lessons will definitely be in order....he must check with Chara Gifford at urbanCHEF to see what classes are available.



Mom was kind enough to stock his pantry and also pick up some deli from Central Market for his first meal in his new home....now to squeeze it all in this small fridge!


Looking for just the right art work to compliment his "new" furniture, Rory visited a couple of his favorite galleries, Nau-Haus and John Cleary.  Finally, in a small gallery in his new neighborhood, he discovered several prints he thought would be perfect for his new space. The prints were listed by Australian photographer Rebecca Green, but no titles were given.


For now he decided to refer to them as Table Tops and Stacked Tables; maybe later he will google Ms. Green's name and discover if she  titled these delightful pieces.



A favorite place for Rory in his new home is the patio and steps leading up to his front door. Even with this city's "hot and humid" reputation, he finds this outdoor area to be pleasant and cool...and the perfect place for an after-dinner drink.


"Yoo-hoo!  Hey hunny-bun!"  Is that a neighbor calling him from across the street......?



[Albin Schonherr house was found on German eBay last winter; it seems to be a fairly popular model as it comes up for auction quite often.  All the furniture was found on US eBay during the last several years.]