Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fairy Princess Doll Furniture

What little girl didn't dream of being a Fairy least for a day...or for every day she played with this small cardboard doll house furniture made in the mid 1930s by The American Crayon Company? This company  was one of the premier manufacturers of school art supplies and originally grew out of the need for a high quality chalk. Gradually absorbing other companies, they produced a myriad of other this cardboard doll furniture.

The marketing brochure enclosed with the box was written by someone who knew how to pique the interest of the child...and more important, the parent buying it.

This box contained furniture for a living room, dinette, kitchenette and bedroom, although  they did sell  a set of the dinette separately. There is a currently a dinette set listed on eBay, still new in the box...ending mid January.

My set was unused, and I did feel a little guilty when punching out the pieces that had stayed so pristine for the last 75 years. But the instructions were included so I made a go of it......

Most of the pieces stay together okay, but if intended for a child to play with, it definitely needed a touch of glue as suggested.

My favorite room-set is probably the bedroom. I love the way the pillows are slanted on the bed just like real bedding.

The red and black living room inclued matching sofa and chair, an end table, a wing back chair, radio, and grand piano. The scale of the piano is a bit larger than the rest of the set.

In the kitchen we find a stove and hutch, and a table with big wide chairs. No sink, no fridge!

The dinette set, which included candles for the buffet,  was a much larger scale than the other 3 rooms of furniture.....

.....and here is a comparison of scales between the kitchenette and dinette sets.

Here are  pictures of the Fairy Princess doll furniture in a Play-Time cardboard house made by the Sutherland Paper Company about the same time the doll furniture was produced.





and a picture of the Play-Time Doll House No. 200 with removable front panel.....

Zillner's International Dollhouses & Accessories shows an advertisement for this house from the 1933 Montgomery Ward catalog. The house was furnished with 36 pieces of wood Jaymar Happy Hour art deco furniture...and sold for $1.89 complete. 

Here's my house with Happy Hour furniture.....


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just Like Bea's.....well, almost!

I first saw this  French dollhouse on Bea Dassonville's wonderful website Chez BEA several years ago. Bea dates the house to the 1950s and shares that it was manufactured by a company named Thomas in Mureaux, France. She calls her house "La maison de Virginie" because it once belonged to a little girl named Virginia. Bea also has 3 other houses on her website  made by this same firm.

I say mine is almost like Bea's because mine is missing the window panes, the curtains, the original flowers in the window boxes....and the front door! I've added flowers, and the other items are on my "to do" list...which gets longer and longer everyday.

I call my house La Maison de Lorraine's her country cottage and she loves to spend weekends and holidays cultivating lovely flowers in her window boxes and creating colorful displays in tubs and old pots.  This weekend  she is hosting a  gathering of her favorite people....

Here we see her showing off her latest creation to her friends Guillaume and Laurent...hmmn, are they each holding a bottle of ketchup...or are those long-necks?

Back in the kitchen, Lorraine discovers that chef Gaston and his partner Julien have set out a scrumptious looking spread for afternoon nibbling....which is the main reason they were invited.  Lorraine has difficulty managing other than her wine glass because her arms have been replaced with pipe-cleaners. Guillaume is eyeing the food with  reason why he has a small problem with his weight. Laurent heads for the fridge for another bottle of beer....or ketchup.  Lorraine wonders just where Gaston and Julien have disappeared to....

Oh, here they are in the living room.....all comfy and cozy and looking at a design book for ideas on how to decorate their new apartment in the city. Looks like they are also partaking of the beverage that France is famous for!

Lorraine, wondering why her friends Etienne and Elise haven't arrived, heads up stairs to give them a call.....but discovers...... 

"Elise! Wake up! Wake up! Please remove your glass from my good furniture before it leaves a ring!"

Lorraine Aubuchon is a soft cloth body doll with solid plastic/celluloid head and legs...sadly she lost her arms somewhere along the years and they have been replaced with a pipe cleaner. I don't think her clothes are original either; her beret is made of a red pipe cleaner wrapped circular and glued to her hair.  The other dolls are light weight plastic/celluloid and have an embossed fleur-de-lis trademark on their back.
Furniture is by Barton and Lundby, green wooden items Strombecker, mantle clock is Kage, and the bathroom furniture is Fairylite. Champagne is courtesy of Trader Joe's in Illinois....

Don't forget to visit Bea's wonderful dollhouse site
at Chez BEA ,
....guaranteed enjoyable!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A New House for Daisy

When Donald asked Daisy to marry him, he promised to buy her their very own house.....

..... but he didn't tell her it would be made of cardboard!

And she didn't tell him she was just a plastic dolly!

"Here, let me help you up, Daisy.  Someone needs to take an x-acto knife and cut the front door open...or build steps so you can get into the house without help.  Hop up and I'll show you the new house I promised you!"

"Pretty comfy living room, right? All the furniture came with the house...but that's my fish bowl on the radio.  You think the fish will get too warm up there? This is MY  chair here by the fireplace....,"  said Donald.

"Hmmm," thinks Daisy. "This furniture is cardboard too....and what's with those gold ruffles on the chair and sofa? I think I will have to do some remodeling....maybe some nice plastic Renwal or Ideal furniture...."

"Not a bad kitchen-dining room combo," said Daisy. "Looks like the fridge and sink are just drawn on. Darn, why couldn't the stove be drawn on too?"

"Donald, pretty neat bedroom! A chest for you and a dresser for me! But why is the clock facing the wall?"

"Daisy, look how big the bathroom is! We have a linen cabinet and a Strombecker heater...."

"Donald, not a bad house, not a bad house indeed! It's a good thing you have your own chair as I seem to be taking up the whole couch!"
"Next on our list is having a party, Daisy!"
"Great, Donald.  We can invite all our newlywed friends!"

Daisy and Donald were happy when all their newlywed friends came to their party....let's see who is here......

This is really a young looking group....Fritz and Astrid talking to Jack and Jill....are they really old enough to be married?

There is Mildred in her slinky white wedding dress holding tightly to her new husband Angus and wondering just why Collette's dress is an off shade of white. And goodness, does Horace ever take that top hat off??!!"

And Grampa Fred Flagg with his trophy wife that number 5 or number 6 for him? Looks like he's exhausted already!

Ahh! Mr and Mrs Cake-Topper Nineteensixtysix talking to Mr and Mrs Kewpie Doll...Shirley made her hair pink just for her wedding day....hmm, looks like it's still pink.
And in the back is Zachary and Angela Ascot, still dreamy after being married 75+ years!

Daisy and Donald are happy their first party in their new house has been a success!

This little house was made by the Samuel Lowe Company in 1943; they also produced a popular line of children's books and many paper dolls that are highly collectable today.  Many of the cardboard houses of the 1930s-40s used the bottom of the box as the base for their houses. This house has its' own base....and this is the box it came in...

Cast of Characters:

Daisy and Donald:   4" plastic dolls with trademark Plasticbaby [baby holding banner with the words Plasticbaby]. Arms and legs are jointed, no country of origin but I often see them attributed to Germany and guessing 70s or their pouty faces....or, are they holding their breath?

The Kewpies:  4" plastic or celluloid dolls marked Made in Japan. The added clothes are of crepe paper and organza; notice the dolls are barefooted...but the guys' feet have been painted black to resemble shoes. Styles reflect the 1920s but  no idea how old these dolls are.

 Fritz and Astrid:  3" soft plastic dolls with "Germany East" decal; resemble dolls that are sold as Ari, but these do not have the Ari trademark. Boy's head is jointed, girl's head is not.

Jack and Jill:  3 1/2" bisque dolls in 20s style but no trademark or country of origin; girl has had a re-paint but boy looks original.

Mr and Mrs Cake-Topper Nineteensixtysix:  definitely 1966 as this couple was on my wedding cake that same year.....yes, I was a child bride.

Fred and Bettina Flagg:  4" pliable vinyl dolls circa 1950 made in USA.  This difficult old curmudgeon didn't want his picture taken, kept throwing himself on the ground....AND I had to remove long blonde hairs from his suit before I could take pictures....wonder how long this marriage will last!

Mildred and Angus:  3" bisque couple...may be a cake topper from around 1930...that's just a guess as there are no markings to identify.

Zachary and Angela Ascot: At almost 5", these are my tallest newlyweds...and marked Made in Japan... in the 1920s style. She is unique in that she has one jointed arm that hooks into the crook of his arm. Short guys always like those Amazon women!

Collette and Horace:  These 3.25" dolls are identified in Tubbs' Dollhouse and Miniature Dolls  as bisque  1930s....clothes are made of felt and cheesecloth. Like Zachary and Fritz, Horace is forced to sleep in his top hat!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

a mail order bride for Harry

Harry Castleton enjoys visiting his good friends Freya and Arne Larsson who live in the dollhouse village.  Freya and Arne often take a little snooze when Harry is there. Harry doesn't mind because he enjoys their companionship even when they are asleep....and Freya's lack of housekeeping doesn't bother him either (added that since I didn't notice how dusty the floors were until I looked at the pictures...). Freya doesn't mind her lack of housekeeping either because she told Arne that was his job.

When I was in the village a few days ago, I heard a voice calling me.....

"Hey! Hey, dollhouse lady! When are we going to look for a pretty lady companion for ME?"

So I took Harry to my computer, sat him in  a comfy chair, pulled up eBay....and we started looking....

"Oh, she looks a little rigid....I bet she would make me pick my clothes up off the floor!  Let's look some more."

"Whoa Nellie! Look at those eyes! She would probably expect me to chase her around the house....I think I'm  a little too old for her!  Who's next?"

"An old fashioned girl...and spicy food, I bet. Do I need to control the mouse, dollhouse lady?"

"Now she's a real looker! Hmmn, wonder if she would drag me to the opera and stuff like that? Let's keep her in our watch list....."

"STOP RIGHT THERE! This is one classy lady! Anymore pictures?"

".....the girl of my dreams!"

"Can we order her, dollhouse lady? Please please please??? What's her name?"

Sure, Harry, if you think she's the one for you. It says her name is Sophie Goodman....Harry and Sophie...that sounds like a lifetime of happiness!

"I'm in love! I'm in love! I'm in love!"

This story to be continued......

Credits:  Harry and Sophie are  Caco dolls; Freya and Arne are Lundby dolls and live in a Micki Gemla house with Lundby furniture. The white furniture in their living room may be by Lerro, not sure. Harry's chair looks to be made by Kage.