My Vintage Dollhouses

Schoenhut Beverly Hills 1939

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Little Doll's House


I have several books that open to portray or become dollhouses, but this one is probably my favorite...and the oldest. This book was published by Atlantic Book & Act Corporation in New York, but I haven't been able to determine the publishing date. To me, the artwork in the room scenes and clothes on the dolls reflects the 1905-1915 period. The art work is by Else Wenz-Vietor, one of the most productive and well-known illustrators in Germany during the first half of the 20th century. With a German illustrator, I am assuming this book was  first published in Germany, and it was recently on eBay with a German title. 

My book has 2 Christmas stickers on the front....one says "please do not open until Christmas", the other says "Jolly Xmas". It is nice to think it was a present left under the Christmas tree for some little child of that era!

It is a large book and when opened is 26" wide....if you click on the pictures you will better be able to see the wonderful artwork of Else Wenz-Vietor.

The first page is the entry of the dolls house....the double front door and the double red doors on the chest open. There are several slots along the floor for the viewer to place cut-outs provided....toys for the children, pots and pans for the kitchen, food and vegetables for the pantry, plus the people that live in this wonderful dolls house!  The father here is wondering why his children have left their toys by the front door.




Next comes their sitting room....all ready for tea...or is it a birthday cake we see on the table?  Both the curtained door and the heater in the corner have doors that open. With the exception of one door in the house, there are no pictures or designs behind the openings. Slots to help decorate this sitting room are on the table and the corner hutch, plus a slot for a kitty on the pillow by the chair. All three chairs have slots for seating members of the family....but none of the people were drawn to be sitting!




Two doors open in the parent's bedroom and it also has several slots for placing people or other items. It looks like mother is getting ready to take baby out in his stroller, but she has forgotten to take the baby bottle in the crib....I hope she doesn't need it!




Oh what a wonderful children's nursery...with beds for three and lots of toys to entertain the little darlings. With three babies sleeping, our little girl just had a quiet tea party with two dollies and little sister and is joining her mother to take her baby doll for a stroll. Her doggy is waiting patiently to see if she left some tea cakes for him to snatch. An opening door and slots in each bed, on the floor and the chairs help to decorate the nursery.




Here is grandmother come to visit...or the wicked witch come to buy an apple to give to Snow White! Maybe that's why the little boy in lederhose looks apprehensive....
On the right is the pantry with lots of fruit, vegtables, cheeses and bread that the cook's helper is preparing for the next meal. Quite a few slots are available to help stock this nice pantry.  On the left is the door leading to the yard where we see  chickens pecking at their feed.  Wonder what's behind the white door?




It's the bathroom with a tub full of bubbles for the next bather! Yes, there is a slot in the tub to place one of the children...or maybe the doggy.





And here is the kitchen with the large wood-burning oven just like in the wonderful German room-box kitchens that are so collectible...with an array of utensils and spices to help the cook make all those special dishes for this large family. Kitty is having a bowl of milk in front of the hutch that brings thoughts of the Dora Kuhn dollhouse furniture produced in Germany for the last fifty plus years. 



And here is the cook in the kitchen garden picking fresh beans for today's dinner. The cook has beautiful flowers bordering the garden...I especially like the tall sunflowers just like my grandfather used to grow in his garden.





What? Is that Peter Rabbit in the cabbage patch?