Thursday, July 31, 2014

Miss Marx Little Hostess 1964 meets Mr. Keystone of Boston 1951

My Keystone of Boston house circa 1951 has held Marx Little Hostess furniture for several years....but helter-skelter. So when my friend Myrtle Mayhem at  Dollhouse Shenanigans decided to spotlight this identical house on her blog, I decided to make mine presentable and spotlight mine too. Yes, you guessed it...she posted hers back on July 23rd and has since posted another on her Graceland dollhouse....never enough time in the day when you are retired. But so is Myrtle....someone please explain that...without insulting me, please!

This is one of the last houses produced by Keystone of Boston, and I have always considered it one of their most attractive.  Besides the graceful graphics of trees, vines and shrubs, Keystone added an additional large window on the side of the house.

This house has 6 rooms, with stairs to the second floor.   In the series of houses Keystone produced after 1950, the interior walls are printed on a slick white background instead of the rough-surfaced backside of the Masonite walls. For lighting, this house is equipped with battery brackets on the top of the second floor walls that connect to light bulbs in each  room. Yes, they still work!

The Marx Little Hostess plastic furniture that fills this house was first produced in 1964, and continued to be sold as late as 1973.  This furniture was also sold in Canada under Little Miss Deb by Marx and in the UK as Amanda Ann by Combex. Marx did not produce children or infants furniture in this line of furniture, but they did produce some of their pieces in different colors.

The kitchen appliances came in olive green, bright yellow, white and the brown seen on the hutch to the right.  In addition to the appliances and work table, kitchen furniture also included the buffet, the china cabinet seen in the dining room, and this folding gate-leg table....but no  chairs! Chairs by Jaydon are pictured here.  All of the drawers and cabinets are the stove and fridge have shelves and racks.

The round dining room table has an added leaf,  changing the shape to oval....and seating 6 comfortably!  You can see that the design and color of the china cabinet does not match the dining room pieces. The folding screen is quite of the specialty pieces in this Marx line.

I love the way Keystone silkscreened "hardwood" floors in their later houses.

With the stairs on one side and the house's support system on the other, space is at a premium in this room.  I'm sure every child of the 50s had a "step-side" table like this one  in their home when growing up. The red chairs were also made in yellow with a black or  reddish brown frame. In the upstairs room you will see a yellow tuxedo couch that matches the aqua one. The wagon train table has a tilt-top.

The lovely canopy bed came with the coverlet and pillow; the vanity, a similar bureau, and the chaise in the bathroom were also produced in turquoise. I'm not sure if any other turquoise pieces were produced....if you have any please let us know!

The original shower curtain is hanging by the tub. The lady of the house put her chaise in this large bathroom so she can really monopolize time addition to hanging her husband's shaving mirror over the washing machine. Wonder what he did? 

This is the shaving mirror....but Marx made nothing to hang it over....maybe a pedestal sink would have been nice in addition to my lady's vanity with sink.

The bedroom that should house a nursery and big sister's bed is outfitted as the den/family room/tv room/music room/and Peter the parrot's room.

Oh, I see the Robinsons are at home! Lets check in on them.
(The Robinsons are 4¾” Ermey dolls from Germany.)

They just had their portrait painted and seem to be admiring it.
Here are most of the pieces in the Marx Little Hostess line.....
 Kitchen appliances and hutch...

kitchen table, buffet and china cabinet....the china cabinet came filled with dishes...

the dining room with  exotic screen and decorated mirror...

the living room.....

a bedroom girly enough to please any little girl...

an attractive aqua and ivory bathroom.....

the tilt-top table was also made in plain brown ....

and the rocker and the yellow chair with dark brown legs.
Other color schemes for some of the pieces in the Little Hostess line....a brown sink that matches my kitchen hutch, a white stove that was sold under the Amanda Ann brand, ivory chairs and buffet for the dining room, and turquoise pieces for the bedroom. The red wing chair was produced to use in the living room. These pieces are no longer in my collection. One piece that I have never located is the candelabra used with the grand piano.
You can read more about this furniture line in Dian Zillner's   American Dollhouses and Furniture of the 20th Century, pages 132-134, with pictures of Roy Specht's collection on
pages 150-152.
UPDATE:  Dollhouse Shenanigans has posted pictures of a 1950s era Rich Toys dollhouse filled with one of her sets of Marx Little Hostess doll house furniture! Click HERE to see this furniture displayed in a different dollhouse. You will find additional pieces of turquoise bedroom furniture, the missing candelabra, the TV in black AND the dollhouse people that Marx produced to accompany their Little Hostess line! Enjoy!