My Vintage Dollhouses

Schoenhut Beverly Hills 1939

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 functioning...plus 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 exotic...one 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 spent....in 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!  
 
 
 
 

25 comments:

  1. Oh Florine.
    This house is lovely, I'm so glad you decided to sort it out and share!! I love the furniture :-)
    Teresa,
    sugar, spice and whatever's nice

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    1. The furniture is delicate but seems to have weathered the years very well...I don't think I have ever seen a piece that was broken. But...if you accidently spill the drawers out of the chests....fat fingers have a difficult time replacing them!

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  2. It's so exciting to see all the Little Hostess pieces in one house! I've never before seen the china cabinet, the step-end table, or the full bathroom set.

    I'm morally certain that I've seen the bedroom side chair in turquoise, with white "upholstery," but I can't prove it. The only Little Hostess I own is the turquoise dresser because I have a house that runs heavily to vintage turquoise plastic furniture.

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    1. It takes patience in collecting all the pieces in a set...but I am sure you have seen the bedroom side chair in turquoise. Myrtle just posted a new blog on her Little Hostess furniture which includes a turquoise vanity bench and bedside table.
      I will add an update and post link to it.

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  3. What a wonderful house and collection of furniture. I love the 'portrait'.

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    1. I liked the fun portrait too! It's amazing what you can find on google images!

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  4. Fantastic article , i like to buy foldable table online cause of the wide range and availability at good prices !!

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  5. Hello Florine,
    It is gorgeous. I really like the exterior of the house. talk about curve appeal! The rooms are beautifully decorated and you have terrific pieces of furniture. love it!
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. I first collected plastic furniture for my little houses because that's what I had as a child....and Little Hostess wasn't produced until my college years. Now I seem to prefer the wooden furniture of the 20s thru 40s but do like keeping the plastics in my collection. :)

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  6. Gorgeous! And beautifully done, as usual. :)

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    1. and thanks for sharing your house like mine...and your new post on your Little Hostess furniture!

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  7. Wow what a fantastic collection of furniture and the house is gorgeous too. I have just started collecting English vintage dolls houses and furniture and it is a fascinating hobby.

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  8. Fascinating...and it grows and grows!

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  9. Have really enjoyed seeing all the photos of your little plastic Marx furniture and in such a lovely house too. I have never seen some of these pieces before. Thank you for allowing us to take a peek...has been fascinating! Celia

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    1. When I first started collecting Little Hostess, I was surprised to find that it was produced under different names in Canada and UK. Thanks for your comment!

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  10. I have scrolled thru your doll house collection. I believe I have one that you do not have,are you interested in buying any more? Please let me know.

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    1. Always interested in one I don't have! Send a picture to me at florinebettge@comcast.net....can't wait to see it!

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    2. I certainly will, I just acquired it,so allow me a few days to Fall clean the place. I was washing curtains yesterday and have to work the next two. But my goal is to play on Saturday. :) Love reliving my childhood days!

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    3. Looking forward to seeing it! and you are reliving your childhood days when your mother washed curtains too!

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  11. Great post! I am confused about the Marx furniture, though. I bought a kitchen set - one green hutch similar to yours, and a turquoise appliance set - but it's larger than 1/12th scale. I placed a Dawn doll (6" tall) next to the hutch, and the counter top is about chest high on her. The appliances say "Marx Little Hostess" on the front, but they are much larger than your furniture. I can't figure out what scale this is anywhere, or what dolls it was made to fit. I have photos of the hutch with a Barbie and a Dawn doll, and it doesn't fit either of those. I don't know of any scale in between 1/12th and 1/6th, and I'm guessing that your set is smaller than 1/12th even. I thought maybe you would know more. Thanks for sharing your collection. :) Ronda

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    1. I once had the larger Marx set also....I am guessing it was made for 8-11" dolls...more doll furniture than dollhouse furniture. Or, it may have been made just as a pretend kitchen for little girls and not intended for doll play. Renwal made larger kitchen appliances in the 50s....also in plastic. The Marx furniture in this post is a bit smaller than 1/12th but larger than 1/16th, although I think it is considered 1/12th. "Marx Little Hostess" name was also given to china tea sets made for little girls in the 1950s...I still have mine! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed my post. Cheers!

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  12. Thank-you so much for the reply. I wondered if there was any other furniture made in this size. I have a client who has a Lottie doll (7 1/2" tall) and my Marx kitchen would work well. I just couldn't find any other Marx furniture in a similar size. I knew that they made little kitchens for pretend play, and thought that might be the case with this one, although it's pretty small for that, too. With all of the toy manufacturers who made dollhouse furniture and toys in the 1950's - early 1970's, it's hard to keep track, and although I researched Marx quite a bit, I never did find any reference to the Little Hostess furniture other than yours. Thanks again. :) Ronda

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  13. I have been on the hunt for over 20 years for a dollhouse I lost due to a move. It was my mom's from the 40s. Wow. Am I in shock to see that exact same dollhouse I thought I'd never in my lifetime ever see again. Although this one is in much better shape. I miss that little dollhouse and all the tootsie toy furniture she had with it.

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