Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ardee: plastic dollhouse furniture from 1946.... with a modern flair!

This is a Rich Toys dollhouse from the early 1950s. Bench seats on the porch, the fence post with lantern, blue shutters with  red roofs and porch make it an attractive little dollhouse. 

I have furnished it with Ardee Plastics' modern design furniture made in 1946. Ardee Plastics, Inc., one of the  early manufacturers of plastic dollhouse furniture, made their products from Lumarith, a product of Celanese Plastics Corporation. Their furniture, along with the early plastic furniture marketed under the Jaydon name, has had a tendency to warp. An interesting article about Lumarith, made of cellulose acetate, told that with time this plastic broke down, giving off a telltale vinegar smell. 

This  four room dollhouse was a very nice size for children to furnish and play with. Ardee did not make kitchen appliances or bath furniture....I substituted Plasco products for these areas. 

With the exception of the unique design of the sofa and chair, Ardee furniture is very plain with no working parts. The "mahogany" parts of these pieces have a decorative ribbing design. 

You notice the warping in the sway of the fireplace mantel and the lean of the floor lamp. (The smoking stand is a Renwal product.) 

I love the shape of the sofas!  If you think my curtains drape nicely, it is because they are made from a picture of drapes printed on index card and "hung" on a bamboo skewer painted gold. 

The table and chairs are a bit larger in scale than the rest of the Ardee furniture...and made in a design popular in the late 1940s. You can see the ribbed design in the table top, buffet top and chair seats.

The only Ardee piece in the bathroom is the vanity on the right. The drawer design is printed on the cabinet, as are the bricks on the fireplace and the doors on the buffet.  

Furniture for the bedroom includes a vanity, chest of drawers, bookcase, chair, night stand and table lamp. A vanity bench was also made but I donated mine to a worthy cause....another dollhouse collector! Actually, Myrtle said she would cut me if I didn't give it to her.

The Ardee bed came with a cardboard bedspread...this original spread is in fairly good condition at seventy years old.   

Pieces of furniture in my collection include:

The dining room furniture consisted of 
a table, two to four chairs and a buffet.

The style of this chair and sofa would go as well in 
an art deco house as in a mid-century modern home. 

I added the fire insert. 
I do not know if one was originally included.

Fancy pulls were printed on the chest of drawers. 
The drawers did not open.

Notice the similarity in the vanity drawers and this night stand table. The bases of the lamps are unusually shaped.

A very modern bookshelf....also made in one-half size. 

The bed was made with the head and foot the same height.

I am lucky to have found original bedspreads in both pink and blue. I do not know if other color spreads were produced.

Furniture was also produced in other colors. 
Here is a medium blue chair and a very rare pink bed
courtesy of Patty Cooper.  

Myrtle has the chair in this lovely shade of blue....
along with the vanity bench.

Here is the half-size book shelf and the elusive coffee table.

If you have other Ardee dollhouse furniture 
or pieces produced in other colors, please share with me at  I would love to add them to this you credit for being the lucky owner, 
of course!