Monday, March 30, 2020

The Fold-Away Dollhouse and Playbook of Cut-Out Furniture


I'm sure most of you have seen this fold-out dollhouse made in book form for sale on Ebay or Etsy. It was published in 1949 by Garden City Publishing Co. of Garden City, New York, with artwork by Catherine Barnes. It came with a playbook of small furniture to cut out. But, like with many toys of that era, additional parts are most often missing. 

The first of my two books came without the small furniture. I ended up furnishing it with Renwal and Ideal plastic furniture that was made at the same time the fold-away book was published. It was the first item I ever sold on Ebay!

My second book came with furniture already cut out.  That is what I will be showing you....a fold-away dollhouse with cut-out furniture.  




The book opens to show graphics of the back of the house 

plus a diagram of how to set up the book as a 3 room dollhouse.



Opening further, we see additional graphics 
of the back side and a floor for the nursery.


Following the diagram, the book sets up to show three rooms. 


A nursery, or child's room...


...a dining room or living room...


...and a kitchen.



Furniture was supplied for a nursery, a dining room, and a kitchen. 
It is on a smaller scale than the rooms themselves.




The nursery has a crib, a dresser or chest, a rocking horse, and a play table with two chairs. 
All the furniture is put together with slot and tab design. 





The dining room is furnished with a large dining table holding a bowl with a turkey, 3 high back dining chairs (I'm sure there were originally 4) and a hutch with dishes. 
This room also holds a TV (with a screen large for 1949!), 2 side chairs, and 2 end tables. 
These extra pieces make me wonder if the playbook originally had a sofa and/or chair included 
that are missing from my set. 




In the kitchen we find the 3 necessary appliances...fridge, sink cabinet, and stove. 
A small kitchen table with 2 chairs completes the furnishings. 


For the dining room,



additional pieces used in the dining room, 



furniture for the nursery, 



and furnishings for the kitchen. 



Did you notice that all the furniture is in shades of white, blue and pink? 

The backside of the house is also attractive,




with windows that open.


The interior has 2 doors that open connecting the 3 rooms...

nursery to dining room, 



                                 and dining room to kitchen.                      




The back of the book

shows the diagram for assembling this little house


and more artwork from Catherine Barnes.

For fun, I have furnished this fold-away dollhouse 
with other dollhouse furniture produced 
about the same time as the book.



Shown here with Ideal plastic furniture


with Plasco plastic furniture



 with Kage wooden and upholstered furniture


with Strombecker wood furniture


and even vintage Lundby furniture!


If you see this little fold-away dollhouse for sale on Etsy or Ebay, 
give it a chance to bring fun and smiles to your life!

A reasonable price for this unique little dollhouse without the furniture is $30 USD or lower. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Saving dollies from the dust bin and stories to tell...


I have a friend in the far north....well actually just Wisconsin...that is an avid collector of dollhouses and the little dolls that live in them. We discovered that we had the same Keystone of Boston dollhouse in our childhood years....the Keystone Tudor from 1947. Neither one of us were able to keep our dollhouse, but we both have a wonderful replacement that we cherish. 

Jamie often sends me funny little stories of a day in the life of her dollies, and I love sharing them because they always bring smiles and laughter to my day.  Here's her latest! 


Featured is the Caco Dad doll that I had found cleaning out a cupboard. 


Unfortunately his wrappings underneath his clothes were rotting away to dust, 
so that's why he had to go through a de-mummifying. 
Not only were the foam like wrappings turning dusty, 
but his clothes were dirty and his poor head was barely hanging on, 
so double trouble for the poor old boy.
His clothes were put away to make a pattern off of 
but think they mistakenly got thrown out, 
so the doll seamstress will step in once again....


This is the B.D.A.T. ....or Broken Dolls and Toys support group. 

They are waiting for their own make over and meet once a week 
to whine about their sad situation to ad nauseam! 


You can spy our man second from the left 
having to hold his own broken head in his lap, 
but he miraculously hears every word of encouragement 
his little friends give him. 


 Yes, and even one handed monkeys are welcome 
....as long as they behave.
The Victorian bisque lady has one fatal leg injury,
 and will probably be looking for a replacement job.
 She hates coming to the meetings, 
as it feels so unlady like exposing her leg for all to see. 
She'll never get over Victorian propriety. 



The Flagg doll in the foreground seems to dominate encouragement 
by his outward gesticulating arms.  He suffers from a bad wiring job gone south 
and can not put his arms down.



And finally the reveal picture of a pretty dapper looking young gent if I do say so myself. New wrappings, new clothes do make the man!


My friend Jamie makes wonderful new clothes for her dollies....from sweaters, like the red one above, to precious little dresses for little girl dolls and even underwear!  
I will share more in a later post.