Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Life in a cardboard house....


This is my Strombecker 6-Room Utility Play House A-606 produced in 1938. It's in  fairly good shape for being an 82 year old house made of cardboard....30 point cardboard according to the catalog description. This is the smallest of the cardboard houses Strombecker made in this open front play house design.

This is Harvey and Gertrude Carpenter who live in this cardboard house. 
You can call her Gerty but don't call him anything but Harvey.

Harvey bought the house, but Gerty decorated it to her taste. 
And since it was a Strombecker house, she chose 
all Strombecker furniture....imagine that. 

"Don't ever buy a cardboard house. 
It is all but impossible to open the front door."

"What shall I fix for supper?  Let's see, I have corn flakes 
and an egg frying in the pan. What's in the fridge?"

"Nothing!! There's no back to the fridge! No wonder it's empty!"

"I found this lovely tea set
 on Ebay.....♪♫ I am highest bidder♫♫♪."
Gerty's Ebay feedback is 4769. 

In the evening, while Gerty snores on the sofa, 
Harvey holds his book of Shakespeare's Plays.
He doesn't read it, he just holds it. 

Harvey and Gerty have separate bedrooms. 

              "She also snores in bed."                              "He goes commando in his PJs."

"Nice to have a mirror on my dresser. 
That's one handsome dude looking back at me!" 

"We will see how long he gets to keep that mirror! 
I need it to see my  wavy blonde hair."

"It's so hard to shave while looking into a cardboard mirror."

"I am so glad I selected a Strombecker toilet! 
If the lid lifted, I would probably have to clean it!"

The back and sides of the Strombecker house 
where the happily married Carpenters live!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Lovely Little Fretwork Kitchen

I recently acquired this little fretwork kitchen. 
I know nothing about the origin of these pieces, 
but I do know the craftsmanship is superb.

I am unsure what type of wood was used to make this set, but as you will see later, more than one kind was used. 

The table is a real work of beauty!

It is 1:12 scale:  2½" tall, 3¾" wide, 2¾" deep

The seller thought it might be Swedish. 
 I checked with Patricia, my US expert 
on Swedish dollhouse furniture,

who checked with her Swedish expert in Sweden
who thought it might be German made. 

Here you can see how neatly 
the legs were joined to the back.

The small bench.

The stove is in the style of the 1920s, similar to the ones made 
by Strombecker and Schoenhut during that period. 

Along with the brass tacks used for knobs, 
this style might help to date the years of production. 
Unless, of course,  these pieces are newly made 
using vintage fretwork patterns. 

The oven door opens. 

Even the sides have fretwork....

....and fretwork "gas burners"!

The back, however, is plain.

With the hutch, you see evidence 
of different types of wood being used.

Doors and drawers open. 

The doors on the top of the hutch have a mission style look
that was popular during the teens and 1920s.

The bottom of the hutch has a more ornate fretwork.

The back of the hutch, like the stove, is plain. 

At the same time I acquired my fretwork kitchen set from Indiana, 
a good friend found two hutches in Illinois.  
One of her hutches is an exact duplicate of the one I have. 
Here are her hutches. 

So, what do you think? Vintage made during the 1920s, 
or newly made with vintage fretwork designs? 

A little fretwork history from :
"The art of fretwork began more than 3000 years ago with fretted inlays on furniture in Egypt.  It has been popular in North America and Europe from the mid 1800's until today.  Fretwork of the 1800's and early 1900's was done with hand fretsaws or foot-powered scroll saws.  In the 1920's several scroll saws were designed for use with electric motors."  

More dollhouse furniture and patterns for fretwork dollhouse furniture can be seen here and here.   

UPDATE 9/23/20:

After publishing this post on my fretwork kitchen, a lovely dining room set was discovered and my friend was able to add it to her collection! So, most likely, there are more pieces to discover!

Sue has added a light stain to her set....isn't it gorgeous!

The buffet and the hutch.....

.....and the complete set! 

If you were wondering if the hutch 
should sit on top of the buffet.....

....we decided the answer is NO!