Sunday, February 27, 2022

Comfy Cozy Dollhouse Furniture!

 A new book by Patty Cooper.....

You are going to love this one, as is usual with a book from Patty Cooper!

Whether you are going for that English cottage design,  French country style or even the comfy American pre World War 2 look in your dollhouse, you will find exactly what you want in this newest volume of dollhouse furniture from Patty!  

Vintage upholstered dollhouse furniture mixes well with the wood pieces made by companies such as Schoenhut, Strombecker, Menasha, Wisconsin Toy, and even Tynietoy. It can make a dollhouse seem much cozier, brighter, and more comfortable. 

With hundreds of photos, this book provides an overview of items made by Queen Ann/Packman, Helen Barnes and Catherine Faulkner of Lowell Massachusetts, Stuart Sachet Products, Dixie Doll Chair, Vinnie Doll House Furniture, Wee Doll House Furniture, Harco and others.

Upholstered chairs, chaises, beds, sofas, screens, bassinets, dressing tables, day beds, and lamps!  And at the end of the book, Patty shares information and pictures of the adorable cloth doll models and their families she uses in her books.

This is definitely one for your library of dollhouse books!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

What kids wanted for Christmas in 1940....suggested by Life magazine

I purchased this Life magazine, published December 9, 1940, because it had what I thought might be a dollhouse produced by Schoenhut to sell exclusively by FAO Schwarz, but found instead a whimsical article on what kids might be wanting from Santa in the days before the start of what would become known as World War II.

The Life magazine staff took their cameras to what they referred to as "the best  place in the world to look at toys and try them out"....F.A.O. Schwarz store in New York City.  Life did admit that "Schwarz's prices and products are primarily for the well-to-do....but still was any toy lover's idea of heaven."

First in the article were "dress-up" clothes for boys and girls....

"Little girls at Christmas long for a drum majorette dress, while little boys wished they owned a football suit." Cost of each...$6.75!  But also....

       a Red Cross nurse uniform, authentic tuxedo for boys, 
and outfits for cowboys, Indians, policemen and aviators.

But like the kids of the 2020s, the kids of 1940 also wanted riding toys

               Pick Building Kits were available, YES building with toothpicks!

  A Ferris Wheel, 27,000 toothpicks, plus 5 models to choose from, or 
a 7' high Eiffel Tower, 30,000 toothpicks, plus 9 different models to build.

For boys, things "to run":

         A City Bus Terminal with 3 buses and a taxi cab, or a $50 scale train model.


          A U-boat that goes under water, with fins that adjust for deep and shallow dives, 
            and a "gasoline station" with pumps and a lift for jacking up autos. 

And for girls....things to dress:

A doll with tiny magnets in her hands so she can hold things. 
The doll costs $5, but there are 28 gadgets you can buy that she can hold. Gotcha! 
The mannequin dolls on the right were made for the older girl "who is beginning to get very fussy about her clothes."  With jointed arms and legs, wigs and painted nails, "the little miss can try out her own ideas of how to dress."

These war items were supplied by British toy makers 
for trade on both sides of the Atlantic:

Bristol Blenheim fighter-bomber with 10" wing spread, 
and anti-aircraft gun with crew and range finder

   Well equipped parachute troops, and a pilot who has bailed out successfully .

   And on to the dollhouses!

The Southern Colonial mansion, furnished as below, cost $98, 
"with lights that light....but no running water!"

I spy Strombecker furniture in the bath and children's room, some Lynnfield in the living room, a Lynnfield sink in the kitchen, and thanks to George Mundorf for identifying the kitchen chairs as Wisconsin Toy and the kitchen table as Strombecker. The dolls are Minikins, identified by this same picture in Marcie and Bob Tubbs publication Dollhouse and Miniature Dolls 1840-1990. Minikins, handmade by The Small World of Roxbury, Massachusetts in the late 30s to early 40s, were also sold at FAO Schwarz.

This Plantation Style Colonial No. 587, made by Rich Toys in 1940, bears a striking resemblance to the southern colonial dollhouse listed above. It is probable that Rich Toys produced the southern colonial house to be sold exclusively at FAO Schwarz. Over the years, collectors have discovered  that several manufactures of dollhouses produced dollhouses to be sold exclusively at FAO Schwarz.

The picture of this dollhouse is the reason I purchased this 82 year old Life magazine.  Schoenhut made several models of their dollhouses to be sold at FAO Schwarz toy store.  The designs were similar to what they produced for sale under their brand name. The above house sold at FAO Schwarz shows a strong resemblance to my Schoenhut Beverly Hills below, produced between 1937-1939.  The experts I consulted said yes, they believe Schoenhut produced this house to sell exclusively at FAO Schwarz....but most important, do you have this model to share with us?

And OH! the dollhouse furniture available! 

I see a collection of Lynnfield and Tynietoy.  
Troy, every item on this page of dollhouse furniture 
sold for a total of $87 in 1940!   Troy collects both

Accessories were also available...

....mops, brooms, lamps, candelabrum, cuckoo clocks, cocktail sets, roast turkeys, poached eggs on toast, bowls of lilies....this assortment cost about $11.
The lamp in the middle of the page is a Dolly Dear product; check out Patty Cooper's book on Dolly Dear published in 2021.

Beautifully dressed costume dolls 
are for grown-up girls and girls who never grow up...



For little girls who like to dress dolls, 
Sonja Henie has 15 changes of costume.


                      Today's armies must be modern and mechanized:

"An elaborate battle, with an attacking force equipped with bombers, 
heavy artillery, mechanized forces, pontoons, parachute troops.....
  ....has crossed a stream and fallen upon an entrenched enemy. This shows how toy's of 1940 could provide a useful home education in the military arts."
Of course, 82 years later, this doesn't hold as true. 

Lastly, the Feed-me Bear....

Put food in mouth, it comes out of the zippered back. 
Wonder how long before it had to go in the dumpster?

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

My new dollhouses are both "A" frames!

This small A frame dollhouse was produced by Rich Toys as "No. 575" 'John's Cottage', 1940 as described in Rich Toys, Dollhouses 1935-1962  by Cooper, Belanger, and Goranson, 2017.  The house is in very good shape for being 82 years old.

The interior needs work. The second floor is a replacement and is a bit narrow....easy fix!  According to information in the Rich Toys book, it is missing a movable first floor divider as shown in the picture below.

I will check with Etsy Shop Dollhouse Wonders to see if JoAnn Belanger makes these movable partitions....this interior picture is of her dollhouse! 

It is currently furnished with Kage furniture made from 1938-1948, but since the house is so small I will probably try other brands before finishing the house....yes I am still playing!

JoAnn has furnished her dollhouse with Tootsie Toy furniture, made by Dowst Brothers Co from 1922-1937.

My other new A frame house is this "Swiss Chalet" designed and exclusive to the FAO Schwarz Company in their Christmas catalogue of 1937. 

The listing and description as shown in their catalogue is seen below:

My house is missing the "Dutch" door and the flower boxes, but they can be recreated. Some of the paint is missing from the shutters, but the house still retains the original curtains,

Although my house is missing the scalloped edging below the roof line, it has a delightful hand painted mural of a dancing man and lady above the balcony.

The interior is unfinished and a previous owner has glued paper to the floors. After I remove the paper, I will decide whether I will leave the interior plain or decorate. 

Soon after I treated myself to this house as a Christmas present, I discovered these lovely sets of hand painted "cottage" furniture. It is 1:10 scale and the perfect size for the house. 

The "attic" houses the children's area, furnished with items I "borrowed" from other houses.  On the left are small Korbi chairs, a natural wood finish Schoenhut bed from 1928, a wall shelf and baby cradle (behind support post) that came with the furniture found on the first floor, and a hand painted bedroom set that was already in my collection. 

This is my little family that will live in this Swiss Chalet. They came with a tag marked Austria, 1952 with initials E.K.R. I have not researched these dolls and am not sure if EKR stands for the person who made the dolls  or the brand. If you are familiar with these dolls, please share with me!