Monday, November 9, 2009

Rich / Keystone look-alike

When I first caught Dollhouse Fever I bought this little dollhouse on eBay. I didn't know anything about it other than it was cute. The decor is right on the walls and the carpets painted or silk screened on the floors much like the tin houses.

Thanks to Florine (My Vintage Dollhouses and other treasures), I know that similar houses are attributed to the Deluxe Game Corp and sold by Sears in the mid 1940's. It has a lot of charm.

I have had it for about a year now, but didn't have it on display since I had no furniture that worked with it. So it sat in a bedroom neglected, until . . .

. . . recently I won another eBay auction and my problem was solved. I thought I was ordering 1 foot to 1 inch Strombecker- type furniture, but when it arrived it was much smaller. Eureka! it is perfect for my little house. Here are all six rooms, very stylishly furnished.

Notice the pink curtained window in the left top bedroom. It came with the lot and is made from the same fabric as the bedspread. The window it is on is cardboard. Sooo cute.

Don't you just love the mirrored cabinet in the front hall? It is so elegant and deco. It is a Nancy Forbes piece from the late 1940's (Thanks, Florine). Maybe I will eventually find more hall furniture, but for now I think it looks just right. The bathroom is very deco too. There is a better picture of it further down.

The living room is also very deco with the flocked couch and chair and the lovely rounded side tables. The lamps, bowl, vase and radio came with the lot. Those of you who know will notice that I have the bathroom scale on the end table. I thought it was a clock. I have done a little research since I took the picture and now the scale is in the bathroom.

I always thought that those little squat toilet was very modern, but since I have been researching dollhouses I have discovered that it is a 1930s design. The things you can learn in this hobby.

The lovely pink bedroom is just adorable. I have removed the homemade window so you can see the room as it should be. I didn't get any kitchen furniture with the lot, so I moved the dining table and two chairs into the kitchen. The cupboards and appliances painted on the walls will have to do for now.


The furniture in the second bedroom didn't come with this lot and are not in as good condition. I found the couch, radio and piano at a garage sale. I didn't have a second bedroom set, so I decided to make this room a music room.

Side view of the house. The pillars a a bit wonky, but I don't want to glue or screw them in as that wouldn't be original. I think they just add to the charm. All the windows and doors open. Some of the pieces are taped back on. I will have to deal with that old tape someday, but for now I will just leave it as is.

I hope you enjoyed your journey to the past.

Come back real soon.




  1. I love it!! Your little house looks so cozy...the Strombecker furniture is perfect for it. Great graphics inside; I especially like the carpets and tile. And I love the idea of a music room! I always get such good ideas from looking at the way others decorate their little houses...

    Your mirrored cabinet is by Nancy Forbes and is all the front entry needs. Dian Zillner's dollhouse books show several similar houses attributed to the Deluxe Game Corp and sold by Sears in the mid 1940's.

    For me, a very pleasant journey!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thank you Susan for these amazing photos! I loved everything, deco style is amazing, I love the look of the radio that was that days, mirrored cabinet is fantastic, I'd love to make something like this.

  3. Hi Susan, What a great house, and the furniture suits it perfectly. Isn't it nice when a "mistake" turns out really well?
    I don't know much about American houses, but my Zillner and Cooper book says that most Keystone houses were decorated inside and out, mostly in green and white or blue and white. Probably other makers of hardboard houses decorated the houses inside, but maybe it could be a Keystone? Someone with greater knowledge of US houses would probably know!

  4. what a sweet little house- I love the flocked couch and chair!

  5. Hi Dale;

    The dollhouse is slightly smaller than 3/4 or 1/16 scale. I first tried it with Petite Princess furniture and it looked too big. The furniture in it now is about 1/16th and looks great, although you can see that the table and chairs in the kitchen look a bit too big.

  6. Thanks for the great information Florine. I have three of Dian Zillner's books, but I missed that information about the Deluxe Game corp houses. I will look them up on google and Nancy Forbes furniture too.
    I love your latest blog entry with the antique and vintage pictures of dollhouse, except that it makes me want them all.


  7. Thanks Victoria and Kim. Isn't it fun? I am enjoying my houses so much?

  8. Thanks Rebecca;
    Yes, it is fun when a mistake turns out to be just right. I had no idea where or how to get furniture to suit this house, but I guess the dollhouse muses were watching out for me. It's not the first time a case of mistaken identity has been serendipitous for me in my collecting.
    I have three of Dian Zillner's books - I will have to read them more carefully. I didn't see the part about the decorated insides.