Sunday, December 5, 2010

I got Gottschalk! Antique Dollhouse!

When I first got dollhouse fever I read everything about dollhouses I could get my hands on.

I learned of the rare and desirable dollhouses that were in the hands of a lucky few collectors. How wonderful these house are, I thought, imagining them out of my reach forever.

These wonderful structures by Gottschalk, Schoenhut,  Tootsietoy, Keystone and others from the early years of the last century are very hard to find, with prices ranging in the hundreds, even thousands of dollars. They seemed far out of my reach.

But I was wrong. With a little luck and an eye for a bargain, I have added some of these beautiful houses to my collection. In this post I am pleased to show you my Gottschalk Red Roof house. Because of the garage I believe this house was made in the 1920s. It has dried out over the decades, and has many cracks in the wood, but it has all its original paint and wallpaper. I think it is magnificent.

This is the downstairs entry hall. In the closet at the back of the hall is a toilet. This was typical of this era of Gottschalk houses. There is no sink, or bathtub. I think most people still washed with a basin and ewer in their bedrooms, and bathed in a tub set up in the kitchen,  but it must have been very nice to have an inside toilet,
The roof lifts up to reveal an upper hall and a bedroom. I find it interesting that the curtains are put on upside down so that they hang down when the roof is open. I don't know if this was common practice or just the whim of the house's original owner.
I love the heart wallpaper and interesting floor covering of the bedroom. the upper hall has interesting decor too.

The wood you see here is the upper landing banister to prevent the dolls from falling down the steep stairs. It doesn't look very effective. I feel it should be taller to really keep the dolls safe, but then it would get in the way of tiny hands at play.
I am crazy about the side door with it's trellis. I feel very lucky to have the steps since they are no longer attached to the house and could easily have been left behind over the years.

The side door brings you into the living room. The wallpaper is lovely with it's great border. Too bad about the damage, but at least it is intact.

Notice the large crack across the back of the room? This is very typical of these houses, even when they were fairly new, and apparently was used by Gottschalk's competition to promote their own products as better quality.
Garages aren't common on dollhouses, and are a desirable feature. This one opens to show another interesting floor paper.
Perhaps it is supposed to be flagstones.
I know my Gottschalk furniture is too big for this house, but I was excited to try it. I still can't believe I have a Gottschalk house and Gottschalk furniture to put in it. I love it all.

Gottschalk in the living room
Gottschalk in the bedroom
Gottschalk in the upper hall
And a chair that came with the house in the lower hall. Maybe I will replace it with a coat rack. There is no room for anything else.

Notice the door handles. The door pull has a long wire on the back, as you see on the hallway door. When you turn the door pull to the proper position the door stays closed because the long wire prevents it from opening. You can also see the wire sticking out of the toilet door.
Here is my cozy little house.

All these items came with the house. They are the perfect scale to furnish it and probably just the right amount of furniture for the small dwelling. The little girl is all bisque German. with painted eyes and joined shoulders and hips.

The scotty dog is iron and the dachshund is china. The beds are made by Realy Truly, the rocker is Kilgore and I think the car is too. The rug under the beds is a tobacco felt and the other two rugs are hand crocheted.

I am not sure what the red settee and piano are. They are similar to Strombecker or Schoenhut, but don't seem to be of the same quality. The chair between the beds is adorable, and from the same period. The little watering can is ceramic. There is also a little blue bottle with a cap.

But what I love the most in this group of wonderful items are the deer. The three large ones are soft metal and are marked Germany on their undersides. They have magnificent antlers. The little one is ceramic and marked Japan on the bottom.

I feel that all these items are original to the house as they are the right era and scale

I feel privileged to be the caretaker of these wonderful items during my lifetime. They will outlive me just as they have outlived the little girl who delighted in them all those decades ago. I am sure they will continue to be cherished by future owners for decades to come.



  1. what a lucky girl you are!! its a very beautiful house and i would love to have one like it... the goodies that came with it are also very desirable!! also, i think its very lucky to have found you, at least we know its safe while it's in your care. :))

  2. Oh my - how wonderful! I too never thought that an ordinary person could own a Gottschalk. Wow!

    Your bedroom furniture looks so perfect in place and I loved the tour. Thank you.

  3. What a fantastic house, you are sooooo lucky to have got yourself one of these beauties.

  4. What a fabulous house! Congratulations on finding it :-)
    I especially like the wallpaper in the living room - very sweet and delicate. The wallpaper on the landing looks like bathroom tiles - I wonder if a bathroom was meant to go there? You sometimes see bathrooms in upper hallways or landings in old houses.
    I think the Gottschalk furniture looks great in it! Probably the furniture that came with it fits better, but dolls could live comfortably with your Gottschalk furniture, I think.

  5. Que suerte!!!!
    Tienes muchisimo trabajo por delante, pero seguro que la vas a dejar fantastica.
    besitos ascension

  6. What a wonderful house, congratulations on getting it! I love the heart wallpaper too and all the floors are beautiful! Lovely furniture and the deer are gorgeous, what a bonus to get them as well!

  7. Oh my Gosh, It's so beautiful. All the things that came with it too are exceptional. I like how you acknowlege that you are just a care taker and someday it will pass on to another caretaker. Wow... I gotta stop writing and go back and blow up all the photos. So very nice to see.

  8. wonderful - just wonderful - I just sent you a photo from a Gottschalk catalogue which gives 1925 for the year of production ... and your model is in perfekt condition according to this photo! Please check your spam filtre if it has not reached you yet.

  9. Thanks everyone! I am excited to have this house in such original condition. I never thought I would own a Gottschalk Red Roof. I just love it.

  10. Diepuppenstubensammlerin - What a great detective you are!! I thought the house was from the 20s and now you have confirmed it. Thank you so much! Do you think I can post the picture from the catalogue on this blog if I credit the publisher?


  11. Lucky you. This is beautiful. I couldn't imagine owning or find such a beauty!