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.
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.
Gottschalk in the living room
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.
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.