Saturday, September 8, 2012

F.A.O. Schwartz Mystery Dolls' House tour - Antique Dollhouse

This incredible dolls' house is in the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester NY, and is one of at least four of these magnificent houses from the collection of Margaret Woodbury Strong.

It has a gambrel roof with carved shingles on the main roof as well as on the wing of the house. It is painted a soft green color with dark green chamfered wood (often referred to as Tramp Art), This house embraces chamfered decoration on all three sides.

The facade is displayed below the house.

There are two entrances; one going into the main part of the house and the other going into the kitchen wing.
The main floor rooms have very high ceilings. Here is the dining room furnished with Schneegas golden oak pieces.

The green striped vases in the china cabinet in the back wall are German blown glass from around 1900. Other examples of this glass and some Treen items are also featured in the dining room.

A soft metal cruet set with yellow glass bottle can be seen on the marble topped server

You can clearly see the lovely parquet floor in this picture.
The quaint kitchen has a blue and white theme. The dresser on the back wall is painted tin, as is the wonderful canister set on the tin shelves beside it.

The stove appears to be tin as well. The dishes on the server and the covered bowl on the table are painted wooden treenware. I love the keys on the bisque housekeeper's belt. The dog, cat, and little boy offer sweet touches to this kitchen scene.
All three bedrooms have the same red and white wallpaper. I don't know whether it is original, but I find it charming.

This bedroom has three Schneegas golden oak beds of different styles and sizes. The rocking chair, washstand and dresser are also Schneegas golden oak. I think the bowl and ewer and other red and white dresser accessories are treen. Most of the items in this room are from around 1900.
The second bedroom also has Schneegas golden oak pieces and a lovely bisque doll with blue eyes.

I don't recognize the highboy on the back wall, but I am sure it is from the same period as the rest of the furniture.

The third bedroom contains furniture I don't recognize except for the Boulle chair. I think some of it may be tin. And the chamber pot looks like treen.
I love the parlor. It is furnished with Boulle. The Kestner gentleman is very dapper with his little mustache and striped waistcoat.

I have never seen a lamp like the tall brass one with the glass shade in the back of the room.
The front hall has an interesting alcove under the stairs. I love the red wallpaper with the green painted stairs and railings. The floor has a lovely narrow pattern here.
 The red patterned wallpaper continues into the upper hall Here there is a Schneegas coat rack, what appears to be a tin dresser and a beautiful chair with elaborate cut outs.
 Another view of the bedroom.
The door surrounds are so nice. I wish they did that sort of thing in all dollhouses.
 The dining room again.

All the rooms have lovely old wallpapers, baseboards and raised panel connecting doors.

The wonderful floors are often referred to as parquet floors but are actually scored and hand painted to look like parquet. An elaborate staircase has an alcove carved under the staircase!  
Additional attic rooms are in the openings on the roof. This picture shows the painted detail on the dormers.
The beautiful mystery house in it's situation between two other lovely antique dollhouses in the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester NY.

I would highly recommend a visit to this museum if you ever get to the Rochester area. It is enchanting.


  1. They really are the most mysterious of all the dollhouses!!! Love the blue and white Bing kitchen. Surely there is one hiding out in an attic somewhere just for you. Happy Birthday CM

    1. It would complete my trifecta - Hacker - check, Tynietoy - check, Mystery house - to be checked. These houses are usually found in North Eastern USA. I wonder if any made it to Canada. We'll see. I'm on the trail as of now.

  2. Great Post. What a great assortment and collection of furniture. I have a few sheets of the pink wallpaper that I found on ebay a few years ago. Still looking for a project to use it on. Thanks for the post.

  3. Bellissime foto ..!!! Meravigliose miniature!!!

  4. Maravilloso reportaje, gracias por compartirlo , he disfrutado como una niña pequeña :)

  5. What a beautiful house, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Rick! Don't you just love it. I wish I could one I could afford. Bu even if I did I don't have room for it. LOL

  6. Hello Shale,
    Thank you for the great post! The pictures are wonderful and I very mucha ppreciate the information you added for each.

  7. I went there back in high school to see the butterfly exhibit. The dollhouses were a pleasant surprise. I don't know if it was a temporary exhibit or not, but when I was there they also had a whole section of old antique dollhouses. Most of them were empty, but still really beautiful and interesting to see.

    I never had a chance to photograph the furnished houses-too many kids running around at the time. XD Thanks for sharing these.

  8. Hi Susan, Good to hear from you. I haven't lost my passion for miniatures but I have a new passion for exploring North Central Arizona. So much to see and discover. I am working on setting up the new and improved doll house room. Poor peeps were in boxes for about a year. They are now breathing the fresh, clean air. Cheers to you. Glad to see you haven't lost your passion either. Amy