Monday, April 12, 2021

Dollhouses are the ultimate pint-size pandemic hobby

This article was in The Globe and Mail on April 8, 2021 Dollhouses are the ultimate pint-size pandemic hobby

It begins with an interview with Maria Fowler, owner of the Little Dollhouse Company in Toronto.

I found this quote reflects exactly how I have always felt about my miniature world:

“With miniatures, you can make a world exactly as you want it,” Fowler says. “You have absolute control over it, and during COVID especially, that has been very empowering.”

This image from the article is of furniture made by Fernando Setien (@fernandosetien), a contemporary fine furniture “mini”-maker in Barcelona

I hadn't realized that our year of isolation had created a new interest in our hobby, but it makes sense to me. A perfect world you can control is soothing at anytime, but connecting and sharing with like-minded people in an out-of-control world could be our saving grace.

As Jacqueline Greenwood says in the article. “This has been an incredibly intense time for so many people and I think our minds can easily run away from us with worry and concern. The world of miniatures is like anything creative. It brings you into the moment and it keeps you in the moment, where creation works its magic.”

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Argo Model Home for Dolls

Several years ago I did a post on my Argo Model Home for Dolls Nursery from 1957.

You can see that post at this link: Argo Model Home for Dolls circa 1957

At long last I have two more rooms. The bedroom and the living room. 

These two rooms were shown in the 1958 Sears Christmas Catalog as a set as shown in the image below

The two room house featured an extra bedside table and lamp in the bedroom and a table with a leaf and two chairs in the living room, as well as an extra side table with lamp.

The drapes are on a string and cal be opened and closed just like the real thing from the 1950s.

All the windows slide up and down to open or close.

There are instructions for putting a penlight battery in the lamps so they actually light up, but I can't quite figure out how to do it. I think they are missing the on/off switches.

Here is my nursery and its original box

Here is the exterior of the house with the three rooms stacked as a three storey house

This brochure came with each room. It says the scale is 1 foot to 1 inch, but the rooms were made, pre-barbie, for 7.5 to 10 inch dolls like Ginny and Jan and they are slightly too small for Barbie

The inside of the brochure shows the rooms they have available. Now I just need the kitchen.

Brochure picture of the Nursery

Brochure picture of the Bedroom

Brochure picture of the Living room

I have the table and chairs from the kitchen, but nothing else. Maybe someday ... 

I hope you enjoyed your visit. I had fun showing it to you.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Tootsietoy Dollhouse from 1927


Here is my 1927 Tootsietoy Cardboard Doll House. The house measures approximately 19" long x 14.5" wide x 15 1/2 tall. The Dowst Brothers Company of Chicago started to produce dollhouse furniture sets around 1920 and continued until 1937. They called the toys "Tootsie" after a family member who died tragically young at age of 16  Tootsie soon became Tootsietoy.

The sides of the house have the same artwork with a trellis, flower boxes and green shutters. Wayne Paper Goods  Co. of Ft. Wayne, Indiana actually produced the house for Tootsietoy,

The front of the house has two large doors that open so the interior of the house can be accessed easily. Mine is missing the cardboard piece for the attic windows. It fits into the roof as shown in the next picture. Mine is also missing the knobs for the doors.

The inside of the house has lithographed details, like a fireplace, curtains, accessories, light sconces, carpets and anything else to make it a comfortable home. 

The living room has a lovely brick fireplace with a roaring fire.

The house technically has 6 rooms. 
The bathroom is in an alcove behind one bedroom. The metal Tootsietoy furniture is a perfect fit. 

There is even a scale so the dolls can watch their weight.

The smaller room in front of the bathroom can be a bedroom, or a dressing room or whatever. The console radio opens up to reveal the dials and speaker.

The master bedroom with the Tootsietoy bedroom set in blue.

The kitchen is an alcove behind the dining room.

I am missing the dining room table but I have substituted the living room side table for now.

The living room furniture is gold. The phonograph lets the dolls listen to music after dinner.

Here is the furnished house

Furniture sets were sold in colourful boxes. Here are some sets that are in my collection.

I have had this house for about ten years and have finally shared it, I hope you enjoyed the visit.

Antique German Gottschalk Kitchen


Kitchens have been on my mind lately. I have been isolating at home for more than a year and during that time I have rediscovered cooking and baking. I am still working full time remotely, but with more home time I have been pulling out old recipes and discovering new ones.

 I have always been attracted to the wonderful doll kitchens that were given to little girls in past centuries so they could learn about "women's work".  In today's world "women's work" means much more than kitchens, but I feel the charm of these antique miniatures holds to this day.
This lovely example from around 1900 is done in blue and white. The metal stove has painted blue trim, and there is a variety of blue enamelware to go with it..

I particularly love the blue delft design wallpaper with border.

The kitchen furniture, consisting of a two piece cupboard, wall shelf, and table with four chairs, is wood painted white and trimmed in blue

Accessories include 18 pieces of blue hard to find enamelware, a wonderful cast iron hand grinder trimmed in blue, and other misc kitchen pieces, including a rather large napkin in its holder.

The rolling pin in it's fancy holder is painted with fruit and the utensils hanging below it are also decorated. I love this piece.

There are a few pieces, like the ceramic "Home Sweet Home" bucket that don't seem to be original to the kitchen, but as they came with it I will leave them be.

I hope you enjoyed your visit. Happy cooking to you all.