section 2: dollhouses 1880s to 1920s
images & photography: Jennifer McKendry©
glass hinged windows
by convention, the fake windows on the front wall have the “glass” panes painted black
balcony with hinged French doors
(restored foundation, steps, roof, parapet, chimney, wallpaper)
3- dimensional interior woodwork in a classical style
35 inches to top of chimney, 27 inches wide, 16½ inches deep
antique German furnishings & dolls; American cast-iron parlour set of the early 1870s, American Tynietoy high-post bed 1920s
Children’s bedroom (for the bedroom set, see GALLERY_OF_IMAGES_6 )
stereocard by I.W. Ingersoll, St Paul, Minn. (no date)
The furniture is likely German
1896 Moritz Gottschalk catalogue
Open rooms on 21¼ in. base, attributed to the German factory of Moritz Gottschalk (1840 - 1905), making dollhouses, furnishings and stables from about 1873 to about 1940, when World War Two interrupted toy manufacturing, which began again in 1947. Although this particular set of rooms does not appear in the surviving catalogues from 1892 to 1931, certain features resemble ones shown in the 1890s. (See References for books on Gottschalk by Ackerman and Cieslik.) Hand-painted blue lines decorate the cream-coloured front 3-dimensional pilasters, made up of mouldings, a base and capital (but in the 20th century, the shafts are flat with painted decoration suggesting a base or with applied fretwork retaining a 3-dimensional capital but no base). The main wooden base for the rooms has a simple angled profile at the front. The geometric "tiles" on the floor (covered in colourful lithographed paper), rich floral wallpaper with contrasting upper border, curtains trimmed with lace edging and held back by pins with a metal head, simple wood mouldings fastening the curtains at the top (although some rooms have elaborate versions, as seen in the catalogue illustration above), and white window sills below glass panes divided by a cross painted directly on the glass all are found in various Gottschalk rooms in the catalogues. The passage door is white with lines painted to represent panels but on only one side, flat hinges show on one side, there are no doorway mouldings, except a single flat piece into which a pivoting wire can be turned to hold the door shut. The painted lines and construction of the door and doorway are surprisingly crude in comparison to the sophisticated wall and floor papers.
Pilasters -- on the right, post c1906 (from the 1909 catalogue) and, on the far right, pre 1906
floor tiles (above left) and doorway
German metal chandelier with original glass chimneys and shades c1900
Furniture shown in the two rooms is discussed in Gallery 5 (desk) and Gallery 6 (bed, chest of drawers, wash stand) links at bottom
1890s These were among the pieces of furniture, which originally furnished this particular set of rooms (when set up as a parlour and a bedroom); German; printed paper applied over natural wood with black painted borders on the cupboard and edging on the shelf below the mirror; above table top, 3 in. diameter with turned pedestal base in natural wood
Moritz Gottschalk "red roof" dollhouse. The missing dormer window was restored based on the illustration from the 1910 catalogue (below), as were the glass windows and chimneys.
The narrow kitchen accessed from a doorway in the recessed porch or from a swinging wall panel. The wall paper and paper "tiled" flooring are original.
There are three rooms: parlour, kitchen and bedroom. The first is accessed from a doorway off the porch and a swinging wall panel, the second also has a doorway onto the porch and a hinged wall panel and the third is accessed from a hinged window (restored).
Note the typical Gottschalk slab door with a painted panel and handsome knob, which pivots on a staple on the reverse of the door. The wallpaper with its upper band and flooring are original but the curtains are replacements.
left Detail of one of the corbels supporting the eaves; the corbels are a medieval revival aspect
right Stencilled window on the end wall ("illuminating" the parlour); lace edged curtains; real lace curtains were intalled in the actual windows
Original typical Gottschalk clasp and details of stencilled trellis. Original steps.
The recessed porch with a cut-out cardboard X; typical Gottschalk ornament in gold on the porch pillars
1928 Odell Bros., Home Builder's Catalog
1904 Hodgson's Low Cost American Homes
Style and form: the dollhouse is dominated by a gambrel roof, intersected at right angles at the front by another gambrel roof sheltering a wide dormer, also seen (above) in the 1928 house in an American catalogue and in a 1904 architectural pattern book, although in this case the dormer is on the house's side wall. The gambrel roof (the main slopes angle out about half-way down permitting more headroom in the upper floor) is one more example in the 19th century of medieval revival forms.This roof type is found on 17th and 18th century houses and shops in the USA (right drawing made in 1886, at the time this form was becoming once again fashionable) derived from British and European models. In American terms, such early 20th century houses were known as "Dutch Colonial". The German firm of Gottschalk was wise to incorporate a house form popular in the USA, where many of their products were sold. The gambrel roof form appears in 1905 in Gottschalk dollhouses ranging from one main floor with an attic to three floors with an attic and from simple houses to elaborate. These houses usually had gambrel-roof dormers, sometimes decorated with half-timbering. Trellises -- real or stencilled, flower boxes (each a simple rectangular length of solid wood punctured with holes to receive the stems of flowers), shutters and recessed porches reflected popular ideas about what cozy aspects made a house a home. The gambrel roof seems to have fallen out of favour at Gottschalk in 1929, when the clean lines of simple gable and modern flat roofs were particularly popular. Roofs changed in colour from deep blue to red about 1910, the date of this dollhouse.
note: for images of Gottschalk kitchen rooms, see Gallery 4
Canadian house from south-west Ontario, probably hand-made by skilled craftsman, glazing bars painted on glass, panelled doors, original wallpaper and curtains
Purity Tea Canister, painted tin with glass windows, in the form of a house with a door that opens, James Crawford, grocer, Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; in business 1881 to 1920; marked on the back is, "This style & design of Package Registered by Baird & Peters of Ottawa."
Carl P. Stirn catalogue, New York; dollhouse with lithographed front made by Moritz Gottschalk of Germany
Schwarz catalogue, New York, likely made in Germany
Lithographed cardboard rooms, which can be folded (each room is shown below); furnished with soft metal furniture, easels and mantelpieces; attributed to Peter F. Pia of New York
1903 Leeds Toy House: a lithographed, folding, cardboard house made by Grimm & Leeds of Camden, New Jersey, patented 22 Sept. 1903, four varities; ad in the Wanamaker catalogue, USA, of 1905
page from the Catalogue of Holiday Goods offered by Wiemann & Muench, Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- details follow
Six dollhouses, some of which are by the American manufacturer Bliss, for example,
the cottage with the keyhole attic (#572 left)
the seaside house (#573 below left)
the two-storey cottage with verandah (#574 below right)
the rustic Adirondack Cottage complete with a roof handle in the form of a member of the First Nations (#662 below, attributed to Bliss).
None of these designs are shown in the 1911 Bliss catalogue. Bliss began making lithogrphed paper on wood houses in 1889.
likely by Bliss, USA; ad in the Wanamaker catalogue
dated stereocard, Kawin &Co.
1905 Youth's Companion , 5 November (detail below with colour added)
Photograph (in a school?) from the USA; shows a simple home-made dollhouse with home-made furnishings
postcard, American [1910s]
American cardboard house and garden (interior and exterior are shown below); windows and door are hinged; complete with range and chimney; originally sold with lithographed cardboard furnishings
Illustration from the catalogue of the Schoenhut Company, Philadelphia
This line of houses was introduced in 1917. Made with a wood frame, the fibreboard is embossed to represent stone walls and a foundation with a tiled roof; made in a variety of sizes and number of storeys; side wall opens (see below); "inside of houses covered with lithographs to represent fancy wallpaper"; glazed with glass, the windows were hung with lace curtains
Beginning in 1927, the exterior walls were smooth, perhaps imitating stucco
Note: for a Schoenhut catalogue of toys c1920, see the article on TOYS
Original lace curtains (the glue has discoloured over the years) and attractive wallpaper decorated near the ceiling with hanging baskets and garlands of roses; this model has 11 glass windows along with 4 fake ones printed on the back interior wall
In 1927, Schoenhut introduced "a line of very artistic high-class doll houses" including ones with gardens, trees, shrubbery, a garage and painted wooden automobile; each of the shuttered windows has 8 tiny lights in the upper sash over an undivided lower sash (the earlier houses have 2 undivided sash in each window); the door has a lattice-work window( the earlier houses have solid panelled doors); house sizes ranged downward to a simple one-room bungalow with the front roof extended to form a verandah
one-room “dollhouse”, hand-made in the United States; likely made as a display item rather than a play toy, because all the furniture was nailed down; the accessories and furniture are original to the room except for the cupboard, stove, centre table, rug and doll. Hipped roof, clapboard exterior, 11 inches to top of chimney, 13 inches wide, 12 inches deep
Chimney with an antique German-made bird
The wallpaper scale is huge: no doubt a leftover piece from real wallpaper
Four-pane glass windows with exterior louvred shutters and interior lace curtains hung by rings on curtain rods; an unusual aspect is the use of blinds; original piano, stool, vases and picture
Original set of parlour furniture including a platform rocker in a style seen in Eaton’s catalogue of 1899-1900
Original kerosene hanging lamp made of painted wood and wire, 3 inches high, of a type shown in Eaton’s catalogue of 1909
Original rocking chair, guitar and banjo, the latter 3 inches long
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE THE GALLERY OF IMAGES!