Monday, August 1, 2016

NEW BOOK AVAILABLE: Schoenhut Dollhouse Furniture 1928-1934 by Patty Cooper

Schoenhut Dollhouse Furniture 1928-1934 by Patty Cooper is a new 52-page guide to this hard-to-find and hard-to-identify dollhouse furniture. There are 136 photos including original boxes, complete sets, vintage advertisements, and comparisons to similar furniture by other companies. 

It is available directly from the printer at (search by author or title) for $35.59 plus shipping (varies depending on desired rate.) 

If you would prefer to pay by check, it can be purchased from the author for $34.00 plus $6.45 for priority mail. Please include your name and address with a check for $40.45 to Patty Cooper, 3237 Garden Drive, Knoxville, TN 37918. 

If you have questions, please contact Patty at

What a wonderful new resource this book is for the dollhouse collector! Clear colorful pictures of Schoenhut furniture by year of production with an added bonus of the furniture displayed in a lovely Schoenhut dollhouse from the corresponding year. This book is an excellent source to help you identify this highly collectible furniture when the seller does not. 

This is one of the best resource books on dollhouse furniture I have ever viewed, and certainly the BEST on Schoenhut dollhouse furniture! 

A link to the purchase information has been added to the Pages column for quick access.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Plans for "A Dream of a Dollhouse to Build" now available on this blog

I first posted about this dollhouse in April, 2010, when I found one listed on Ebay constructed from the same pattern. I had saved the original article from a Woman's Day magazine from Mid-October 1976 when I was trying to decide what style of dollhouse I wanted to build for my almost 4 year old daughter. 

That post has been one of my most read, and over the years there have been many comments from people wanting to re-create the dollhouse.  One blogger who commented was contacted by Jean Reynolds who had a copy of the plans and was willing to share. Jean has made the information available several times, and I finally  took advantage of her generous offer to be able to post the plans on this blog. You can find them to the right under the column Pages. 

If you decide to build this wonderful dollhouse, please share, as I would be delighted to post pictures of your work in progress, finished project and any hints and suggestion you have that will help others construct this 40 year old design by Ira Grandberg, AIA.  

Have FUN!

Friday, March 11, 2016

A mail order bride for Harry, Part 3

We first met Harry Castleton in 2011 when he asked me to find a nice companion for him.  A mail order bride for Harry tells that story. Harry next decided he needed a set of wheels so he and his new bride wouldn't have to ride the bus or metro rail.  You can read about his excursion to Smitty's Used Cars at Harry buys a used car

Harry needed some repairs made to his home before his bride arrived, so he made arrangements with the dollhouse lady to do that. Alas, it has taken the dollhouse lady over 3 years to make the repairs. But now Sophie has arrived and we can continue with the story!

Back from their honeymoon, Harry helps Sophie out of their car... 

and carries her across the threshold. 
"Whoops! I didn't mean to bump your head Sophie!"

Showing Sophie around their home, Harry first shows her his most prized possession...musicians on barrels...that he inherited from his father. 
Actually he didn't inherit them. 
Each of his 4 brothers also wanted them, so they played a game of
 mumblety-peg to see who would claim them. Harry won and was no worse for wear.  

Next he shows Sophie his mother's silver tea service.
He and his brothers drew straws to see who would claim it.
This time drawing the short straw was lucky for Harry!


"How do you like our nice large kitchen, Sophie?" asks Harry. 
"I bet you will be making us some great meals!"

"Of course I will, Harry. Will you teach me how to cook?"

"Hmmn, twin beds," Sophie  thinks to herself. "Harry is a wise man."

"Beryl, my sister-in-law, suggested you might like your own desk
 for correspondence," says Harry.

"And I picked out this vanity just for you, to help you keep yourself beautiful."
"Hmmn, not always a wise man," thinks Sophie.


"We have a nice supply of linens," Harry says, 

"and a bath large enough for two!"

"I think not," thinks Sophie.

That very evening Harry introduces Sophie to his family....four brothers!
Hollis and Beryl were the first to arrive,  

followed by Hugh and Lesley.


Hedley introduces himself and his wife Noreen to Sophie.

"Oh, poor Sophie!" laments Noreen.
 "I bet you didn't expect to see something like this on the mantel."

"Wonder where that youngster Huntley is," asks Hollis as the doorbell rings.
 "He's always the last to show up. Wonder if he is bringing a date?"

"Hello, guys! This is one of my students, Fern," says Huntley.

As the evening ends and Huntley and Fern are the last to leave,
we notice the mantel is bare and Huntley is carrying a familiar object in his arms.

Oh, Sophie, no you didn't!!

"I thought my mom's favorite figurines would look nice on the mantel," says Sophie.
"I hope you don't mind."

Harry and Sophie live in a Keystone of Boston southern mansion #1255
 that appeared in the Keystone catalog of 1942-43.

This was one of their "top of the line" 4 room models...with stairs,
fireplace transformer for interior lighting, plywood floors, painted carpets, 
canopy shades on windows, built in kitchen cabinets and lovely stenciled wallpaper.  

Several models of this particular design were produced.

This shows the 6 room model with the stairs in the lower middle room
....and no painted rugs or fancy wallpaper.

And a delightful picture of a happy little girl who received this dollhouse for Christmas...

 and a smaller version of the same model, with 4 rooms, was also produced.

I have furnished this house with the smaller dollhouse furniture made by Menasha Woodenware Corporation of Menasha, Wisconsin. The company, founded in 1849, originally made barrels, pails and other utilitarian wood products and only made dollhouse furniture for several years during the 1930s to see them through the great depression.
The furniture was made in 2 different sizes...a traditional 1":1' scale and a slightly larger size that could be considered 1.5":1' scale.  The larger furniture was marketed under the Tyke Toys trade name. Examples of the smaller Menasha furniture can be found on pages 135-36 of Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and their Furnishing by Dian Zillner and Patty Cooper. There is an excellent article on the Menasha Tyke Toys furniture in Zillner's International Dollhouses and Accessories 1880 to 1980 on pages 79-80.

The Menasha Woodenware bedroom....
the folding screen and lamps are not Menasha products.

The bath made by Menasha in the smaller series.
My friend George has a Menasha bathtub with a "tile" surround similar to
the one made by Strombecker circa 1950.

The dining table has 2 centered legs for support....just like designs of real furniture in the early 1930s. Strombecker also used that design in their furniture of the same period.

Tall legs and with a modern vibe, the chair and sofa were flocked.

The hutch is probably my favorite piece of Menasha furniture.
I don't have a refrigerator, but George one was definitely made!

The piano and bench.
Sophie couldn't find room for it in her new home..
so maybe they will be moving soon?

The unique design of the turned legs helps to identify Menasha furniture.

The kitchen cabinet was a built-in provided by Keystone.

If you have read many of my posts,
you have probably realized that Caho/Caco dolls are my favorite. 

Beryl, in navy, is from the early 1930s; Sophie, Lesley and Noreen are from the period
right after World War II; and Fern, with plastic hands and feet, is from 1970.
The most complete information on Caco dolls can be found
on the diePuppenstubensammlerin website.

 Ah, the Castleton brothers!
Harry, Hugh, Hedley, Huntley and Hollis are Caho dolls from the late 1930s.

And here ends my story of the mail order bride.
But....there are 4 more brothers who live in the Village....

Monday, February 1, 2016

A wonderful Keystone available on Craig's List in St. Louis

Wouldn't you love to have this wonderful Keystone of Boston dollhouse made in the early 1950s?  Well, you can!! This house is listed on Craig's List in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Sheree was given  this little house around 1953 and it has been lovingly cared for. No longer having room to store it, she would like to find it a good home. After seeing my blog, she contacted me wondering if I knew of anyone in St. Louis who would be interested in buying it. 

I have many Keystone houses, but I have always thought this was one of the most attractive little houses Keystone made.

Looking at the interior one can tell this house was very well cared for.

A unique feature of this house are the two windows in the living area.  
You will see them later in a close-up interior shot.

The graphics on this house are some of Keystone's best.

Tall columns, a porch lite on chain and a door that opens!

On the bottom floor is the kitchen with bright blue and white walls.

The front door opens to this stately room that can be used as a 
living room or dining room...or whatever you choose.

This is my favorite room with windows on adjacent walls....and a staircase!

The top floor has a bedroom on the left side with two floor length windows...

...a bathroom in the middle with rose tile and sailboats...

and a pretty blue and white bedroom on the right side. 
I love it when a dollhouse has space for two bedrooms and a bathroom!

Two red "brick" chimneys, firmly attached.

I love the "hardwood" floors that were silk-screened 
on the floors of the Keystone houses.

Minor problems...the roof needs to be re-secured at the top...

...and a strip of shrubbery is missing on top of the porch. 
The original was constructed of heavy cardboard 
and Sheree has a pattern to help you replicate it.

Here is the link to the listing on Craig's List where you will find 
a more complete description of the condition of this lovely little house.

Shree has now listed this lovely Keystone house on Ebay....
See it here.....

And, feel free to contact Sheree at