In my efforts to go through storage inventory that has been long forgotten, I’ve uncovered a tidy little box of some vintage 1970’s Dollhouse items. Dollhouse pieces always seem to sell, so if you have one, check out the new additions:
Tag Archives: dollhouse
The other weekend I bought a large bin of Tyco Quints toys that turned out to be an entire Playground Playset and various other pieces of furniture. It reminded me that I had that whole bin of Tyco Quints stuff in my shed that I’d been meaning to have the energy to get out, dig through, research, group together, photograph and list. What the heck, I pulled it out and found that I had multiple sets of dolls, playsets, pieces of furniture, etc., that I figured I may as well list now that I had the handy dandy help of http://www.ghostofthedoll.co.uk/quints.htm to decipher where everything went and with what. As it ended up I was able to make twenty-one listings on Etsy with potential revenue of $500. We shall see how they do….
As I’ve mentioned before, in the colder months, the garage sales dry up and I begin to look for other sorts of supply. I came upon a listing for a lot of vintage Dollhouse babies for $9.99. I recognized a few of them as either Erna Meyer, Caco, or perhaps Lundby. And then there was a Belinda Littles from Mattel 1980 thrown in amongst a few others pretty indiscernable. I knew the Caco’s and Erna Meyer’s should fetch at least $9.99 each, so I went ahead and bought the lot. I can tell the Caco from the plastic head and hands, the soft foam legs with plastic shoes and the way the eyes are painted. The Lundby is a lesser meticulous form of the Caco. And the Erna Meyer is “stockinette” or covered in a a sock-like fabric and painted, legs and feet are covered in the foam, hands are wire covered in stocking. And Belinda Littles looks a lot like a Liddle Kiddle, but her body is longer and her eyes are different. From what I can tell, only from the ones that I know about, I should make over $100 on Etsy.
The other weekend, I stopped by a garage sale that was not even on my list. There I found a bevy of vintage Christmas items, and these little tin houses. How cute were they, I thought, though felt a bit silly buying them. But by now, I trust my instinct, and if I like it, there’s usually a reason. And the reason is: value. These little tin houses had hinges that opened up like a dollhouse and inside were lithographs of the interiors of the houses. I glanced at the bottoms reading “Hunkydory” and “Dana Kubick” and “Made in England” and “1988” and “1991.” I snapped all six of them up for a dollar. Returning home, I came to find they were worth $20 each. And the day after I listed them on Etsy, a lady from the UK asked me how much to ship to her for two of the houses. Shipping was more than one house, and off went two of them, with shipping, to Wiltshire, England, for $65. I paid 40¢.
So what was the deal with these little houses? I felt like I had seen them before as they were around my time when I had time to focus on such things. Well, Dana Kubick has her own website: http://www.danakubick.co.uk/tins/Tins.html
And her entire biography is available here: http://www.danakubick.co.uk/bio/bio.html
If you can find her little tin boxes, their artistry goes for more than your regular tin:
So if you come across any little tin houses or tin bears or dogs that say “Hunkydory” or “Dana Kubick” on the bottom, snap them up. There’s a lady in England that will pay you $20 for each.
Well, this is a crazy coincidence: the last time I posted about Lundby Dollhouses was on the exact same day one year ago! “Lundby Dollhouses from Sweden” Who would’ve thunk that one year later I would find myself in posession of the Gothenberg version for all of $20 (or less when you consider I bought it as part of a group deal with a ton of new in the box toys and ERTL diecast metal Thomas Trains). In that previous post, I detailed both the newer versions that Lundby currently offers as well as the vintage versions as is the one I found. Reading my own previous research, I see that a complete, triple box Gothenberg house like this had gone for $384 English pounds. Strangely enough, researching today, I can’t find many good examples of the same for sale or sold. The two pieces sold on ebay appear to have been in poor condition:
And the only piece available on Etsy (other than mine) is going for a bit more and doesn’t have the original box:
So I don’t know if we’re just in a slump of Lundby dollhouses these days or if they really are becoming more rare. For more info on the dollhouses and the company, refer back to my previous post of one year ago: “Lundby Dollhouses from Sweden” And to take a look at the pieces I have for sale, you can find them in my shop MissBargainHuntress on Etsy:
I had two offers the first day I listed them!
While looking up information on Shackman Dollhouse Furniture, I came across Hillhouse Dollhouse Furniture made over a few decades ago by Jim & Shirley Hillhouse. I love hand-painted full-size furniture, so the miniature variety was equally appealing. Items are handmade and intricately hand-painted and go for the big bucks. The first photos that drew me in were found on another cool dollhouse website, http://tynietoy.org/id10.html:
Apparently there was an article about the couple published in The Miniature Collector summarized by the following:
Rarely you will find pieces for auction on ebay and you can see how valuable they are:
I highly doubt I’ll ever run into a rare piece of Hillhouse Dollhouse furniture for any less than what they’re actually worth, but if I do, it will be my lucky day.
I’ve already written more than once about the dollhouse furniture I found in two boxes at a garage sale for $20. Many of the pieces I found in those boxes were made by Shackman and had the little gold labels to tell me so. I had to investigate the vintage nature of this line of furniture I was about to sell. A bit of history is given by the following website which has even more interesting information on other dollhouse and dollhouse furniture manufacturers – http://www.mckendry.net/DOLLHOUSES/1960-1990part2.htm:
In the 1970s, one of the prolific distributors of dollhouse miniatures suitable for the adult collector was the Shackman Company of New York. Pages from the catalogues of the Federal Smallwares Corp., “distributors of Shackman & other fine imports,” reveal the origins of many vintage items available to buy in quantity from various web sources such as eBay. Confusion arises when reproductions are offered as antique — particularly with accessories such as unmarked oil lamps and pottery. Made in such countries as Japan, Taiwan and Germany (“old world craftsmen” according to the company’s catalogue), the extensive use of wood for the furniture contrasts with the dominance of plastic marketed by other companies for use by children. As the catalogue tells us: “Cherrywood, Dearie, not plastic or plywood.”
It is difficult to find out much more information on the company. Following are the several pieces I still have left for sale on Etsy.
Other great dollhouse websites:
A few weeks ago I went to garage sales and found a dollhouse. I was drawn to it. At first because it was an English Tudor (as my house is, as was the house in which I grew up). Second, because it was smaller in size than the dollhouse my mom made for me when I was younger (four rooms instead of nine). I looked at it with a sparkle in my eye, amazed at the detail, the wallpaper, the floors, the electric lighting, much of which was similar to that of my old dollhouse.
I asked the lady who was having the sale how much it was. She proceeded to tell me the story of an older gentleman from their church who had given her the dollhouse in the hopes that it would be fixed up. She then opened a bag that contained all of the furniture for the house and finally pulled out a small photo album. The entire album was full of fifty-eight pictures of the evolution of the dollhouse, from skeleton frame to the completed inside, showing where each piece of furniture once went. There was even one photo of a similar house sitting on the shelf in our local toy store. The lady said she wished the photos had dates on them, but you could tell they must have been from the ’70’s or so.
I swear this could be my living room from when I grew up:
And finally, the house in the toystore:
I asked the lady again how much she wanted for it, but she said she really just wanted someone to take it and take care of it. I tried to formulate in my mind the best way to offer that I was indeed that person. I fumbled my way through a few sentences that were met with wide eyes and happiness on the part of this lady and her daughter, who were delighted that I wanted to take the house off their hands. In the end I offered her twenty dollars, a sum I thought was minimal, but that my husband later scoffed at seeing as the lady was willing to give it to me. I didn’t feel right just taking it.
She helped me carry it to the car and I drove off wondering what I had gotten myself into. Where would I put it? Would I really be able to bring it back to its former glory?
I brought it home and immediately found the perfect size table and spot on which to set it. And in the evenings, when I was too tired to do anything else, I began working on the house.
I replaced some of the trim and windows that had popped off. I began piecing together the puzzle that was the intermittent missing shingles here and there on the roof. I replaced all of the furniture inside according to the photos. I glued together pieces of furniture that were missing legs, etc. My husband even said I could by new things for it, which was shocking, but there was something compelling me to use all of the old pieces that I could, to bring it back to the way it once was.
Amazing things I found in that bag of furniture including three tiny Hummel plates that hung on the kitchen wall (I collect Hummels), a silver beer stein (I collect beer steins), and two little mugs with the names “Dorothy” and “Marty.” I assume those were the initial owners, “Dot & Mart” as my girlfriend calls them, and I hope they would appreciate this labor, wherever they may be.
I did order a new kitchen set off of ebay that is very similar to the one that was shown in the photos. The remainder of those former pieces were too difficult to repair.
My daughter has enjoyed helping me, just as I enjoyed helping my mother with my old dollhouse, and the cycle of life has continued with much sentimentality.
The thing about a dollhouse is that it’s never really done. You’re always adding to it or changing things around. Visits to the dollhouse store are far more fun, far more expensive than the mere window-shopping that was done before, yet far more rewarding and worthwhile. Hopefully I’ve done Dot & Mart proud.