Dollhouse Collecting Advice from

February 23, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
—For Immediate Release—

February 23, 2006—As a child in the gloomy days of World War II London, well-known dollmaker and collector, Faith Eaton, played with a 1940s dollhouse complete with air raid shelter, brown sticky paper crosses on its windows, and blackout curtains. The dollhouse was a small reminder of a big dilemma facing not only London, but the whole world. Antiques columnist Rosemary McKittrick of has advice on collecting vintage dollhouses.

Antique dollhouses are historical records of life the way it was. Time capsules. When the small doors open, a miniature world awaits. It could be a captain’s coastal Victorian home, a French parlor, a general store, or a 1920s tin bathroom; such is the world of the dollhouse.

Miniature houses date back to the 17th century. But, dolls came to live in these houses and children took them over in the mid-19th century. The word miniature house, as well as dollhouse is used. The distinction being, miniatures were made for adults. Dollhouses were made for children.


• In terms of collecting, dollhouses made from the mid-19th century to about 1920 are the ones collectors usually want. Once a collector buys and fills one, another often mysteriously appears in their lives.

• Age, size and type of manufacture are important. The earliest examples are the most valuable. But, condition and completeness is one of the first things a collector notices.

• The quality of craftsmanship is also critical. Was the dollhouse made by a factory or by a carpenter?

• There’s a big difference in price between buying an empty dollhouse and a fully furnished one. author Rosemary McKittrick has been writing weekly about the art, antiques and collectibles field for 15 years. Beyond the facts, Rosemary is a storyteller. Her fresh, lively narratives bring the world of collecting to life.

McKittrick is co-author of “The Official Price Guide to Fine Art,” a 1000-page book published by Random House and co-author of four volumes of “McKittrick’s Art Price Guide.”

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