Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

Fairy Princess Doll Furniture by Florine Bettge

 

What little girl didn't dream of being a Fairy Princess...at least for a day...or for every day she played with this small cardboard doll house furniture made in the mid 1930s by The American Crayon Company? This company  was one of the premier manufacturers of school art supplies and originally grew out of the need for a high quality chalk. Gradually absorbing other companies, they produced a myriad of other products...like this cardboard doll furniture.

The marketing brochure enclosed with the box was written by someone who knew how to pique the interest of the child...and more important, the parent buying it. 

 

This box contained furniture for a living room, dinette, kitchenette and bedroom, although they did sell a set of the dinette separately. A dinette set, new in the box, was listed on ebay in January - it is particularly interesting, as it names another producer.

The lid of the Dinette set - identical except for the maker's name printed along the bottom .....

Photo by kind permission and © ebay seller Allthisjunk4u

 

and details of the maker from the inside of the lid: The S. H. Davis Paper Box Co., Phillips Ave & M.C.R.R., Toledo, Ohio.  Presumably, The S. H. Davis Paper Box Co was taken over by The American Crayon Company at some point.

Photo by kind permission and © ebay seller Allthisjunk4u


The Dinette Set, in mint condition:

 

Photo by kind permission and © ebay seller Allthisjunk4u

 

My set was also unused, and I did feel a little guilty when punching out the pieces that had stayed so pristine for the last 75 years. But the instructions were included so I made a go of it......
 

 

 

Most of the pieces stay together okay, but if intended for a child to play with, it definitely needed a touch of glue as suggested.

 

My favorite room-set is probably the bedroom. I love the way the pillows are slanted on the bed just like real bedding.

 

 

The red and black living room included matching sofa and chair, an end table, a wing back chair, radio, and grand piano. The scale of the piano is a bit larger than the rest of the set.

 

In the kitchen we find a stove and hutch, and a table with big wide chairs. No sink, no fridge!

 

The dinette set, which included candles for the buffet,  was a much larger scale than the other 3 rooms of furniture.....

 

  .....and here is a comparison of scales between the kitchenette and dinette sets.

 

Here are  pictures of the Fairy Princess doll furniture in a Play-Time cardboard house made by the Sutherland Paper Company about the same time the doll furniture was produced. 

 

 

...bedroom.....

 

....living room....

(As you can see, the Play-Town house, like the Fairy Princess furniture, also has some tabs and slots for construction, but is mainly held together with brads.)

 

 

 

....kitchenette...

 

 

.....dinette.....

 

and a picture of the Play-Time Doll House No. 200 with removable front panel.....

 

 

Zillner's International Dollhouses & Accessories shows an advertisement for this house from the 1933 Montgomery Ward catalog. The house was furnished with 36 pieces of wood Jaymar Happy Hour art deco furniture...and sold for $1.89 complete. 

Here's my house with Happy Hour furniture.....

 

 

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