Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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

The Antique "Book" House by Wendy Gater


This is a house from my own collection, I was very excited when I went to collect it, as I normally am when collecting Doll's Houses!

The house is an opening "book" style house, it has been solidly made and I consider it not just as a Dolls House but also as a piece of furniture. The measurements are approx 34 1/2ins high x 38ins high x 19 1/2ins deep.It sits on the floor and has wheels on the base for easy opening, I have added plastic cups to stop it scratching my laminated floor!

The house had been sympathetically restored, very well I may add, the house has it's original paintwork on the exterior and vintage papers were used inside to bring it back to it's former glory. The original glass to the windows was missing, so this was my first mission! I telephoned my local glazier who was happy to assist, I had the glass within 2 hours of my phone call. I immediately put the glass into place using nails hammered in at an angle, I used the original nail holes which had been used to hold the original glass.

I do not furnish my houses to an exact scale of furniture, if something looks good and right I put it in. This house having very large rooms was going to take a lot of furniture to fill!


 The picture above is the main bedroom. I always find it hard to buy antique/vintage lights and male dolls: they are scarce to find and also very expensive. I was very pleased to find two large vintage lights, I am unsure of their exact age but they are large and fit in very well with this house. The lady doll is vintage but the man doll is a new item, he will stay in this house until I am able to replace with a vintage man doll.

My favourite piece is the Walterhausen sofa, it is a large scale piece which is perfect for this large house, it has been recovered but the detail is exquisite.


This is the kitchen - it took me a long time to find all of these items, especially the salt box on the left hand wall. I think the bentwood table and chairs fit in very well in this room as do the oversized china items.


 In the childrens bedroom / nursery, there is a blue Marklin bed with old bedding, a soft metal pram, an old metal white bed and old German cardboard painted house. I really like the old pictures which are on the back wall with a biblical connotation.


The lounge has an antique table and chairs set; the table is extremely well made and pulls apart, there is an extension piece so it can be extended. The sofa has a shelf above to display ornaments and such like. The fabric is in a dark mink/ beige colour, it is all in very good condition. The fireplace is an early 1900's piece, a beautiful character piece. Items included on the dark Walterhausen table on the front left of the room are actual vintage hand rolled cigars and an old complete pack of playing cards, tied with ribbon. The room divider screen to the right of the room is very old, it is a handmade item, made with real glass and pressed flowers between the glass panels. The dolls are all vintage apart from the man doll (a new item).

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