Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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

G. & J. Lines Ltd 1931 Bungalow    by Marion Osborne, with photos by Marel Urry

G & J Lines shows this delightful little house in their 1931 catalogue.  The write up states that the bungalow is 16 1/2" wide, 12" high and 8 1/2" deep.  "A delightful little house with one large useful room. Includes porch with seat’s, chimney and fireplace and rain water barrel.  Nicely decorated in cream, green and red with realistic Flower Bed Transfer on front and side.  Remarkable value"  Written on the page is 3/4d, so not a huge price.


The page states New and Better Value dolls' Houses, however there is no guarantee that this was new in 1931, however it is not in the 1928 catalogue and the firm ended in 1932 with the death of Joseph Lines, so the bungalow was not made for very long, at the most four years and least one year.


The fireplace is unusual as I have not come across a corner one before, but I am quite sure it is original and certainly it is in G & J Lines style.  Please note that it does not match up with the central chimney, but this was a common fault, Tri-ang  were guilty of the same misdemeanour.  


There was friction between G & J Lines and the Lines Brothers (Tri-ang) and this may well demonstrate the reason for the irritation.  Marel said that it was similar to her Mayflower small house No 52.  Both had a water butt and down pipe, the Lines one seems a little more basic than Tri-ang’s.  The Mayflower was first introduced in 1928 and many of the series finished in 1932, with only the larger ones continuing to 1933.  So there was an overlap and it is likely that the Bungalow was a copycat version.  Another similar feature in that both the bungalow and the Mayflowers had lattice windows, painted or scored onto thin plastic.  Anyway it is a long time ago and they are all unusual houses these days.  Incidentally if anyone has the two smaller of the Mayflower houses, I would love to hear from you.  Tri-ang made 128 different designs and I am still looking for 16 of them!

The inside papers have old damp stains on them but the little house was one of the items salvaged after a war time bombing raid when the main house scored a direct hit.


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