Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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

Do you have a house you can't identify?

Hoping someone can help put a name or date to it?


Send photos (preferably max 500kb) and details to me and I'll add them to the page and start a forum discussion....

Jenni's Marbled Room

Jenni recently bought this roombox showing a living room scene at a junk shop.

The three porcelain dolls are 6-7 inches in height, and can be moved.


There is a battery at the back with two little wires which can be plugged in so the little lights to either side of the fireplace light up.

There are no markings on this roombox, or on the dolls. I have suggested to Jenni that it was probably made within the last 20-30 years, but I don't know whether it was made by a known artisan or by an individual miniaturist. Does anyone recognise the style, or the elements such as the marbled fireplace, wainscotting, cornices and door?



If it was made by someone at home, perhaps it was inspired by a magazine article or book. Does anyone remember a project like this?



If you recognise it, or have suggestions about the maker/s, please comment in the forums.

Identified as a DHE roombox sold as an unfinished kit from about September 1994, with fireplaces in a plastic marble effect which were available at the Kensington Dolls House Festival in the 1990s. The man doll may have been made by Jill Nix.

Added 23 November 2014

A Mansion in Georgian Style

Charlotte has emailed photos of a dolls house that her mother-in-law gave her daughter some years ago. They would like to sell it, but don't know anything about it, although Charlotte thinks that her mother-in-law may have had it designed personally for her. Does anyone recognise the house, or design elements of it that could help identify the maker? 

As you can see in the photo, there are alcoves at the back of the ground floor and first floor halls. There are doors at the back of the top floor rooms - they lead only to the space where the wiring for lights is. There are stairs to the top floor, although I'm not sure from the photo where they are.


If you can help identify the model or the maker of this dolls house, please comment in the forums.

Added 6 September 2014

A 1950s kit-made front & back opening dolls house

Grace wonders if anyone can help identify this house. The information provided to her is that it was made in 1953/55, and it came from a shop in Essex, as a kit.

The front opens to 2 rooms on left, and stairs to the right.

The back opens to 2 rooms on the left and a landing on the right.


It's in its original colours and decor. It's 1/24th scale.

If you recognise this house, or any features of it, such as the opening wooden windows, please comment in the discussion forums.

Added 24 November 2016

A ca 1960s/70s house with porch, balconies and garage

Charlotte's mother recently bought this dolls house in a charity shop. There was no furniture with it, nor any makers mark. Some of the finishing looks like it's been homemade from a kit or plans. They would be interested to know more about it, if anyone recognises the model or design features of the house. Please comment in the forums if you have suggestions.

Added 5/12/15

A Czech Dolls House?

Lis is wondering if anyone knows anything about this little house. It's 16th scale & sold to her as made in Czechoslovakia. It came with a set of Tofa furniture (which is Czech). The seller said the furniture was bought at the same shop as the house in the mid 1960s. Any ideas? Please comment in the forums if you have suggestions.


Added 4/12/15

Elizabeth Jackson's Plaster House

Elizabeth says,

I am wondering if anyone can help identify the maker, date, etc of this plaster-covered cottage.

One of my dolls house friends owns two and I always admired them, but she does not know their origins. My friend's two cottages are identical to mine as to exterior, apart from slight variation in the obviously hand-painted creeper growing up the front.


When this one came up for auction recently I decided to get it. The board on which it sits is 53 x 41 cm, and the building measures 46 x 36 cm (incl. porch). It seems to be a wooden or metal framework covered very thickly with plaster, so is exceedingly heavy. 
The interior of one of my friend's cottages has two rooms, but just a fireplace, no stairs in centre of lower room back wall, and the fireplace itself is different, not a curved top but a mantelpiece.   The other one has four rooms, each obviously very small, and fireplace and stairs are attached to the room-dividing wall in the lower left hand room. And the fireplace and stairs here are identical to mine -  must have been made as a unit? But in addition the lower right hand room has a fireplace with mantelpiece attached to the room dividing wall, back to back with the other one.
Obviously with the walls being plaster it is hard to attach any fittings to exterior walls.
Has anyone else seen these sort of cottages? If you have seen any,or know who made them, when or where, please comment in the forums.

Added 22 May 2014

Sharon's Cottage


Sharon recently purchased this dolls house. It looks rather like a GeeBee Tudor Cottage, but there are differences - including the dormer window! Has it been altered, or is it by another, less well known maker?


The windows and chimney pots are metal, and the roof is made of hardboard type material. If you know of houses like this, please comment in the forums.

Added 22 July 2014

Karen's Big Old Doll's House

Karen has a new old doll house, bought on ebay, that she would like to learn more about it, for example the date or a maker or any history or how it would have looked all those years ago. There is a pencil date written on the attic floor saying 1866, but it looks as if was written through the attic window due to the angle of which it is written.

Front of house



 The chimney - sadly someone had recovered this & at some stage it had then been ripped off, so there is little of the original paper left.


One of the rooms which has a carpet stuck down to the floor. I have removed this but it has left a glue residue which I'm struggling to remove (any suggestions?). 


The lower part of one of the opening doors to the front & what looks like water marks, seems to be some original paper. 


A room where something has been stuck & ripped off. 


 A trade mark on the door panel paper reading "J L&S R and L Promptitude"

 Another room with what appears to be original paper but is in a bad way - the photo below shows the floor more clearly.



 The left door (looking at the house)


The right hand door. 


Above and below, the ceilings of the lower floor rooms.


The ceilings of the upper 2 rooms were papered over but I am removing it very carefully & there is what appears to be original paper, but it looks as if it may have been painted over at some stage. 


A picture taken through the window of the attic which appears to show original wall paper.  


This shows where someone had recovered the whole of the house in a smaller brick scale, which at some stage was then ripped off leaving marks. 


This shows one of the door panels which has been scuffed & it looks like there is something underneath the panel paper, maybe the panel paper was added at a later stage? 

If you can help Karen with suggestions about date, original features, etc, please comment in the forums.

Added 14 July 2014

Deaun's new mystery house

Front of house

Deaun says:

Many “thank you”s to your website and readers for solving the last “mystery house” in my ever-larger collection; I now have another that I hope the ladies and gentlemen may be able to help identify.
Sides of the house - both sides are the same, although one side had water damage, which has been repaired:
Back view
The bathroom alcove seems to belong to a late ‘20s-early ‘30s house, and the paint colors are within that time span also, although it could be a repaint from that time.  There is not any sign of the front having ever had doors.  The style is vaguely Italianate, with arched doorways and a hip roof, minus brackets, and the windows are glass with detailed wooden inserts.


The bathroom alcove with 2” deep closet and medicine cabinet  




The only things I am sure of with this house is that someone updated the electrics, possibly during the 40s as the wiring went from a cotton wrap to a plastic/vinyl with a Bakelite plug, as there is a single light socket in the nursery area, very close to the front of the house, with a wiring hole exiting from the bottom right side of the house.  


Cloth-wrapped wires in the second floor nursery 


“Next generation” wiring in the attic


Scale appears to be 1:10 (German?), with measurements as follows: 25” H X 41” L X 16” D. 


The doll in the  photos is a 5 1/2” Nancy Ann, to give an idea of wall heights.


Deaun is in the US, and this house may well have been made there. If you have ideas or information about the date, maker or style of this dolls house, please comment in the forums.

Added 19 May 2014

1960s Dolls House bought in Chicago

Sally Carson needs help in identifying maker of a dollhouse purchased in the 1960s at Marshall Fields in Chicago. It’s a large house, 30”wide  x 18”deep x 25”high and may be made of masonite. It is  white with red shutters, a working front door, two floors and removable roof.  It has trees painted on either side of the front door and tulips painted on sides of house. No markings indicating origin.




Some collectors have suggested that it might have been German made for the American market at that time. My (Rebecca's) first thought was that it could be English, and my second was Dutch, though I'm not sure it's either. It has some similarities to English Playcraft houses (including a similar-shaped chimney with slots for the roof pieces) - but also quite a few differences.

Can anyone identify the maker? Please comment in the forums if you can help!

Added 28 September 2015

A house in a shop ...

Member Peanuts saw this house in a shop, and wonders if anyone can help date it or identify it. She says,

"Inside are rooms which can be accessed from the front but turn it around and there are rooms in the back too. All can be accessed by their own door. It has internal doors throughout and papers look old. I loved it. Its not much to look at but the detail gone into it is amazing. Do you think handmade? I looked underneath and it says London. Hidden in the roof are some old electrics. Very old as the are black switches like the ones i had in my old Triang Princess dollshouse."


If you have ideas about this house, please comment in the forums.

Added 30/11/15

Lori's Mother's House

This is not actually the house her mother had as a child, but it's identical, and Lori has just bought it as a surprise birthday present! She'd like to know what it is - she thought that it might be a Rich house, but can't find it among those she's seen. (Lori and her mother are in the US.)


It has one chimney and four rooms. (I have asked Lori for a photo of the inside, and will add it later.)


Lori says that If looking at the door to the right there are 2 small openings - does anyone know what they are for? Please comment in the forums.


Added 14 July 2015

A Mystery Kit House from Washington DC

Elizabeth from Virginia, USA, would appreciate help in identifying a new dolls house. She says,

"I bought this dollhouse from a woman who built it with her father in 1985 in the Washington DC area.  I was pretty sure it was Dolls' House Emporium kit but they have confirmed it is not one of theirs, they don't know what it is and suggested maybe it should have a basement (of course it *should*!)

Any thoughts on where the kit came from? I've scoured Google images,  your website, and auction catalogs, to no avail."



If you can identify it, or have suggestions for Elizabeth, please comment in the forums.

Added 18 June 2015

Caroline's Box-Back

Caroline has sent photos of another of her dolls houses, which she describes as "a small sedate box back townhouse with basement in Silber and Fleming style, though possibly a Lines house ??"



What do you think? Do you recognise this particular model? Are there features which indicate a particular maker? Please comment in the forums.

Added 6 June 2015 

Mark's Large Family Dolls House

Mark has sent photos of a dolls house he has inherited, which has been in his family at least since the mid 1800s, with literature recording its use (it was locked and was the only toy children were allowed to play with on Sundays in Victorian times). It was painted and re-wallpapered by his mother, so no longer has the original decoration.




Mark wonders if  anything about its design points to a date etc. (All the furniture is modern, so is no help in dating it.)

The fireplaces are very distinctive.



If you have suggestions about its age or can identify the fireplaces, please comment in the forums.

Added 6 June 2015