Welcome to my life . . . .

This is a blog about my passion: dollhouses and miniatures. This particular blog was started to follow my miniature dream: to create a Victorian Mansion. But work on my Mansion is slow. Very slow. Sloth slow. Ice Age glacier movement slow. Why? Because I am easily distracted by other personal miniature projects (I have 50+ roomboxes and 15 dollhouses in various stages of incompletion) and because I work for a miniature shop and am often up to my elbows in miniature projects that aren't mine! So, I thought, some artists work in a particular medium (woods, watercolors, clay, oils, etc.), I work in progress . . . .

Friday, March 22, 2019

Identifying Dollhouses

It all started when a customer brought in a dollhouse that she thought was custom made. I had worked on one before so I doubted the "custom made" label. But I had no information to offer the lady as my google searches did not reveal any pictures, details, or manufacturer name for the house. Eventually, after working on the same style house four different times for four different customers, I discovered it's manufacturer/name (Woodline Victorian Dollhouses)! And I began to wonder how many of the previous homes have I worked on have been custom vs. manufactured?

Here are some past dollhouses that I've worked on that I did not know at the time what they were....But I know now, thanks to this (new-to-me) 1980 catalog book:

This one we worked on twice and although I suspected it was a Walmer, I now have proof:  
First time it was in for exterior repairs and to paint the inside (shown here after we completed work)
Details from catalog book
Next time it was in for wallpapers and wiring repairs
Interior is a match!
We wallpapered this for a customer, and now I know it was called the Plumbrook Cottage (plans sold by Plaid Enterprises):

Cute little house!
Unique front opening access to that room
Open back (attic roof lifted up to reveal 2 rooms up there too)
From catalog book...
This Townhouse was in twice (first to fix electrical, then again to install the hinged exterior panel that son had broken off of house):
Complete with the hinged panel wall that son had broken off (seen here needing to be repaired still)
Such a stunning townhome!

It does appear as though the front door was replaced with a different door and that balcony above the front door is slightly different than the one pictured in the catalog book, but I do still think it's the same house.  Or maybe a later version of this house from the Superlative Doll Houses company.

The next house looked similar to Walmer's Brookshire...
But it had a mansard roof:
As it was when customer brought it to us

After we had done the renovations
Thanks to some google searching, I was able to determine it is a Walmer dollhouse that was called Old Town (also found it spelled Olde Town too).  But I could not find it in my 1980 catalog so I think it must be in one of the earlier or later catalogs (I will have to track down all the catalogs over time :) )

And, as fate would have it, we have two houses in right now for renovation/repairs that were from the same kit. They are the Duracraft Farmhouse 500.  (Not to be confused with the Dura-craft Farmhouse 505 which looks similar but has the front door on the front of the house and 2 single windows instead of double windows).
Grandmother brought us granddaughter's house to be fixed up
Interior will be re-wallpapered and new flooring installed (lighting will be checked too)
This Dura-craft was damaged in a move.  We'll glue it back together.
Dura-Craft in for repair work
Customer added the base this house sits on, but it is a Dura-Craft Farmhouse 500
Interior is mostly fine except the interior walls on the first floor need to be reinserted/glued
I will continue to identify houses I've worked on as I recognize them....


  1. Hi, Lori - I enjoyed this interesting post. I'm sure that it's very satisfying to finally be able to identify and compare the various houses that you've worked on. The 1980 catalog is a great find. Enjoy your future detective work!

    1. It was very spooky that a customer came into the store yesterday and showed me photos of his dollhouse (he didn't know the name of it) and it was the Old Town by Walmer (the one I just identified in this blog post!). I ordered another book and will definitely continue to research houses!!!

  2. This is neat. I don't believe I've ever worked on a vintage dollhouse.

  3. I too love research - I have kept all my old catalogs and identify houses, furniture and artisans for people regularly. I have all the Miniatures Catalogs except 4, 11 and 15 and tons of other catalogs and brochures. I also have a photo archive that just reached 700 photos and I have been working on a database of makers and their houses. My dream is to write a book focusing on the dollhouses, furniture and artisans of 1970 through 2000. It is so fantastic to see the resurgence in miniatures. I have collected my whole life and really ramped up in the 1970's - geesh I am getting old! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and information.