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Dolls' Houses
Past & Present

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

Issue 32 (March 2020)

Schoenhut Neighbors

by Florine Bettge

Small Schoenhut cardboard & wood dolls houses made between 1931-1934

These two houses are the smallest of my six Schoenhut dollhouses. They sit on a shelf side by side….making them neighbors.  I can blame this particular collection of houses on blogger Carol Morehead for suggesting I get a Schoenhut dollhouse for my Schoenhut dollhouse furniture when I blogged about it back in 2010. Both of these houses were made between 1931-1934, and are from the Schoenhut inexpensive line of heavy cardboard dollhouses with plastic windows, wooden floors and wooden support beams. 

The A. Schoenhut Company was founded in 1872 by Albert Schoenhut, a German immigrant to America, but it wasn’t until 1915 that dollhouses were introduced by the company. Dollhouse furniture was added in 1929; but sadly, the company went into bankruptcy in 1934 ending the production of dollhouses and dollhouse furniture. Schoenhut Manufacturing Company was established in 1936 by a son of Albert Schoenhut and manufactured dollhouses from 1936-40. My last dollhouse shown in this article, the Schoenhut Beverly Hills, was manufactured by this company.

Schoenhut dolls house shown on left in photo above, with centered front door and four rooms

This house, with the centered front door and four rooms, measures 17½” x 10½” x13½”. It has the original curtains that came with it and was originally electrified. It houses the smaller line of Schoenhut furniture made from 1930-34. 

Furnished interior of above Schoenhut dolls house

Schoenhut living room and kitchen furniture from house above

Schoenhut bedroom and bathroom furniture from house above

Schoenhut’s 1930  line of dollhouse furniture produced  the fireplace, which was  part of the of the Apartment House Rooms living room.  In 1931 Schoenhut  produced the living room chairs, sofa and library table, the twin beds and bedside table. The paper used to resemble bed covers was missing and has been replaced. The bedroom dresser was produced in 1932. Production in 1933 included the radio (missing the top shelf) and the newly designed kitchen set. The last production in 1934 included the bathroom set.  The chair is a Kage product (1938-48) and all lamps are Strombecker.   

Caco grandfather and grandmother dolls ca 1950s or 60s from house above

German Caco dolls, dressed as an older couple and produced most likely during 1950-60s, live in this house with their Schoenhut furniture.

Schoenhut house shown on right in first photo, with door on left and 3 windows

This slightly smaller Schoenhut dollhouse measures 16” x 9½” x 13”  with a front door situated to the side. It also contains four rooms. 

Schoenhut house with door on left as purchased, without brick paper and with marks of adhesive on plain cardboard wall

This is how it looked when I purchased it from Ebay. It is evident that it had paper attached, most likely looking like this picture below.

Photo of same Schoenhut model with probably original brick paper and red roof

I was unable to find a similar paper to restore my house, and after selecting  paper, I decided the roof would look better green than the original red. I also wallpapered the interior to cover the stains from many years of play.

Furnished interior of second Schoenhut house with door on left

I've furnished this house with Jaymar Specialty Company Happy Hour dollhouse furniture circa 1933. Jaymar was associated with the toymaker Louis Marx and Company. Five rooms of this furniture were produced in a ¾” to 1’ scale, with an Art Deco look in red and black, simple lines and with one moving part.

Jaymar lavender bathroom set and green bedroom set

Jaymar red living room set

Jaymar yellow kitchen set and green dining room set

Pieces Included in Jaymar production are shown; however,  missing from my collection are carpet  sweeper, pair of candle holders, a bathroom stool and two towel bars. The only moving part produced is the commode with a lifting lid. The Happy Hour furniture is the perfect size for this small house!

Doltoi dolls dressed in national costume, woman wearing a yashmak and man wearing a topi cap

Dol-Toi dolls in national dress, made in the United Kingdom in 1960, live in this house. These dolls came to me as a pair, but representing different countries. Now they have immigrated to America....and are accepted and welcomed in my Dollhouse Village.

This 1934 Schoenhut  dollhouse, purchased on Ebay with all the original Schoenhut  furniture from their 1934 production line, came to me looking like this.

1934 Schoenhut dollhouse, 2 storeys with 3 windows above, 2 windows and central door below

The seller packaged it in a box that was too small and sadly it was damaged. It is at the bottom of my bucket list to repair.

Damaged interior of 1934 Schoenhut house, with dividing floor tilted and roof away from side wall

My three other Schoenhut houses are furnished but not accessorized. That’s the fun part, but it takes me a long time to finish.

six room Schoenhut dollhouse produced in 1934, main wing similar to house above plus added shorter left wing

This is a six room Schoenhut dollhouse produced in 1934. It has a stair well and a French door leading into the fenced yard. My brother is currently repairing the fence for me.

Interior of 6 room Schoenhut house

I have furnished it with Schoenhut furniture from several of their production lines.

1930 Schoenhut house with tiled overhang across the front of the house

Schoenhut produced this four room dollhouse in 1930.  It also has two attic rooms and a stairwell.

Furnished interior of house above

The four lower rooms are furnished with Schoenhut’s larger dollhouse furniture produced from 1932-33.

8 room Schoenhut dollhouse with front similar to previous house, taken at angle showing front and one side to show double depth of house

This eight room Schoenhut dollhouse is similar to others produced by them in 1930. In addition to the eight rooms, this dollhouse has stairs and two rooms in the attic.

Interior of fromt of 8 room house, showing furnished living rooms (one with stairs) and bedrooms

Side interior of 8 room house showing furnished bathroom upstairs and kitchen downstairs, as well as one living room and one bedroom seen in previous photo

Other side of 8 room Schoenhut house showing furnished dining room and another bedroom as well as the living room with stairs and nursery bedroom seen in first photo of the interior of this house

With this house being two rooms deep, the front and both sides are removable. It is large enough to be played with by several children at one time.

1939 Schoenhut Manufacturing Company Art Deco dollhouse with flat terrace roof, balcony, one round wing, painted cream and dark brown with yellow stripes on top halves of long windows, representing blinds

This wonderful Art Deco dollhouse was named The Beverly Hills and was produced by the Schoenhut Manufacturing Company in 1939. It is 41” wide, 21” deep and rises to 20” tall. It has its own lawn and molded shrubs in the semi-circular planter. It also has a side porch, two balconies and a roof top deck.

I have furnished it with Lincoln and Miniaform Furniture, both in the Art Deco style. J.L.Wright, Inc. produced the Lincoln furniture for a short time about 1936-37; they were most famous for their building sets called Lincoln Logs.  Miniaform was produced by the Hugh Specialty Company of Chicago from about 1939 to 1941.

Furnished interior of art deco house

All the information on the Schoenhut dollhouse furniture comes from Schoenhut Dollhouse Furniture 1928-1934 by Patty Cooper. Information on the Jaymar Happy Hour furniture comes from  American Art Deco Dollhouse Furniture by Patty Cooper and George Mundorf. Both books can be found on the website in softcover or instant PDF version.