The Barton Model Home
by Susan Hale
Every time I decide I have enough dollhouses and decide to stop buying another dollhouse becomes available and begs to come live at my house.
A recent find is the Barton Model Home.
Several variations of this house are discussed in Mini Dork's Blog, but Rebecca of Rebecca's Collections identified one like mine as the Barton Model Home, available from about 1956 to 1976. They were sold mostly as kits, to make up at home, but some were sold already built.
(Rebecca pointed out photos of other Barton Model Homes in the DHPP photo galleries, belonging to Lis Garner (also here) and Claire Quick.)
I bought my house from the original owner. Her father built it from a kit in 1962 when she was just two. It had been packed away with its contents for several decades.
It contains Barton, Dol-Toi and Lundby (I think) furniture and a Grecon family lives there.
I find it very exciting to have an all original vintage dollhouse with such wonderful provenance.
The original owner said that her parents were from England and she thought that the house and contents had been purchased there.
I did as much research as I could and discovered that she was right. Quite a lot of the furniture and accessories are also made by Barton.
The living room furniture appears to be Lundby, except for the little art deco telephone table which is Barton.
In the living room we find two Grecon gentlemen enjoying a plate of cheese and beverages in pewter mugs. Both are nattily dressed as is expected of this type of doll. They have metal feet, embroidered hair and painted features. They are approximately 3.5" tall. These dolls were produced in England from the 1950's to the 1970's.
I had been hoping to add a Grecon family to my collection and was delighted to get them with the house.
I haven't made up my mind yet. Will the older man and woman be the parents and the younger man and woman be their teenage children. with the toddler as an afterthought (much younger sibling)? Will the older couple be the grandparents and the younger couple the child's parents? Or will I come up with some other computation of the five inhabitants. I think I will see where the dolls take me. They probably know who they are.
The cats are vintage Barton as are the goldfish in the nursery. I had never seen them before, but found them for sale on eBay UK, so was able to identify them.
(Don't you just love her fancy dotted dress and her red earrings?)
A lovely Grecon lady is in the dining room beside what I think is a Lundby Piano. The keyboard cover flips up to reveal music and the gold decoration on the top of the piano appears to be hand painted. The table, chairs, clock and buffet also look like Lundby, but they aren't exactly like the furniture I have in my Lundby houses.
I think they are much earlier than the other pieces I own. Can anyone tell me if this is true?
The fireplace is Barton and plugs in to the outlet behind it. I believe the log basket, phone and cake are also Barton accessories.
The kitchen is delightful. The fridge says Dol-Toi on the back and has a paper 'Frigidaire' sticker on the front.
The cupboard, sink, table and chair are also Barton, as are the pots, pans, and food on the table.
I have seen the blue dishes included with Barton furniture on eBay, so I think they are also from that company.
The cleaning supplies were sold by Barton and a few other companies, I believe. There are two sets of these with the house. The dog is hard plastic. I haven't been able to identify it. Can anyone help?
In the bedroom a Grecon lady admires herself in the vanity. She has had some problems with her legs. Both have unraveled and one metal foot is missing.
The wonderful bedroom furniture is from Twiggs, another English company. It is wood with red accents and lovely floral decals on the large pieces. The handles are small nails painted red.
I love the nursery. This wooden set is late 50s-early 60s Barton and is a complete set.
The drawers open, and the side of the crib can go up and down.
The child is a sweet little Grecon girl in a floral dress with a garland in her hair.
The bathroom tub, toilet and sink are made of plaster and are Barton from the early 1960s.
Please have a look at my blog Susan's mini homes (http://susanshouses.blogspot.com/) for more dollhouses and collectibles.