Did I mention that I had another dolls house? Naomi gave it to me some years ago. She had just bought another one the same but in better condition and thought that I might like this one as I had no dollshouse at the time. Since then it has sat on top of a cupboard in the doll room as I had no furniture or dolls to put in it.
This house is made of tin with lithographed decor. It’s a fairly common house and comes up on eBay and other sales sites reasonably often. Unless you have to get it freighted from overseas it is not a very expensive house to start a collection with either.
I turned to Naomi for an ID as I could not remember what she had told me it was when she gave it to me. The house is not marked but Naomi says that it is made by the British Company Chad Valley and is featured in their 1969 catalogue.
Here you can see the interior of some of the rooms. It is very brightly coloured and although the outside of the house is a little worn and damaged the inside looks pretty good. Below are the two houses side by side.
As I have been browsing for dollshouse furniture for the Dolly Mix house I have looked at a lot of vintage furniture particularly things that I can remember Naomi or I having. Recently I found a lot of plastic furniture on eBay with several pieces that I remember from our childhood so I bought it and as it is a smaller scale than the Barton furniture I bought for the Dolly Mix House I decided to put most of it into the Chad Valley House. I think that this furniture is mostly 1:24 scale rather than the 1:16 used in the larger house. Some of it is so tiny that it may even be 1:32 scale. The only markings on it seem to be the ubiquitous “Made in Hong Kong”.
- The red sofa and armchair – Naomi identified these as Marx. She had the same set as a child in her Marx Swansea Cottage.
- The yellow shell chair is probably Marx as well. Naomi had a red one just like this.
- The green bedroom furniture. – I had at least one bed just like this and have a hazy memory that there was a second one although I can’t recall which of us had that. I’ve done some browsing around on eBay, Etsy and Pinterest and most sellers identify this as Marx as well. It was made in several other colours including pink, yellow and blue. I also came across a version from Argentina labelled “Baltasar” which was probably made under licence.
- The pink furniture – The bed is a larger scale than the other things and looks like part of a set of bunks. Naomi had bunk beds in her doll’s house just like this one. They were part of a nursery playset and not really intended for a dollshouse although they would probably work in a larger scale one. The chair is from the Marx bedroom set.
- We are still working on an ID for the bathroom pieces. Naomi thinks that they may be older. They are a soft flimsy plastic. However, given that most of the furniture in this lot is Marx it may be that this is as well.
- The yellow furniture – The dining table, chairs, hutch cabinet and sideboard look as if they may also be Marx from their Traditional line like most of the previous pieces. I have found these in a variety of colours as well. We were spoiled for choice in those days unlike today when cheap dolls furniture seems to be predominantly pink.
- The blue cradle – I haven’t worked this one out yet. It looks like Marx but although Marx did make larger furniture for their big “Marxie Mansion” dolls house the cradle in the nursery set is not like this one. I’ll keep looking and Naomi will add anything she finds out in comments at the end.
Marx made so many products, dolls, some very nice dolls houses, furniture and playsets so I feel a post about Marx is going to be on the “To Do” list.