In this post we’ll look at furniture made by British company Kleeware and the American Renwal and Marx companies.
Renwal made furniture in the 1:16 or 3/4 scale. So did Marx and Kleeware but they also produced smaller versions in 1:24 or 1/2 scale. Today we will just deal with the 1:16 scale.
The largest house that Marx made was their “Marxie Mansion” first produced in 1961. We don’t have the house but we do have some of the 1:16 scale Marx Traditional furniture that was used in it.
The large Marx furniture is pretty much identical to the smaller 1:24 scale furniture I showed you in my Chad Valley house not long ago. Here is a photo of two Marx bathtubs to illustrate the difference.
Here are a few other 1:16 scale items from “Marxie Mansion”
By the way, when I wrote my previous post about Marx furniture most of what I had was unmarked but on these larger pieces there is often a mark. It is the letters MAR inside a circle with an “X” imprinted over them like a railway crossing. Sometimes this furniture is mistakenly labelled “Mar brand”.
Renwal was another American company making good quality plastic furniture in 1:16 scale. The Renwal furniture is marked “A Renwal Product, Pat Pending USA & Canada, Made in USA. There will usually also be a letter number combination which I think is the model number of the piece.
The company started off making housewares and began making doll furniture at the end of World War Two for a period of about ten years. In the late fifties they sold their dies to other companies so you will sometimes see similar looking furniture from other companies after that time.
If you are wondering about the Renwal name, it is the name of the company founder , Irving Lawner, spelled backwards.
My information about Renwal came from a website called “The Boomer Book of Christmas Memories” You can check it out here.
Here is some of Naomi’s Renwal furniture. I especially like the wood grain look of some of this furniture and the detail in the plastic moulding.
A British company making both 1:24 and 1:16 scale furniture. Kleeware furniture is always stamped “Kleeware Made in England” usually with an elaborate “K” in script but I have seen it in plain block letters too.
Kleeware was founded in 1938 by the Kleeman family and initially made small household items such as combs and ashtrays but switched to making radio parts during World War Two. After the war they expanded their range to include toys and dolls. Many of these were sold in Woolworth’s. In 1959 the company was sold to their rival Rosedale Plastics.
Naomi and I are somewhat familiar with Kleeware furniture as we had some as children although of course in those days we didn’t care who made it. When we were unpacking it all on Friday I could not help but notice the similarity in some of the Kleeware and Renwal products. We were not aware of any connection but remember those dies that Renwal sold in the late fifties? It might explain a few things.
As a child I had a dining table like this with four chairs, although mine did not have seat cushions. I have also seen similar dining suites advertised as Renwal. These tables often warp so we are lucky that Naomi has a nice one.
Here is some more 1:16 Kleeware
I was going to end with a few photos of the Kleeware and Renwal furniture in the dolls house but as this post has already run rather long and I still have a few miscellaneous items to show I’ll leave both till next time.