An Incredible Mystery Dolls’ House with Great Provenance



An Incredible Mystery Dolls’ House with Great Provenance

Measurements: 44”h.x 49”w. x 25 3/8”d. (includes 8” of extended stairs and lawn outside)

Price: Inquiries Welcomed


There were several sizes and styles of Mystery Dolls’ Houses made at the end of the 19th Century! We know that most of the ones found had originated in the northeastern part of the U.S. First, we might begin with what style the roof is on one of these houses. This is the gambrel roof where the roof resembles a large dormer on one side and is built at different angles as opposed to a slanted straight roof. The facades are decorated with chamfered wood which is a four sided cut of trim work used on the front and sides of the house. The doors open with latches that turn to open and close each section. This is a three section house with three large panels that open. This particular house is more elaborate than most as it has the gambrel roof and has more delicate painting of trim work.  If you study the window frames, you will see that the painted chamfered wood is a green that blends well with black and is cut in more of an arch with a keystone in the center. So the style over each window is different than the slanted roof houses. Notice the carving under the roof line and study the trim work around the main gable in the front. The roof is made with fancy shingles!


Next, we will open the house up and view the architectural components of the rooms. But first I will open up one of two rooms found on the roof! It’s a small room but is nicely wallpapered! As we view the interior, all the wallpapers are original and in beautiful condition. There are inter-connecting raise paneled doors, base boards, and crown molding on the ceilings. The wallpapers were life size papers, not the small print of what we know as dollhouse wallpapers.(I will show a photo of the house furnished so that you can see how nicely the papers do work). The floors have the parquet look with geometric designs that are really very special. (They are actually scored and painted). Each room has a different design in the parquet wood. There are six large rooms and two small rooms in the attic.



When I first saw the house, it belonged to Jean Schramm of Manchester, VT. She had a shop to sell antique and new miniatures and this house was pictured on the front page of her catalog. I have one of those catalogues which will go to the new owner. This house was on view at her shop but she did have a small museum too.  In the house I found a purple ribbon that it was on exhibit at the UFDC convention in 1971. It was sold in 1984 at a Richard Withington auction in NH. I have the newspaper clipping that shows it sold for $21,100. to a collector in Texas. Four years later, the collector had died and it came back to the Withington Auction House again and that is when I bought it.


The house has large rooms and was furnished with large scale furnishings. The ceilings are 14”h., the width of the rooms is 14- ˝”w. and 14- ˝” in depth. This house is illustrated in the book- The Collector’s Guide to Dollhouses and Dollhouse Miniatures by Marian O’Brien, published in 1974. Page 50-51.



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