Treasures (1920’s doll house miniatures)

These doll house miniatures belonged to my mother, who was born in 1925 in Providence, RI.  In the photograph, she looks like the classic little girl from her era. My sister, brother and I played with the toys, too. The porcelain dolls have been well-loved and are showing wear, but the metal toys held up much better. The mail box is also a bank. I just noticed that the mower (or carpet sweeper?) is named SallyAnn, names my mother would give to my sister and me, only spelled with e’s.

my mother, Mary Hartwell (Mavor) 1928

11 thoughts on “Treasures (1920’s doll house miniatures)

  1. Dear Salley,

    I am amazed at your collections and try to picture how you organize (or don’t organize!) them! Art from your childhood, sewing patterns your mother used, the boy’s handmade birthday party invitations, work you did at RISD, your mother’s toys…! Anyway, I’m glad you saved these things because they are fascinating. I unearthed my favorite old toys last year and as soon as I held them they began to suggest all sorts of stories. I guess I “play” with them! love, Beth

    • Beth,
      Let’s just say that I’m one of those people who would find it hard to “down size”. I have boxes, files, and envelopes full of family things, which I sort of know where to find. I live in a cluttered environment, which I try to organize in some kind of order. I like to make connections between things and it has been fun these past few months unearthing and photographing these objects to share on my blog.

  2. How wonderful that you have these things. As a doll collector, I can appreciate their beauty and value.

    The fact that they are family toys make them even dearer. The photograph of your mother is lovely. I love it all!

  3. Beautiful! I love the dolls – they look in excellent condition for dolls which have been played with for two generations. I have some furniture which my mother played with (and made), but none of her dolls.
    The sofa looks like it’s survived very well, too. I love how you’ve posed the dolls with all the pieces :-)

  4. I love the woman dolls sassy new 20’s shorter haircut. Her apron is very serious too.

    Wasn’t Providence RI a hotbed of miniture design in the 20’s? Wasn’t the Tynietoy factory there? CM

    • I wasn’t aware of the doll house furniture factory, but there were many industries lthat made textiles and jewelry in the area. The Rhode Island School of Design was founded in the 1870’s to train designers for local industries.

    • I like your imagery of the zombies! My mother’s father made a doll house, which we played with, too. It was pretty simple and not saved, but I do have my grandfather’s woodworking tools. I use his jigsaw and standing drill all the time!

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