This is my Aunt Sue who gave me the dollhouse in 1965.
On Christmas day in the late 1930’s there was a dollhouse waiting for me. It was filled with Tootsietoy metal furniture. The bureau drawers all opened up. There was a radio with doors, a tiny metal sewing basket, a tiny metal cradle with an even tinier doll inside. My sisters stood by and watched me. I could not have imagined the Tootsietoy furniture would be a valued collectable. Shown here is the dollhouse, inside and out. To date I have been unable to find the original furniture. Meanwhile it is furnished in a cheerful Swedish style.
This is my dollhouse, an 1880’s style house handmade by a finish carpenter in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1906. The carpenter was Jim Tobin, who married my grandmother after my grandfather died. The dollhouse was made for my mother and her sisters and given to me by my aunt Sue. We brought it to Pittsburgh in 1965, shortly after my daughter Elaine was born, and began to restore it and add furnishings. The dollhouse is typical of houses of this period. Notice the similarity to the house painted by Edward Hopper in the 1920’s titled, Anderson’s House, Gloucester. This stately yellow Italianate house can be found in Gloucester today, just up Western Avenue from Stacy Boulevard.
A quick glimpse of my doll house.