Appraisal Video: (-1:16:-8)
Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts
APPRAISER: Can you tell me a little bit about, tell us all a little bit about how it was made and who made it?
GUEST: Well, our grandfather was making toys and puzzles with my brother, mostly. And so... and he also made little boxes and chests, and then he started making more furniture. And he eventually decided to make the dollhouse to put the furniture in. And he lived in Milwaukee. The house he lived in was a bungalow sort of thing.
APPRAISER: I understand there's a whole group of bungalow style houses that look just like this.
GUEST: Similar, blocks and blocks of them, and duplexes.
APPRAISER: Okay. Well I want to take a little look at a few of the details of the house. And it's just incredible how he made this. It's really all handmade. It's unique; there's really nothing quite like it.
GUEST: He had no power machinery at all, no power tools. It was hand sawn.
APPRAISER: Just to start at the top of the house, look at this. These simulated shingles, these are all single boards instead of separate strips, with incised lines to simulate shingles. Just incredible details, and I love the details. On the side here, upstairs, we have windows that open. And I understand that the tin here was used from tine cans, old tin cans that he would cut.
GUEST: They were.
APPRAISER: We open this up, we see the furniture, which is incredible, because it's all hand turned and hand carved, and he used probably a total of about ten different woods. This table is a parquetry inlaid center table with yellow pine, and it shows these beautiful contrasts. All the books in the corner, just wonderful details. Again, all these, all these windows actually work and open. This is a working lock in the front door, and the doorknob actually works, which is incredible. But what I really find amazing here is inside, if we open up the side section of this, showing the living room here on the left and the dining room, you can see the detail here. I mean, the turned candlesticks on the mantel, there's a lamp with Bakelite shades, which he turned on his lathe. This is a beautiful parquetry inlaid table. And he used mica on the lampshade. This is really the Arts and Crafts style, or the... This is really a bungalow-style house, and actually the house itself is in the Arts and Crafts style. It has cross ventilation, because during that period they liked things light and very airy, so wind could circulate, the air could circulate throughout the house --very sunny. You notice you don't see rugs on the floor. The idea was very clean living, very simple, and this whole style, which is very comfortable, is really a reaction to the very ornate furniture that actually we see a lot here on the Roadshow. They want it very simple, very down to earth. I feel I want to sort of jump in there and live in this house. It sort of draws you in, doesn't it?
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: And on this side, in the dining room, we look at this table, and it's just incredible, because it actually works. This is an extendable dining table, and here's a little leaf that pops in so it can serve eight people instead of six. Arts and Crafts style windows are built in the back. And there are also details like the tub, sink, the kitchen is totally set up in the back. Well there's quite a market for these dollhouses like this. What's interesting is that normally we see the 1/8 scale, and this is actually the 1/12 scale, so it's much rarer. In the last ten years it's been a real, real renewal in interest in these larger-scale, bigger-scale furniture with the house. Now, have you ever had it appraised at all?
GUEST: Nobody would bother to come. Just another dollhouse.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, it's really... it's not just the dollhouse, of course. It's the contents as well. And altogether, probably I think the range in value on this would be somewhere in the area of sort of $5,000 to $8,000. Probably closer to $8,000 in the end. So...
GUEST: Good. Good.
APPRAISER: And I'm glad you're sharing it.
GUEST: We started out thinking it was $100, maybe, and then we thought it must be a little bit more than that.
APPRAISER: Well, good, so I hope you're happy with that.
GUEST: Yeah, we are.
APPRAISER: Well thanks for coming in.
GUEST: Thank you.