Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Tootsietoy Dollhouse Furniture, ca. 1938

    Appraised Value:

    $2,500 - $3,000

    Appraised on: July 19, 2008

    Appraised in: Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Appraised by: Andy Ourant

    Category: Dolls

    Episode Info: Chattanooga, Hour 1 (#1310)

    Originally Aired: March 30, 2009

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 4 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Dolls Furniture
    Material: Metal
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $2,500 - $3,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (43:20)


    Appraised By:

    Andy Ourant
    Dolls, Toys & Games

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: Well, these boxes were purchased by my father back, probably, in the early '40s, because he had a plan to build a dolls' house.

    APPRAISER: Okay, and he was going to build it for you.

    GUEST: Yes, he was.

    APPRAISER: Okay. And he bought all of the furniture so that he could build the dolls' house. He was a busy young lawyer. He did not get the dolls' house built. He did let me play with the furniture in my dolls' houses, as long as I was very careful and didn't lose anything.

    APPRAISER: Well, the result of him not building it really is that it was kept in such fine condition and we have all the original boxes. We have basically the full contents of a house. We have the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, bedrooms, everything. And TootsieToy was a company in Chicago. Dowst was the company, and TootsieToy was their trade name. And TootsieToy specialized in small, little playthings like toy cars, planes, little trains, things like that. But they also made a line for girls. And they would make these dollhouse furnishings for their own houses as well as what your father planned to do with them. They really started making their vehicles in the teens and '20s. This set comes around in the 1930s, and the style of the furniture and of all the furnishings are very 1930s. And what's interesting about Dowst and TootsieToy was they were able to find an economic way to mass-produce furniture. We have an original pricetag written on here. That entire set was $1.25. Now, maybe the smaller sets were a little bit cheaper. And they were made out of cast metal. It's die-cast, very easy to cast, and you could get a lot of detail. If you look at the upholstered furniture, they used like a flocked surface so it looks soft, but it's really still a die-cast piece of furniture. And then, when you go into the kitchen, it's just so detailed. They have a Monitor Top refrigerator. They have the type of stove they would have used in the day, a Hoosier-type-looking cupboard. Just everything that would be in that period of house. We always talk about boxes and condition. And you obviously have both here. Each set is conservatively valued at about, I'd say, $200 to $300. But when you really put it all together, that starts to add up. There's eight sets here. I would say that an auction estimate would be $2,500 to $3,000 for everything, because you have all eight of these.

    GUEST: Oh, my. I'm thrilled. I don't think my father would be able to believe it.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube