Tootsietoy Dollhouse Furniture, ca. 1938
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,000
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (43:20)
Dolls, Toys & Games
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.
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