TynieToy Dollhouse Furniture, 1925-1935

Value (2005) | $1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction

GUEST:
It was given to my sister and myself about... at least 70 years ago, and I think it was from the children of Marshall Field, because my mother was a friend of the private secretary.

APPRAISER:
So in New York?

GUEST:
In New York, right.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
And we were... really not allowed to play with them, except if we played gently with them.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
So they have always been well taken care of.

APPRAISER:
And do you have more furniture than this?

GUEST:
I have another one of this and another one of this. I have a four-poster bed that goes with this type of wood, and another set of the yellow chairs.

APPRAISER:
Okay. I was excited to see it, because it was made right here in Providence. It's TynieToy.

GUEST:
Was it?

APPRAISER:
Yes. This black stamp here is the TynieToy mark. Now, TynieToy was founded by two women, two entrepreneurs: Marion Perkins and Amey Vernon. Now, they built their factory here in 1920, and they made TynieToy furniture like this--

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
--from the 1920s into the '40s. The very first trademark they used was a paper label, and that's in the '20s. Then about 1925, they went to the rubber stamp until the '30s. Yours are from the '25 to mid-'30s. After that, they have an impressed mark. And TynieToy furniture is part of the colonial revival movement in America, so these two women took it upon themselves to start making quality dollhouse furniture. Now, they made dollhouses also, which the dollhouses are very rare. And the furniture was sold in major department stores like Marshall Fields in New York.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
Now, these pieces here, they're not TynieToy, they're German. They look very much like TynieToy. And for comparison, this suite like this would be, on the dollhouse furniture market, maybe $60 to $70.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
But there is a large contingent of collectors who vie for TynieToy furniture, and there's even a TynieToy Collectors' Society, so a round table like this would be $50 to $75, just the table. The table here, which matches it, is $50 to $75. But when you start working into some rare items, like this chair and this chair and this chair... The painting was subcontracted as a sort of a cottage industry to students from the Rhode Island School of Design. And they would decorate the chairs and the upholstery. And these upholstered chairs are quite sought after. This is the Empire chair, and this is the Federal chair. They're both worth about $75 to $100 each. And you said to me earlier that you had more chairs at home.

GUEST:
Yeah, I do.

APPRAISER:
The sideboard is very desirable. It's like a nice Federal piece. And that's, say, $100. Now we have the tall clock, $100 to $150 just for the clock. And they always say 10:15.

GUEST:
Oh, I didn't know that.

APPRAISER:
Yep. And the wing chair is the best piece you have. Now, you do have a little damage on the cabriole leg.

GUEST:
Right. Right.

APPRAISER:
You see the little foot is missing. But they're very sought after, and each one, because they're hand-painted, is individual, so collectors like to buy multiple wing chairs. And this chair, even with the damage, could be $500 to $600 just for that chair.

GUEST:
Just that one chair?

APPRAISER:
Isn't that amazing?

GUEST:
Yes, it is.

APPRAISER:
Now, I want to tell you something about the houses. TynieToy houses are so sought after that the houses that it went into sell at auction regularly for $20,000 to $30,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my.

APPRAISER:
So did you have a house?

GUEST:
I don't think we had a house that these went in.

APPRAISER:
Aw. So the total value of everything we see here on the table would be, you know, $1,000 to even $1,500. That would be a good auction price.

GUEST:
No wonder we were told to use them gently. (both laugh) Well, thank you.

APPRAISER:
Thank you.

GUEST:
I can't believe it. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Village Doll Shop
Adamstown, PA
Morphy Auctions
Appraised value (2005)
$1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction
Event
Providence, RI (June 18, 2005)
Period
20th Century

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