Dolls' house

Dolly's Home

1927 (made)

Moritz Gottschalk

[Dolls' house] Height: 32 cm closed, Width: 62.5 cm closed, Depth: 27.5 cm closed, Depth: 56.2 cm open [Dolls' house] Height: 15.6 cm, Width: 25.2 cm, Depth: 5.9 cm [Dolls' house] Height: 6 cm maximum, Depth: 1.5 cm, Width: 16.3 cm maximum [tables (support furniture)] Height: 3.7 cm, Diameter: 5.8 cm [chairs] Height: 6.8 cm, Width: 3.7 cm, Depth: 2.7 cm [dressers (cupboards)] Height: 7.8 cm, Width: 8 cm, Depth: 3.2 cm [chests of drawers] Height: 6.9 cm, Width: 3.7 cm, Depth: 2.3 cm

B.4:1 to 7-2005 MoC

Dolly's Home, yellow and red painted doll's house and garage in a fold-out box, made by Moritz Gottschalk, 1927

[Dolls' house] Dolly's Home is contained in a rectangular brown box which opens at the top and one side opens out creating a garden. The inside of the box is painted with a landscape. The house itself is yellow with a red roof and blue window frames. The front section of the house can be opened to reach the downstairs rooms and there is a small door in the side of the building to access the attic. To the right of the house is a garage painted in the same colours as the house with green double doors on the front. In front of the house is a pergola painted cream and red. [Dolls' house] Removable front section of dolls' house painted cream, yellow, and blue. There are three steps leading up to a green front door attached with metal hinges and two windows to the left. [Dolls' house] Assortment of decorative cardboard fencing and three wooden fenceposts painted cream with blue tops. [tables (support furniture)] Wooden table with a hexagonal top and square base. The table is painted cream with a pink, blue and green floral design on the top. [chairs] Straight-backed wooden chair painted cream with flowers on the seat and backrest. [dressers (cupboards)] Wooden dresser painted cream with a pink flower on the front. [chests of drawers] Wooden chest of drawers painted cream.

Moritz Gottschalk was an important manufacturer of dolls' houses, rooms, kitchens, shops, theatres, and dolls' house furniture. Originally he had been inspired to make pressed cardboard soldiers helmets for children. These proved very popular so he used similar processes and manufacturing techniques to create buildings and furniture. Established in 1873 in East Germany, the company grew rapidly and soon Gottschalk had showrooms in Paris, London, Amsterdam, and in the USA. During World War II toy production was stopped so that the cardboard could be used to manufacture boxes for the armed forces. Under the Soviet occupation of East Germany, the company was nationalised and many of its records were destroyed. Dolly's Home was made in 1927, at which point the company was being run by Lina Gottschalk and her second husband Kurt Wagner. It has a simple construction and was clearly designed for children. The house is interesting because it is fixed inside a box, allowing it to be packed away easily when finished with. The inside of the box is painted with a landscape creating a garden scene around the house. This model was the simplest of three hideaway buildings produced in 1927. The largest version was a hillside fort or castle. Because many components were made from cardboard they have often not survived in very good condition.

[Dolls' house] This fencing would have originally run around the front and sides of the garden. There would also have been a double gate at the end nearest the garage and a single gate near the pergola.

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website