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Dolls' house - Doll's Bungalow with Polythene Furniture
  • Doll's Bungalow with Polythene Furniture
    Louis Marx & Co Ltd
  • Enlarge image

Doll's Bungalow with Polythene Furniture

  • Object:

    Dolls' house

  • Place of origin:

    Swansea (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1960s (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Louis Marx & Co Ltd (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour-lithographed pressed tinplated mild steel; injection-moulded polyethylene; printed card

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Amira Woolley

  • Museum number:

    B.6:1 to 20-2019

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A small dolls' house, with furniture accessories and original packaging. The single-room house is made from sections of pressed tin-plated mild steel, colour lithographed to resemble a single storey house made from red-orange bricks, with green slate roof, white shuttered windows and stone chimney. At the front is a veranda with crazy-paved patio. The inside is printed with a domestic scene, with rugs on the floor and a television set on the wall.

With the house is a set of polythene furniture, further subdivided into three sets identifiable by their colour. There is a red living room set consisting of a sofa, two armchairs, a television, side table, tray table and floor lamp. There is a green bedroom set consisting of a double-bed, dressing table and stool, chest of drawers, side chair and bedside table. Finally, there is a yellow set of outdoor furniture consisting of a sun lounger, two chairs and a circular table.

Accompanying the dolls' house is a printed card box showing illustrations of the interior and exterior of the toy.

Place of Origin

Swansea (manufactured)

Date

1960s (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Louis Marx & Co Ltd (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Colour-lithographed pressed tinplated mild steel; injection-moulded polyethylene; printed card

Dimensions

Height: 155 mm dolls' house, Width: 282 mm dolls' house, Depth: 177 mm dolls' house, Height: 135 mm box, Width: 285 mm box, Depth: 190 mm box

Object history note

The donor stated that the dolls' house was a gift from her grandparents in about 1965.

Historical context note

The earliest known ‘Baby House’ (meaning small or doll), was commissioned in 1557-8 for Albert V, Duke of Bavaria. Although we would today identify objects such as these with children’s playthings, they were originally a kind of ‘cabinet of curiosities’ for the entertainment of wealthy men. Later, they were also a useful educational tool for teaching wealthy young women how to run a household, providing a useful visual aid.

Demand for dolls’ houses grew significantly from the beginning of the 19th century; an increasing number of families in Britain were in a position to commission large examples for the amusement of both children and adults. In modern times, dolls houses are still designed and created by skilled craftspeople, but are also mass produced at an accessible price, which has made them a fixture of childhood in Britain. Throughout their history dolls’ houses have provided a fascinating insight into architecture, domestic interiors, and the way people lived, whilst usually revealing an adult, idealised version of life.

Louis Marx & Co. was one of the most prolific toy manufacturers of the twentieth century, founded in New York in 1919 by brothers Louis (1896-1982) and David Marx. By the 1950s, the company’s great status meant it had been able to expand its manufacturing operation to several international locations, including Swansea in South Wales. In 1972, Louis Marx sold the company to the Quaker Oats company and finally retired. However, by 1980 a series of unfortunate market events had resulted in the disappearance and liquidation of the brand.

Descriptive line

Dolls' bungalow, tin-plated steel, with polythene furniture and printed card box, Louis Marx & Co., Swansea, 1960s

Materials

Mild steel; Polyethylene; Paper

Techniques

Pressing; Injection moulding; Lithography

Subjects depicted

Houses

Categories

Dolls' houses; Toys & Games

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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