Friday, March 11, 2011

Doll Houses the Series....Part 2....Louis Marx

I decided to start with tin lithograph houses, as currently they seem to be the most popular. The most famous of all the lines of tin dollhouses is the Marx line.  In the 1950's the company dominated the production of tin houses and plastic doll furniture. 

Marx produced their first tin houses in 1949, starting with model  # 4079 (not lighted) and # 4080 (lighted) 2 story colonial with patio deck and the wonderful Disney nursery. These first models had a garage under the upstairs patio. After 1951 a utility room replaced the garage. The Disney room was replaced by either the tin soldier or ABC theme. Houses with the Disney theme nursery are valued higher.

Photo courtesy of RetroVintageBazaar

The Marx dollhouses are simply beautiful, wonderfully detailed, and for the time period, depicted all the comforts and conveniences of the 1950's.  Fully decorated interiors and exteriors which included brick, siding, shingles, shutters, porch lights, shrubs, flower boxes and climbing vines just to name a few.   

The rarest of all the Marx doll house is the 1962  2-story Colonial with breezeway and bomb shelter in place of the utility room. The house was produce for only one year and in very limited supply.

Photo courtesy of  akissofromance

The Marx furniture was sold mainly with the dollhouses, had one-piece construction (with exception of a tall utility cabinet with an opening door) and made in solid colors. Marx furniture was produced in either ¾ or ½ scale in both hard and soft plastic. The hard plastic is older and more valuable than the soft plastic furniture. Not all pieces were hallmarked. The furniture is worth collecting, as it will surely add to the fun and value of your Marx dollhouse.

When Marx first produced a dollhouse family and several individual people in varying poses they were made of a rubber vinyl, while the later figures were made of hard plastic, and then soft plastic. The people were made of one color and all in one piece. By the 1960’s Marx changed the family to include bendable dolls with “real” clothing and a boxed set of flexible joint dollhouse figures.

Next time I am leaning towards Wolverine houses and furniture. Remember that at the end of this series will be our BIG reveal that has been a culmination of work over the past 40 years.. So stay tuned in, and please feel free to comment.