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Vintage Mount Vernon Dollhouse; Need help identifying!


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Hello! My name is Brandon from Minnesota. Was hoping anybody could give me any information on a dollhouse I acquired. It’s a scale model of George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon. It’s pretty big and very heavy. It is roughly 3’3” wide, 2’6” tall at roof peak, and 6’6” long. The roof comes off than second story comes out to access first floor. Every room has a light. Was bought by a friend at a auction in Iowa, and later I purchased. So I don’t know the history behind it. Came with a few suitcases full of furniture to decorate mostly made by strombecker. Lots of the furniture is in old medicine boxes that say Waterloo, Iowa on them. It’s all made of wood/plywood. I was told the railing on the roof was removed from the real Mount Vernon in 1935 so I’m assuming it was built before then. Any help to identify the maker or any estimated value would be very very much appreciated! Thank you!






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Welcome Brandon to the Fine Miniatures Forum!

The miniature house may be of more value to the folks at Mount Vernon, who are preserving the original home.  Antique scale replicas of real homes, prices vary.  Ron Rhodes Auction has a lot of experience with miniatures and Leslie Hindman Auction house did two large collections, but these auctions, where high prices are realized have been for contemporary makers who have produced some very collectible and therefore in high demand pieces of 'art'.   When our fine artisan's work becomes highly collectible in the 1/12th scale miniatures world, auction prices can be lots of fun to observe.

The Mount Vernon Replica is beautiful.  I love the watch tower and the railings.  The model maker could have made the railings based upon old photographs and information collected about the home in books; the railings (in my opinion) are a wonderful detail, but not indicative of the age of the structure.   As miniaturists, we choose what we represent in our vision as we build structures, sometimes it is a collective nuance and experience of the maker, and not an actual replica at the specific moment in time when the item is built.  The Strombecker furniture that was with the structure is probably your best clue on the time the replica was built.  You may also contact the county historian where the piece was auctioned; looking at the auctioneer and finding the advertised auction in the electronic archives is a possibility.  If the miniature as as old as you think, it would have probably been famous in a community, and someone may know something.  

In the US, Flora Gill has some great books and great history of Collecting Scale Miniatures. 

I have seen similar pieces (in terms of my opinion of the pieces age) at the Abbey Rockerfeller Museum (Colonial Williamsburg) and upstairs in the KC Toy & Mniniature Museum.  There are a couple of older houses at the Museum of Miniature Houses in Carmel, IN, too.

Antiques Roadshow, had priced a roombox, and we had a discussion here on the FMF - but auction prices are subject to who is on the phone, who is in the room, and the collectibility of a piece in addition to its provenance.

Do you plan to keep it?  

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  • 4 months later...

It looks like the house made by Cranford Miniatures in the very early 1900's. An example sold at a Noel barrett auction about 14 years ago for about $12,000.

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Susan, I am so impressed with your knowledge!  Being curious I searched for it online, and I think I have the correct house you were referring too.  Thankfully I have not committed our LiveAuctioneers password to memory...  I know I've missed some wonderful treasures over the years...


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