Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Antique Dollhouses: The Business Side

Organizing a dollhouse collection is no joke, considering the multitude of factors and the attitude that you must have with regard to do it. Dollhouses may be a toy to some, but to most, like in the case of dedicated collectors, they are an obsession and can fetch a hefty sum. However, this only covers dollhouses that have been made in the past – hand carved and painted by renowned craftsmen and painters – and not the plastic ones that are mass produced and are played on by children today.
Back in the day, dollhouses were a symbol of wealth, since they were mostly owned by children of rich families. These toys were not mass produced in Europe until the start of the Industrial Revolution, where machines were able to help out in the creation process. In the middle of the 20th century, at the time where plastic toys were introduced, the prices and the effort took in their creation were drastically downsized, however, this did not hinder their quality. The miniature pieces are also mass produced, however, these are of lower quality since these do not pay much attention to details. Ones that are handmade are a pricey commodity, but in terms of aesthetics, they are a must-have.

Organizing a dollhouse collection

Antique dollhouses and their miniatures are now considered as display pieces, despite their roles in the households of the past. They once fostered the minds of  children and were made by the best craftsmen and painters in the era. Given their condition, they must be handled with extreme care. If an antique dollhouse looks very dilapidated and in need of immediate restoration, immediately try to consult the services of an expert. It may be priced more in its current shape than it being restored; given the fact that some collectors actually like the old look and damaged look. However, if a part is totally destroyed, let’s say the wood is rotten and infested by termites, try to use the original kind of wood with the same colors and finish. 

dollhouse collection
As for the miniatures, it is imperative to be as original as possible. Why? Well,  it would directly affect the value. You need to find existing pieces in the era it was made, if the task is impossible, then finding the modern pieces that were based in the era it was made is a good alternative. Remember, there is a wide market for dollhouse miniatures, may they be dolls or pieces of furniture. If you are not sure with  the pricing, better consult the services of an expert.
For the restoration part, you may be able to do it yourself, however, if you are more likely to hit your finger with a hammer than with a nail, you are better off hiring the local craftsman or restorer in the local area. Remember, all restorations need to be impeccable up to the last detail – no chip or crack in the paint. Slight forms of damage will definitely affect the value, so if you are planning to sell to a number of collectors, then take note of the steps listed above.


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