Dating Your Lundby House
response to numerous questions from We Love Lundby Club members about
how to date Lundby houses and furniture, we are providing a series of
articles that focus on many methods of dating, such as locations of
manufacture, colors of packaging, as well as house and furniture design.
the following article from the March 2006 issue of The Lundby Letter,
a very observant Australian collector, Anna-Maria Sviatko, shares with
us some beneficial tips for dating two vintage Lundby dollhouses, the
Gothenburg and the Stockholm.
Gothenburg or Göteborg was originally advertised as the "Lundby
Dolls' House" or "Popular Dolls' House." Various catalogs
during the late 1970s and 1980s referred to the Stockholm as the "The
Super Lundby Dolls' House; "Lundby Luxury Villa," or "Deluxe
Dollhouse." Lundby assigned their current names much later in 1990.
you've got your eye on the perfect Lundby House on eBay, but you aren't
quite sure what year it is? Or maybe you're a purist wanting to know
if that laundry sink would be OK in your blue-floored house. (Short
on your detective hats, grab your magnifying glasses, and come with
me on a sleuth's shortcut guide to dating your house or anyone else's-with
at least the air of confidence, if not the real thing. This article
will feature how to date two of the best known Lundby dollhouses, the
Gothenburg and the Stockholm.
Is My House a Gothenburg #6001?
start with the Gothenburg #6001, which originates in the 1966 catalog.
Here are some steps for dating your Gothenburg house:
speaking of windows, before about 1973 there were wooden sills but no
frames or glazing in the windows. The 1970 catalog I have shows windows
available separately for sale.
the mid-to-late 1970s, the trim around the front was brown. From the
late 1970s onward, it was white. Check the stairs. Wooden banisters
were superseded by plastic in the mid 1970s.
Could My Lundby be a Stockholm #6040?
move on to the Stockholm #6040. Ten years after the Gothenburg, the
Stockholm arrived in Lundby catalogues in 1976. The first thing you
must do as a Lundby "sleuth extraordinaire" is to check the
color of the balcony railings. If the railings are brown, it was built
between 1976 and 1984. If the railings are white, the house was built
after 1984. The garage extension #6041 was new in 1979.
Among other models of Lundby houses, I'm the proud owner of the rare 1947 model with the lovely circular staircase, but if you have a Lundby house with a flat roof, you should send it to me immediately for safekeeping!
1976 Lundby dollhouse. Photo from the 1976 Lundby catalog.
you wade through the maze of dating your Lundby dollhouses, we hope that
Marion Osborne, UK, will help with some clues from her Lundby dollhouse
research. The excerpts below, published in the September 2006 issue of
The Lundby Letter, are from her 18-page booklet, entitled "Dollshouse
Items Sold by Lundby from circa 1970-1986 in Numerical Order."
Second in a Series
"Dollshouse Items Sold by Lundby
1966: Trim appears to be painted; wooden strips from ceiling to floor instead of banisters; chimney with hole under cap; plain brown wooden doors with white surround; brick paper on outside.
1970: Wooden house; tan painted frontal trim; wooden stairs; brick paper on sides; nondescript wallpapers and all blue floors.
1971: Paneled plastic doors.
1972: Trim is plain wood, room extension #6050 added.
1973: Brick paper on sides of house changes to white.
1975: Trim is tan plastic with plastic stairs and banisters; solid chimney; white brick paper outside; garage extension #6051 with two opening doors added.
1979: Trim is white plastic; black shutters printed on outside walls, printing on windows, two rooms in garage extension.
1980: Up and over garage door in extension #6052.
1981: White plastic doors.
1984: Doors change to white with black surrounds.
1985: Rainbow house introduced.
During previous years noted above the wallpapers changed constantly.
A late-1960s to early-1970s "plain" or "economy" Lundby dollhouse without stairs, doors, or electrics. The standing legs were purchased from Elisabeth Lantz, who says the legs were sold from the late-1950s until 1973. Elisabeth adds that a shorter version of the legs was also produced in the late-1950s. From the Morse Collection.
To add to the search for information on Dating Lundby dollhouses, Jennifer McKendry, Ontario, Canada, has written another article entitled "The Lundby Gothenburg Dollhouse: Its Evolution and Survival from 'Modern to Traditional'." You can read Jennifer's article, along with another one of interest, "Collector's Fever: Coveting Dollhouse Furnishings" on her website, www.mckendry.net. Click on "Antiques, Collectibles, & Vintage." She has just posted the section on 1890 to 1930 of an ongoing history of dollhouses 1890 to 1990.
Quest for Dated Early Photo of a Lundby Dollhouse
a number of actual Lundby dollhouses have been attributed to the 1950s
or early '60s, it is difficult to date them precisely without comparing
them to dated printed material in the form of catalogues or sales receipts.
Unfortunately, there is little printed visual evidence that has survived
from the 1950s of Lundby products. (The reader is referred to http://dollhouse.mine.nu/
for scans of later Lundby catalogues and flyers.) Until such material
is discovered, it will continue to be a guessing game about such important
questions as -- when did Lundby introduce the asymmetrical roof of the
earliest surviving catalogue of AB Lundby Leksaksfabrik -- once thought
to be from the company's founding year of 1947, but now re-assessed as
dating from the late 1950s -- shows a house with a traditional gable roof
over two-storey box-like form. By the next surviving catalogue in 1966,
the ancestor of the Gothenburg House is easily recognized.
have, however, discovered a relevant illustration from the 1961-62 catalogue
of Franz Carl Weber, a toy seller with a chain of stores in Switzerland,
which is reproduced in Dian Zillner's Dollhouse & Furniture Advertising,
1880s-1980s (page 115, under "Weber"). Although Zillner identifies
it as a German dollhouse, its form is that of a Lundby product, indirectly
confirmed by Weber's caption, which begins, "Modernes schwedisches
" (Modern Swedish dollhouse).
caption goes on to note that it was completely papered and painted, held
many charming pieces of furniture and was safely wired for electricity.
The dollhouse was 71 cm wide, 26 cm deep and 45 cm high. These measurements
are about the same as a Gothenburg House from the mid 1970s, except the
latter is a little lower because, by then, it no longer incorporated the
television antenna that topped the 1961 house behind the chimney. It is
worth noting that the chimney cap has a lower open part in the top centre,
characteristic of Lundby houses in the 1960s and first half of the 1970s.
from the confirmation, via the antenna, that a television was part of
the 1961 furnishings, other pieces appear to be in a simple "modern"
style. The independent fireplace with its white slanted upper part is
familiar because it was carried in the Lundby line until 1975 (catalogue
interior plan of 1961 is familiar including the balustrade protecting
the stair-well in the large upstairs room (furnished as a sitting room
with fireplace) with its open modern form that includes a lower portion
(sort of an extensive stair landing) accessed by a single long step. The
staircase descending into the centre main-floor room (furnished as a dining
room) is distinguished by floor-to-ceiling wood rectangular spindles,
seen in real houses of this period and surviving in Lundby houses to at
least 1972. Shortly after, they were replaced by less "dated"
white, turned uprights under a hand-railing.
1961 bedroom, kitchen and bathroom were in their familiar locations. The
bathroom with its "built-in" tub and pedestal sink had a wide
opening off the dining room -- probably the same arrangement seen in the
1966 catalogue. This seems odd design concerning privacy but it was likely
that the area at the front of the bathroom was meant to represent a hall
with an imaginary wall and door separating the bathroom proper.
One day, someone may find a dated snapshot of some lucky little girl playing proudly with her new Lundby dollhouse. If it is a photograph taken sometime between 1947 and 1961, it will be deeply appreciated as an aid to reconstructing the history of the earliest Lundby houses.
this the first known dated photograph
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