I visited family in Boston right before Christmas. A few weeks before the trip, I searched for dollhouses on Boston Craigslist, just in case… and I lucked out!
I wish I had saved the pictures because the post is long gone now, but it was an estate sale where someone was selling off a miniature collection. I recognized several half scale dollhouses, including an Elizabeth Anne and a Jackie Deiber pull-apart rowhouse (both of which I already have).
And then there was this:
I’ve posted about this house before. It’s another of Jackie Deiber’s pull-apart houses, like the one I linked to above and the Gull Bay. It’s similar to a 1:12 house named the Amberwood, so unless someone comes forward to let me know it has another official name, that’s what I’m going to call it.
I passed up the opportunity to buy this dollhouse on eBay (twice!) back in 2016. It’s top-heavy with that big roof (the taller 1:12 version has better proportions), and I don’t like the dormers. I also knew from having two others that pulling these houses apart to access the inside is awkward. For all of these reasons, I never felt like I *needed* this one.
But how could I ignore a half scale house I’d randomly found on Craigslist, clear across the country, three weeks before I would be there in person? The thrill of the chase was too enticing.
I emailed the seller. She wasn’t interested in dealing with someone who wasn’t local. I told her I would be in town in mid-December, could she set it aside? She said no, the estate sale would be over by then. I offered to send my parents over there to buy it for me. Finally she relented and sent me a few more pictures, including this one…
Okay, now I really needed it. I just had to know what was inside. I offered $125 and she agreed to that for the house and the furniture. My parents picked it up, I brought the furniture home in my suitcase when I visited, and then we shipped the dollhouse from Boston to California.
The first thing I did was pop out the Victorian windows. I’m going to use Houseworks bonnet-top windows for the body of the house, and will get creative with windows and trim on the roof windows to make them look more like real dormers.
The roof is hinged, and the back side of the house slides out.
When you slide these houses apart, the front part of the house is an empty shell and the back part includes the floor and all of the rooms. The other two styles are two rooms deep, but the Amberwood is only one room deep, like a standard back-opening dollhouse.
That means I can make a new floor and leave the back open. Bonus: I only have seven of the (discontinued) bonnet-top windows, and the house needs eight (not including the dormers). Leaving the back of the house open eliminates two windows, so I will have enough.
There’s no tower access from inside the house, and the mansard style means the tower doesn’t even have walls when you lift off the roof — how are you supposed to decorate that?
I might use this area for electrical. I think I can run the wires from interior lights up there and use a battery to power them.
Here’s how the three pull-apart houses look together. I finished the Gull Bay in 2014 and bought the rowhouse, in its current state, the same year. Maybe 2024 will be the year I finish that one *and* the Amberwood, and I can display them all together? (But maybe not…)
And here’s the furniture that came with the Amberwood.
These three are Cassidy Creations kits.
The doors on this wardrobe don’t open, but it’s still a pretty piece. Looks like it once had a knob that is now missing. (But why only one knob?)
It’s signed on the bottom. Does anyone know who this is?
These blue pieces are not signed. I stumbled upon a similar settle on Etsy that’s listed as “artist unknown.”
A table with Houseworks spindle legs and a stool dated 1992. Kind of weird to date the stool on the top? I could cover it with a cushion.
These nursery pieces are the best of the bunch. Really nicely made. The crib is on casters that turn!
The signature is somebody Godfrey. I have a pie safe with the same signature.
These pottery pieces were also included.
My phone wouldn’t do a good close-up of the signature on the bottom of the blue bowl. Just occurred to me that this might be JG — Jane Graber?
The furniture also included a metal Littles stove and a Concord Miniatures sleigh bed, rolltop desk, and sink. (There’s also a red Christmas ornament dresser, but the feet broke off in transit so it was somewhere else being glued when I took these pictures.)
I was hoping there would be other half scale treasures in the collection, but by the time my parents went to pick up the house, the other half scale houses I’d seen in the photos were gone and the rest seemed like it had already been picked through. They did find some small scale accessories, landscaping items, and train people.
Shout out to my mom and dad for shopping on my behalf, and my sister for shipping the house!