Friday, June 17, 2016

Dora Kuhn Peasant Dollhouse 1960

Once again I'd like to thank Sigi Ulbrich at Tortula 
for graciously sharing her expertise about Dora Kuhn  
with me, so that I may pass it along to you.
Enjoy the tour of my petite house
The Dora Kuhn company made peasant dollhouses
 in several styles and sizes.  This little house is in 
1/12 scale (1 inch to 1 foot).  It has two rooms with 
an upper balcony.  It is sometimes referred to as 
the "Black House" as it was also sold through a 
company bearing that name.  
It was advertised in the 
 1960 Dora Kuhn catalog.

  Photos courtesy of Sigi Ulbrich at Tortula.
Like the furniture and room boxes, it's sturdily
hand crafted and colorfully hand painted in the 
Bavarian folk art style called Bauernmalerei.
(pronounced  bow-urn-maler-rye)
I love the red roof, painted rock work and 
distinctive features that instantly tell you it's 
Dora KuhnIt has the green shutters
 with Kuhn hearts, 
that open and close.
The Tolzer rose decorates the front door.
The Kuhn's were devout Catholics. 
Evidence of the family's devotion to their 
faith is shown by the beautifully painted 
 representation of St. Florian, the patron
 saint of firefighters.
The upper balcony has a non 
 working window and door.

My house was missing the 2 original flower 
 boxes on the balcony railings that can be seen
in the catalog photo.  Sigi kindly sent me photos 
and dimensions of the originals flower boxes, so  
the hubs could make a replacement pair.  She 
also sent these delicate hand made German flowers,  
that closely resemble the originals.  Beautiful!

 These large flower boxes with vintage  
flowers are not original to the house.  A unique feature of this house, is the removable
 front section.  It's held in place with latches on 
the sides.  When unlatched, the front section easily 
slides out of the way for access to the rooms.

  The space behind the false window
and door is not accessible for play.

The kitchen has painted red furniture
and a beautiful painted border.  The
curtains are the original blue micro check. I am especially proud of the rare Dora 
Kuhn plant stand, wooden tea set, beautiful
hand crocheted rugs and other decorations that 
were house warming gifts from Sigi Ulbrich.  My 
little house has all the charm of a proper vintage
 German dollhouse!  Thank you Sigi!  

Bodo Hennig, a German dollhouse company
made the little butter mold and coffee tin.
The rooster is from my mother's miniature
The European style oven with Bodo 
Hennig copper cookware.  The older
blue Kuhn cupboard is from the 1930's,
still colorful despite it's age. 
Like most all of the hand painted cabinets, it
  has the initials JHS and MARIA on the doors.
They represent Jesus His Savior & Maria, 
Mother of Jesus, more evidence of the Kuhn's
devotion to their faith.  
At some point during it's long life, a child 
has decorated the inside with pencil markings!
 The tiny gingerbread molds  
are also Bodo Hennig.
Every dollhouse should have little 
children and a family pet.  Of course,
 this dog is named Cappy.   
The bedroom has a matching painted border,
blue painted furniture and the original red 
and white micro check fabric for the curtains
 and bedding.
The wardrobe is especially beautiful
and also has the initials JHS and MARIA.
Even the interior is delicately painted.
   While the children sleep, they
are protected by a sweet little angel.
This house is truly blessed!
The tiny dollhouse is a 1960's souvenir 
photo viewer with beautiful pictures
of famous places in Germany.
Big Sister takes good care 
of her baby brother.
 When the sun is shining, you'll find the 
 children on the balcony, enjoying the outdoors.
Earlier this spring the girls planted bulbs in
 the new flower boxes and waited patiently for 
them to bloom........

What a delight to see the vivid colors
and smell the sweet scents.

The pet tortoise gets some fresh
 water and lettuce to nibble on. 
Cappy stands guard in case
 the bunny escapes! 
A sweet petite happy home!

In America, the Dora Kuhn company sold 
dollhouses, furniture and accessories 
exclusively through the New York toy company,
 FAO Schwarz.  This peasant style dollhouse is 
from the 1979  catalog.
The children that live in this house are vintage
 hard plastic Edi dolls.  They have adorable faces
 and lovely German costumes.  The couple on the 
left are dressed in traditional Black Forest clothing,
 the pair on the right have traditional Bavarian clothing. 
  I think they add authenticity and a special charm to 
the dollhouse, and they're durable enough for play.
If your are a collector of Edi dolls or
wish to learn more about these wonderful
dolls, be sure to stop by Sigi Ulbrich's site
Tortula.  She publishes a comprehensive 
 online Edi Doll Compendium magazine, full
of beautiful photos and information.
Visit these prior posts.
Learn more about St. Florian here: 
Like many Americans I have a rich diverse  
heritage.  In my case it's Irish, Scotch and German. 
 My great-great Grand parents immigrated to America
 from Westphalia Prussia (north western Germany) 
in 1849.  Perhaps that is why I love sauerkraut,
dachshunds and Dora Kuhn!


  1. Thank you Sherri for showing us your wee doll house and the history behind it. It is just adorable,♥

  2. This is a very fine little doll house. So colorful and well done. I have seen pieces of furniture like this, but until you pointed out who made them, I didn't know anything about them. Everything is pretty and placed just right. A real treasure for sure.

    1. Thank you Martha! I see this furniture on E-bay and the prices have gone through the roof, as it has gotten so collectible. I often see it advertised incorrectly or they say the initials are the person who painted it, hopefully these post will correct some of that misinformation.

  3. Hi Sherri. I really like your miniature house and it is so filled with little treasures; and history. What fun to be able to play house with the little doll figures and furniture. The added flowers are nice. (Glad to hear your hubby is working in the wood shop.) The little dog Cappy is so cute. I could spend hours just looking at all the details and all the wonderful color in your miniature house. Thanks for sharing the pictures as well as the history behind it.

    1. Thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The hubs is doing so well (he had a couple setbacks). He works in his wood shop every day, doing some projects he's been wanting to do for some time. I have all the 1/10 scale Dora Kuhn furniture for another dollhouse and hope this fall he can make a special dollhouse for me!

  4. Hi, I just found your site. Believe it or not, I was researching on the web because I have been looking for a "Dora Kuhn" dollhouse to buy for several years now! (A childhood one was forever lost due to some unfortunate circumstances). I had the FAO Schwarz Dora Kuhn dollhouse which seems a bit larger than the miniature house you have but yours has such interesting details, especially on the 2nd floor. I would be delighted w/ either model if anyone knows of one for sale! I have some Keystone dollhouses but my heritage is Swedish & German so the Dora Kuhn cottage & lovely painted furniture feels like home! Also, my married last name is.......Kuhn!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog on both the furniture Dora Kuhn houses! Sincerely, Laurie

    1. Laurie, I'm glad you've enjoyed the posts and thank you for your kind comment. I hope you find a dollhouse, perhaps just like the one you had. My best advice is to watch for one on E-bay. I see the furniture all the time and on occasion I see a dollhouse. Dora Kuhn has gotten very collectible so you'll find the prices are high. For pictures of Kuhn visit Pinterest Lots of eye candy there. I wonder, are you related to the Kuhn's in your heritage?!

  5. Hi Sherri, it is very fortuitous for me that you have posted your last two blogs when you did because I just bought a very similar Dora Kuhn, with original furniture, a few weeks ago and I've found a lot out about it through your blog so thank you! I had desperately wanted a Dora Kuhn chalet for about two years but it was prohibitively expensive to buy one and ship it to the UK and then I found one in a shop in York - a city near me in the UK. This is a link (if it works) to photos of my house which I posted on the web site 'Dolls' Houses Past and Present': I have emailed Sigi to see if she can help me date it precisely but I'm sure it is of a similar date to yours. I would gave said mine is 1:16 scale (or three quarter scale as I believe you call it in the US). There is access to the attic room which has miniature Dora Kuhn furniture in it. Also, the roof and attic come off completely. Though you might be interested and thank you again for sharing your excellent blogs - I adore your house and how you've furnished it!

  6. So glad the posts have helped you learn about your dollhouse. I popped over to see your peasant, it's gorgeous!! Looks very similar to mine with a different top piece. I will leave a comment when I'm approved. If anyone will know about it, it's Sigi. She's the expert in Germany, and a lovely lady. Sherri

  7. What child would not like to play with such a fun filled house? And even to have Cappy protecting everything! There is so much detail. I never had a doll house but did enjoy my Barbies and "fixing" up an area to pretend it was her house. All the photos are great and glad the miniature rooster of your Mother's found a home to live in.

  8. What a wonderful post, Sherri. I am fascinated by all that detail.

  9. You seem like a doll house kind of girl, caring for all the little things that make a house a home. I have so enjoyed this little series, and have learned so much.

    1. I'm glad you've enjoyed learning about Dora Kuhn. It's very unique and I think you love it or just find it rather too much! Of course, I love that it's hand made and painted in such detail and the history is so interesting to me. Not your regular run of the mill dollhouse!


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