Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tootsietoy Furniture

Sunday, November 22, 2015
      Partly sunny and seasonally cold.

Tootsietoy Furniture

   The Tootsietoy Company manufactured the best small toys at the time in the United States. They are my favourite small toys, and were die cast. However, the company also manufactured miniature furniture for children to play with. These too were die case. In the upcoming Lloyd Ralston Gallery auction (December 5, 2015), there is a fine collection of 8 small boxed sets of miniature furniture.

I would think that most of the furniture sets were manufactured about the same time. However, I have no references to corroborate (substantiate) this statement. THe kitchen sets allow me to date the toys, so long as the toys were made at the same timeas the real life-size furniture. 

If you knew American furniture and American upholstery patterns and their history, I'm sure you could date the period of these toys. I would say (based solely on the kitchen furniture) that these sets were manufactured around the late 1920's and early 1930's.

The light stands are certainly old from the first quarter of the 20th century.

The kitchen stove and countertops definitely are late 1920's-early 1930's. Also, the "icebox" in the lower right corner helps to date the furniture. The electric refrigerator did not come along yet, and was invented later. Of course, toys could in fact be manufactured at a later date, but provided a "retro" look for children wanting an "older" play set. The kitchen sink with its' side preparation side certainly again was an early design. The kitchen sink in North America did not change until the later 1940's and progressively later into the 1950's.

What's interesting about the set below is that the insert could be removed. The insert shown is the wooden floor and the blue and yellow patterned carpet.

There is no reference to the size of the furniture, but if the sets are similar in size to the Tootsietoy cars and trucks of the era, then the chairs are about 2" (50.88 mm) high, and the above table is about 4"  (101 mm) wide).

What I'd like to know is whether or not there were Tootsie miniature people to go along with see wonderful room furniture sets. It would be interesting to see how the designers created different characters for the play people, as well as their clothing.

Whomever had collected these 8 sets certainly was highly motivated to collect them, and was certainly interested.

I was able to actually find 2 furniture pages in a reproduction catalogue reissued by Noble House of Mundelein, Illinois (USA) in 1989.

Below are the 3 pages (catalogue face cover, the page of furniture illustrations, and the page of descriptions and catalogue numbers. The catalogue is from 1933.

My date "guesses (please read at the beginning) estimated the toys having been manufactured from the late-1920's - mid 1930's. I was "close". However, the screen-captured LLoyd ralsotn photos have the box cores,. These box covers are an earlier "style" and design as far as the style and type go. Therefore, I wouldn;lt be surprised if the 1933 catalogue was updated, even though the toys continued to be made and were made originally in the late 1920's.

Such is the value of having original catalogues or reproductions.-
they always help with the identity of toys.

Thanks for dropping by on this day,
and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,
Stacey Bindman

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