This interesting toy is part of my doll house furniture
collection.  It was a gift sent to my mother when she was a little
girl which makes it over eighty years old.  I’ve tried to
research it and can find little to go on.  It is estimated that this
clever design originated in the latter part of the 1800's and
was a popular girl’s toy in its time.  I have been unable to find a
duplicate of this toy on the web.  

As you can see one chair lost a leg which I repaired with
Sculpy clay.  I could have camouflaged the repair much better
but wanted to restore its functionality without concealing  the
fact that it had been broken.  I decided to leave the break
visible as part of its history although the history of the break is
unclear.  

My grandmother kept a few of my mother’s toys and dolls in a
trunk in the attic room for when the grandchildren came for
visits.  We would barely arrive before running up the stairs
and dragging those toys out and back into service.  In 1974 my
family’s ancestral home was destroyed by the Brandenburg
tornado, part of the super outbreak on April 3.  A friend of mine
was kind enough to drive down the day after the disaster to
oversee the salvage of the house and brought back only a
handful of things that could be recovered somewhat intact.  
Most of the things were from that attic room and I believe this
little toy was one of those things.  Mother claims it made its
way out of the old homestead and back into her hands before
the tornado but is unsure of that.  What could have happened
to the broken piece is another unsolved mystery.  

I use it in my bear hutch… which is an old bookshelf that
displays my miniature bear collection.  I arrange and use it in a
parlor or living room setting but of course it can be arranged
as dinning or bedroom furniture or any number of ways one
might imagine.  

Few of us have the jig saw or band saw that would be needed
to reproduce this toy.  Now, after the discovery of toxins in so
many of today’s plastic toys, there is a reemerging demand for
wooden toys.  Perhaps someone in that business will see this
article and start reproducing it again.  In searching the Web I
found a modern version of the design but more intricate with
up to 16 pieces.  The furniture, once taken apart, is in all
different sizes, more puzzle than usable doll furniture.  
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