Friday, August 15, 2014

German Dollhouse General Store

This antique dollhouse general store came from the collection of a woman who designed the toy department window displays for John Wanamaker in Philadelphia in the 1920s and 30s. This little shop was used in the famous department store's window displays, and later was a cherished plaything of the woman's children. It dates circa the 1920s - early 30s, was made in Germany, probably by the Gottschalk company, and still retains its original floor and wallpapers.

It is much smaller than most German dollhouse shops, measuring just 7 inches tall by 13 wide. But it's still big enough to be packed full of stuff, including boxes, bottles, and canned goods; pottery; dry goods containers; a tin scale; even a tiny pair of wooden shoes.

The "Maggi" name features prominently throughout the store, on canned goods, wall posters, and the front of the counter. Perhaps the whole store was a promotional giveaway sort of item for this company?

The six tiny drawers originally would have held loose dry goods like flour, rice, and salt, for little shopkeepers to practice measuring and dispensing. The silver ribbon shaped metal labels are a trademark of shops made by the Gottschalk company, and are seen on their items over many decades.

The little shop is just the right size for antique miniature German bears. A 1910 Steiff is behind the counter, about to weigh out some treats for his tiny customer.


  1. Maggi is still used a lot in Germany. I have some in the cupboard, but I rarely use it. The ribbon-shaped labels on the drawers are a wonderful feature.