Thursday, March 5, 2009

Eagle Toys Hexagonal House, Canada 1950s

I have been thinking about this house. It's not a traditional-shaped dolls' house, as (1) it is a bungalow, and (2) it is round or hexagonal, depending on whether you look at the roof or the floor:

It was made in Canada in the 1950s by Eagle Toys Co. I bought it from Canada, through US ebay. It came with a lot of moulded plastic furniture, some by Eagle Toys -


and some other brands such as Louis Marx.

I like the house very much, but I was always a bit bored by the furniture. I think there were two things I wasn't happy with - much of the furniture was very similar in style to furniture produced by Renwal, Kleeware, etc, at around the same time -


and I don't think this suits the modern, innovative architecture of the house.

Some of the furniture is more modern in style:


but a bit too small for the house:


Reading Zillner & Cooper's Antique & Collectible Dollhouses and their Furnishings has explained this, I think:

The Eagle Toy Company, located in Montreal, Canada, made many different styles of dollhouses during the 1950s. The firm's two-story metal houses .... were quite small and would have been furnished with 1/2" to one foot furniture. The company's unusual hexagonal house was in a scale of 3/4" to 0ne foot and was made of both fiberboard and metal.

So most of the Eagle Toy dolls houses were 1/24th scale; only the hexagonal house was 1/16th, and was no doubt furnished with the same furniture made for the two storey metal houses (which were also more traditional in style than the hexagonal house).

The other day I pulled out the boxes of 1950s German dolls' house furniture I have bought and stored for the 1950s bungalow and room boxes I haven't yet set up - and tried out some of the furniture in the house. I found that I had pieces that match remarkably well in colour, as well as design.
The bedroom now has two pieces of Crailsheimer furniture, which I think look great, and the original Eagle Toys bed. I'm now on the look-out for a more stylish bed.


The living room is next:


followed by the dining room:


I think the interior designer wasn't quite up with the modern style of the house - but maybe people really did mix their styles, and choose ornate wall candelabras and mirrors to furnish houses like this?

Next to this is the kitchen:


This gorgeous kitchen cupboard and sink may also be Crailsheimer, but I'm not sure. We had a cupboard in the 1960s like this - except it was all white, and the sliding doors of the upper shelves were glass. Unfortunately it got sold by mistake during a move (mixed up with the cupboard we really wanted to sell).
The woman who lives here came with the house. I think she likes her new furniture better - it does rather fill the rooms, but I think she has worked as a stewardess (flight attendant in modern-speak), and is used to working in compact spaces.

Here's another view of the kitchen - you can see that the ceilings are raw fibre-board:


Finally, there's the outdoor area - presumably also the entrance:


These dolls are the niece and nephew of the woman who lives here - they also came with the house. I think they must have been chosen to match the decor!

Two rooms, and this entrance area, are open to the covered central courtyard, and two have doors leading to it - those are the doors to the dining room opposite.

The house is meant to be on casters, to make viewing it easier. It certainly would, but sadly there were no casters - there are certainly holes for them, so maybe I can find some to fit.

8 comments:

  1. Just lovely and the German furniture is perfect in there!

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  2. Thank you! I'm glad you think so too.

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  3. Rebecca...I also have this house and unlike you, my "glass" dome is missing. I did solve the missing casters problem however---I placed the house on a large lazy-susan (round that twirls!)...and it works perfectly. I do love your modern furniture. I found that the American Jaydon furniture, although plastic, fit nicely in the house and it is interesting in that it was made during the WWII period when they could not use a stabilizer in the plastic because it was needed for the war effort---so most of the plastic furniture sort of twists and turns a bit. I love that about it! Have you seen it before? It is surely in the Ziller books. If you need pictures, I have some. Lovely dollshouse! Thanks for visiting my site!. Louise

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  4. Thank you, Louise! A lazy Susan is a terrific idea, much easier than trying to fit new casters! I have seen Jaydon furniture, both in the Zillner book I have, and on ebay. I think it would look very good in this house.
    Interesting to hear why the furniture warped - some British-made furniture made around this time warped too, maybe for the same reason!
    I look forward to seeing more of your site! best wishes, Rebecca

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  5. Hello from Canada, I've come across your post and just thought I'd let you know that I got this same dollhouse for Christmas in 1968 (I was 7). I remember it was in the Sears Christmas Catalogue that year and I spotted it, my parents must have noticed. I don't remember the furniture, but your's seems like the right decor for a mod-60's house. Have fun!

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  6. Hello from Canada once more Rebecca!

    I'm writing a book about Coleco, the company that bought Eagle Toys in the late 60s, and I was wondering if I could use the above pictures on your website. You can contact me at contact@editionsbooqc.ca

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  7. I had the same house and furniture given to me. I still have the furniture and the little plastic supports that held an upper roof on over the opening. How strange! Thanks for the memories, mine was the biggest present under the tree when I was 6 or seven. So exciting!

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  8. I have two of these houses - both with their original casters but neither with their domes! I use the furniture that came with them (I don't mind they're a bit small). Your German furniture is absolutely charming!

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