Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Swantje Köhler's Lexikon der Puppenstuben und Puppenhäuser

Today, the new issue of Dolls Houses Past and Present online magazine came out. I have an article in it on Amersham, an English company that made dolls houses between about 1930 and the early 1950s.
The company had links to a German company (I won't go into all the detail here - it's quite complicated!), and Swantje Köhler sent me an email after reading my article - she very kindly included her entry on the German company from her book Lexikon der Puppenstuben und Puppenhäuser (Encyclopaedia of Roomboxes and Dolls Houses).

This wonderful book was only published in 2004, but is out of print, and quite hard to find (Amazon says "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock"). When I wrote to thank Swantje, and ask if she was planning a second edition, this is what she said,

I would like to make a second issue of the lexicon as I have so much more information and so many never published catalogues. But the publishers think, there is no need.

Tell all collector people to ask the Wohlfarth publishing company ( ) for copies (they don't have a single one) but to let them know, that there is an interest.

This time I want to add an English translation too, for all my English collector friends.

So I guess we'd better get busy emailing the publisher!


  1. I've just sent an email, let's hope that many people will do the same, and may be this book will be reedited.

  2. Dear Rebecca, what an amazing article you wrote! So much research, so many details, yet I was a little bit disappointed that there were no photos of dollhouses because I have no idea how they look like...

  3. Thanks, Beatrice!

    Hallo diepuppenstubensammlerin, glad you enjoyed the article! I enjoy doing that kind of research. The photos of Amersham houses are on the next page of the magazine - there are 5 with info and details. I'd love to own one myself, but they're pretty rare here in Australia.

  4. Hi Rebecca,
    they have already answered me, but they give me no hope:
    "" Sehr geehrte Frau ,
    der Titel "Lexikon der Puppenstuben und Puppenhäuser" ist vergriffen.
    Eine Neuauflage ist nicht geplant.
    Mit freundlichen Grüßen aus Duisburg""

  5. Just read your wonderful article on the Amersham dollhouses...I have been fascinated with them since I first discovered the one on Sarah Boiran's website! I cheated and looked at the gallery of pictures before I read your article...
    Wow! You did a great job of keeping all the facts straight on this early entrepreneur...or I wonder if he was more of a "wheeler-dealer" in his time!:)
    I will also contact the publisher Wohlfarth, it certainly can't hurt.

  6. I have now finally read your article in Dollshouses Past and Present. Great work Rebecca! Looks like you have put a huge amount of research into it,(but I guess it was a labour of love? :-)) and it was very interesting, even if it was a handful :-) I see why Wendy Gater found it hard to research, there was quite a number of different names and companies there to hold track of.
    I have seen quite a few photos of Amersham houses earlier, but very informative to see the photos and description of them on the next page as well, but it seemed some of them were missing?

    When I was giving names to my old ladies I was pondering caling one of them Lady Amersham, so the reception rooms could be called Lady Amershams salons. But the name didn't suit any of them as well as the names they got I think.

  7. Thanks, Florine and Helene. Entrepreneur, wheeler-dealer - I don't know, I think the toys he designed maybe show that he genuinely loved them. And I get the feeling that he was good at getting on with people, too - though there may have been other reasons why Harry Stone joined Chiltern.

    Yes, it was definitely a labour of love! I love chasing down bits of info - still hope to find more (will write a follow-up article on Conway Valley for the May issue, having received some info from B.S. Bacon's grandson - tracing descendants can pay off!)

    I don't think there were photos missing, but there were descriptions that got separated from the photos they were supposed to describe. (I sent the descriptions separately from the photos, which were all numbered - but there were a lot of them!)

    No, I don't think Lady Amersham suits any of your dolls as well as the names they have now - but who knows, maybe one day a Lady Amersham will come to visit?