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Old Walmer Dollhouse


Sydney
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I think it'll look great! Can't wait to see some updated pictures. The facade turned out beautifully so far!

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Hi! Your house has a name - it was called "Old Towne" when it was made by Walmer.

Walmer made a lot of dollhouses and they were generally child's dollhouses like this one. I think there were maybe three designs that sort of became collector's dollhouses. Anyway, the wood on this one is supposed to be 1/4 inch thick (my catalog states this is knockdown design, whatever that is), but if you use small nails, you can probably nail it together as well as glue it.

This is a plain little house with TONS of potential to be gussied up - do what you like with it and have fun and it will look beautiful! There aren't too many of these old Walmer houses around - you're so lucky to have one!

I just found your previous post which confirms that mine is an Old Towne. The reason it is a "knockdown" is because of the removable wooden pins that you can take out to dismantle it. Mine must have been glued in.

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Yeah my pins are still loose. I currently have mine boxed up but someday I'd like to dress up the door, remove the second floor balcony and make it a window and cover the exterior with white or light gray painted brick, black trim and a bold red door. Don't really have any plans for the interior though.

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Rodentraiser, What is this book you have? You mention it a lot and it sounds really useful!

Back in the good old days, Nutshell News put out a catalog that was sorted by items: dollhouses, doors, windows, etc, etc. This started in 1978 and it was a fairly thick catalog, not the kind HBS puts out. The manufacturers of miniatures and dollhouses would probably pay to be listed in this catalog because their items would have them listed as well as any prices (some manufacturers didn't list a price on their items).The catalog was put out yearly for about 20 years, maybe longer. The first issue sold for $4.75 and the second catalog has a price on it of $9.95. I believe I was paying about $20 for the last catalogs. I have issues #1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 16, and 17. If I see any I don't have on eBay, I try to buy it because they are just invaluable for their historical references of houses and items that aren't made anymore. Likewise, there was a time when I bought as many catalogs as I could from individual dealers, most of which were lost when I moved the last time. I'm just fuming about that. I lost an old Lawbre catalog which listed all the Lawbre houses except one and gave their dimensions and floor plans. I also lost a Ralph Partelow catalog that had pictures and descriptions of his pianos. Now, of course, very few miniature dealers have catalogs. It's all online.

In addition, there was a catalog called From Our House to Your House that was pretty much the same catalog but was sold under different dealers' names. I think I had one from Lolly's, the store that put out, at that time, the only modern dollhouse called the Citadel (I don't know where that one's gone to), and I have 2 from Dee's Delights, a 1991 and a 1997 issue. Those particular catalogs ran about $25 and their items were listed by manufacturer. In essense, it was merely a large catalog of all the manufacturers' catalogs combined in one large book. That was where the Artply pictures came from. Plus I have a large variety of various other odd catalogs I've collected over the years.

One of the things I am most grateful for is having lived in the Bay Area during a time when there were many dollhouse shops open. I was able to see the inside and outside of a huge number of houses and I was also able to see most of the wallpaper available at that time. I feel so bad for people who have to rely on online images, because it's so hard to tell color and size when you can't see this stuff in person. And don't forget I also have a lot of old Nutshell News, Miniature Collector and the like. Plus I have my good friend Lisa who went to a thrift shop recently and found 90 copies of various miniature magazines and bought them for 7 cents each!!!! and then kindly let me read them all.

So keep your eyes open. That stuff is still out there somewhere and if you see a Miniature Catalog issue that I don't have that you don't want (HA!), let me know. I'll buy it from you!

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I have the same Walmer/Wahlmer Old Towne with balcony. My aunt passed it on to my daughter last week. So much history; so much potential. Here’s a couple pictures. So far, I’ve only cleaned up the house and the furniture bits. (Didn’t take pix of the furniture yet, some are Tomy brand furniture too I noticed.)

Previously, someone mentioned not having the pegs that hold the house together. I used Hard As Nails wood glue and narrow shavings off of a popcicle stick as the peg replacements. Had to make sure the house edges were in place correctly beforehand though. To hold any edges together, I weighted the top of the house with heavy books and used green painters tape (Frog tape) to hold things together overnight while it dried. The frog tape stuck well but didn’t hurt the surfaces when removed. And dowels would work great if you could find one narrow enough.

The windows were a bit warped but still usable. I popped them out the rest of the way carefully and used my hot glue gun at the lowest heat setting to reapply them. Worked fine, but I like the idea of using the plastic that comes on most toy packages. I’ll do that if the kids damage these :)

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I rehab dollhouses originally built with hot glue because I can easily take them apart with a heat gun to remove the hot glue and rebuild them with Titebond.  I find, thought, that the original hot glue had often melted the window plastic in places that made it easier just to replace it or even make new windows, which is often nicer, anyway.  I like to use Elmer's all-purpose white glue, which dries clear for the clear inserts.  I also like to use the blue painter's tape.

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