Restoring Dollhouses: Go or No?

A dollhouse is not only a toy, but it is a reflection of the art and the culture of the days gone by. These may be widely considered as toys, however, they are also important tools for learning and social interaction for children. Back in the day, most were intricately designed and many of which required the services of a master craftsman to build and a painter to add to the details. Some of these pretty old dollhouses (over decades or a hundred years old) were made of high-quality wood and metal – due to the nonexistence of plastic back then. These were made only for the children of the highest class; having one back then means that you are a child of a pretty rich individual or a member of a noble family. With the rise of the used of plastic based materials however, almost anyone can own a cheaply made yet manufacturer grade dollhouse.

One of the perennial problems of dollhouse collectors and dealers are the ways on how to treat antique doll houses. Of course,  they must be taken care of so as to not to aggravate the damage it must have sustained. Talks of restorations are definitely floating around, which is why you need to take note of these several aspects and tasks:

Restoring Dollhouses

Find an appraiser

First off, finding an expert in antique toys and dollhouses (trust us, there is a lot of people like this out there) will be able to help you determine the date and type of the antique dollhouse, along with its other qualities. Most of all, he will be able to determine the value of the doll house just by examining it while taking a few factors into consideration: the size and scale, the condition (damage, etc.), missing parts and pieces and the era it belonged. Believe it or not, some of these antiques cost more when left as is instead of restoring them. Twiddling with it and attempting to polish the wood or metal could actually downgrade its value, so be sure to consult with an expert first.

manufacturer grade dollhouse


If the price of a certain dollhouse is higher if restored, then it is an imperative to have them undergo the operation. However, unless if you are an expert restorer, never attempt to restore them yourself. It may probably cost you more than a thousand to restore the whole thing including its contents and little bits and pieces, however, the payoff will be worth it once you find a right buyer. It does not matter if the wood or metal needs to be replaced as long as the value is higher.

Buyer or Collector

If your purpose for storing the dollhouse is to someday find a buyer, then do it right away. People go crazy for dollhouses and there are a lot of antique collectors that are willing to avail them. Their prices may vary from hundreds of dollars to over hundreds of thousands, believe it or not. If you collect them, then it’s better to display them and share their sophisticated qualities with everyone else.


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