Deaccessioned dollhouse collection selling Dec. 11, 2010

Visitors both young and young-at-heart to the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden in Alexandria, Va., have for many years enjoyed the distinctive collection of historic and modern dollhouses on display in the museum’s attic. Now just in time for holiday shopping, this recently deaccessioned dollhouse collection will be sold at auction by The Potomack Company  Dec. 11.

Lee-Fendall House Executive Director Tracy Sullivan says the museum has enjoyed displaying the dollhouses for over 30 years. “It is a wonderfully diverse collection of dollhouses. However, the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden is dedicated to interpreting the historic house as a Lee family home of the 1850-1870 period. So that we may focus on stewarding our core collection, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to deaccession these dollhouses.”

The collection of 26 dollhouses primarily from the late 19th and 20th centuries includes both electrified houses and earlier vintage models in a wide range of architectural styles.  The houses are embellished with miniature furnishings, accessories and dolls.  Two unique examples are the 19th century slave shanty complete with African-American figures and an early 20th century Tramp Art model.

Step back in time with your child at the gallery Dec. 5 at 1:30 for a guided tour of the dollhouses from the upcoming auction and enjoy a sweet holiday cookie treat while learning about Sunday toys and seeing an example of a church dollhouse along with the other dollhouses, garden ornaments and whirligigs.

The dollhouses were originally gifted from two different donors to the Lee-Fendall House, and the museum created a display gallery for them in the attic of the historic house even though the rest of the museum was interpreted to an earlier time period.

The dollhouses will be on view at The Potomack Company’s gallery beginning Dec. 4 at 526 North Fayette Street in Old Town Alexandria, Va.  For additional information, please call 703-684-4550.

More from Antique Trader

•  Collecting Dollhouses by  Mildred Jailer-Chamberlain

•  Speaking of Dolls: Know What You Are Looking For

•  Speaking of Dolls: Schmidt, Schmidt and Schmitt

•  Speaking of Dolls: Hertwig family dolls found in doll collections worldwide


200 Years of Dolls, Identification and Price Guide, 4th Edition

From the Acme Toy Company to wooden dolls, and everything in between, the fourth edition of 200 Years of Dolls makes identifying your dolls easy, and increases accuracy. In addition to this updated new book, you’ll find a FREE CD with 2,000+ makers’ marks included. This special CD isn’t available anywhere else, and is a great way to identify the makers of all the dolls in your collection, and those you hope to own.

Doll Makers’ Marks CD-ROM

This easy-to-use and simple-to-search CD takes the guesswork out of identifying dolls, and aids in accurate value assessment. Check out the inventory of makers’ marks featured on this CD, arranged alphabetically and easily distinguishable, for quick and effective research of 2,000 makers’ marks in one resource. Look for tips on how to spot and identify marks, where most makers’ marks are, and how to assess a doll’s condition.

Antique Trader publishes a monthly column by doll expert Sherry Minton in the print issue. Get your 40-issue subscription at the low online price at

Great American Dollhouse Museum Video Tour


Great books, CDs, price guides & more

Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide

Interact with other antique collectors in Antique Trader’s online forum

Get up-to-date pricing for tens of thousands of antiques & collectibles on – FREE for 1 year – when you join the Collecting Insider Club!

Sign up for your FREE email newsletters

For more columns and features for antique dealers, restorers and collectors, get your own subscription to Antique Trader magazine