Donnerstag, 26. August 2010

The history of Moritz Gottschalk's doll houses - English version



In 1865 Moritz Gottschalk - born 1840 - founded a bookbinding shop in the small town Marienberg in the Ore Mountains of Germany. From 1873 on he produced dollshouses and other toys. When two years later the railway came to Marienberg the factory grew larger and larger. They exported to England, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and America. That is why Gottschalk doll houses can be found all over the world. In some capitals were showrooms of his products and in the USA was an agency of his firm. His doll houses were world famous.

The architectural styles of each period were transfered to the miniature houses. The wooden dollhouses were often pasted with lithographic paper, which imitated the facades of the time. Windows at the sides of the building were sometimes only drawn on the paper.

Until about 1919 the roofs were blue after that they were red. Many doll houses were marked underneath with a number which can be found in the catalogues.

 www.puppenhausmuseum.de

The designers' inventiveness was unlimited:
abundantly decorated, huge and luxurious dolls mansions, but also the small cottage, houses with a dolls' lift, with extricable or hinged gardens, with electric light, with moveable awnings, even round room boxes or dollhouses, caravans, kitchens, foldable room boxes, school rooms, baths, stables, later garages, castles, shops of any kind, from the butcher's to the apothecary's, from the magnificent pastry shop with café to a grand department store, or a market hall, a farm, a house boat, an airport, a theatre or a garden with pavillons.

Christian Hacker and Albin Schönherr were further world-famous dollhouse manufacturers of that period. Schönherr was a former employee of Moritz Gottschalk and many of his dollhouses are barely distinguishable from Gottschalk's houses. What is more, naturally other companies copied the style of the period, too, thus complicating the identification even more.
1905 Moritz Gottschalk died but the company remained family-owned, first by his son, who died in WWI, then by his widow. Since 1931 a former employee,  Kurt Alfred Wagner, owned the firm. He retired in 1934 and his son was the next to lead the business. He married a granddaughter of the founder Moritz Gottschalk, Lotte Haunstein.
During the world wars the production stopped. After WWI it took some time before a new catalogue was published, and the first catalogues assumed the pre-war style. But after 1923 there were only newly designed models to be found in the catalogues.
After WWII this toy manufacture, too, was in the eastern zone of occupied Germany and the Soviets disassembled large parts of still existing factories to ship them to the Soviet Union as a form of reparations.


Nevertheless from 1947 on the Moritz Gottschalk company built dollhouses again. The end of the long-established firm came 1972 when all remaining private enterprises of the German Democratic Republic were dispossessed and nationalized. Toy companies were incorporated in the nationally-owned enterprise VERO. Until 1990 they continued to build single toy parts in Marienberg, then the fall of the iron curtain stopped the production. The remaining buildings were demolished in 1999 to make room for a sports hall.



Bibliography:

 

1994 Evelyn Ackermann "The genius of Moritz Gottschalk"
2000 "Moritz Gottschalk 1892 - 1931"


2003 Marianne Cieslik, Swantje Köhler "Lexikon der Puppenstuben und Puppenhäuser"
2004 Femmie Markestein, Karin Wester: "Poppenhuizen 1880-1980"
 

 


 

 

2016 Knoll, Ulrike: Vom Kindertraum zum Sammlerobjekt : Puppenstuben, Puppenhäuser & weitere Erzeugnisse der Spielwarenfabrik Moritz Gottschalk Marienberg aus der Sammlung Knoll = From childhood dream to collector's item. Dresden: radicula Verlag. ISBN 9783000544064

Kommentare:

  1. Very interesting history. Thank you.

    AntwortenLöschen
  2. Wonderful information. Thanks so much. Now I want a Gottschalk even more than I did!

    Susan

    AntwortenLöschen
  3. Thank you for sharing with us! Your history is so concise in a way I could not understand without your help. My daughter just read it with me and we are so happy! Thank you again Carol M.

    AntwortenLöschen