Good news and bad news. I found a vintage kit for the Queen Anne by Carlson's Miniatures, Inc. from a Texas seller on eBay, and my best offer was accepted. When it arrived, however, the bulk of the structure was missing. The seller and I worked out an amicable solution, and I'll be keeping what there is of the kit.
On to the kit.... It's a beauty, no? I love the Tudor styling and would have built it right out of the box without any changes to the exterior.
The original box is larger than any dollhouse kit box I've seen, so I knew something was wrong when I opened it to find so much open space inside.
What remains in the original box: siding, flooring, shingles, windows, door, stairs, trim, miscellaneous pieces and the full instructions. Many of these items are in their original wrappings. The seller used USPS boxes to house some of the more delicate items.
There are 56 art board pieces as well, each numbered.
The kit is constructed from pre-built frames, but all 44 frames were missing from the box. Each frame was color coded and numbered. I figured this kit would be like the Golden Gate View that I'm turning into The Brownstone, where the frames are built from supplied pieces. With pre-built frames, however, I can only imagine the hours that went into preparing this kit for shipment. I am guessing not many were made.
photo from instructions showing frames being assembled
The assembly instructions begin with this excerpt:
Congratulations on your purchase of our super doll house kit. We feel you could buy no finer kit. At present we know of no other manufacturer with this type construction. Why did we build like this instead of with plywood or particle board? We list the reasons below:
(1) No heavy tools or power tools needed.
(2) Lightweight - saves on shipping and is easier for you to handle while building.
(3) The artboard takes paint and wallpaper much better than plywood, particle board or solid pine. Also solid pine will expand and contract and leave unsightly spaces.
(4) Hollow wall construction makes lighting easier.
(5) Customizing is really simple and is accomplished with a small hand saw and razor knife.
(6) You have a beautiful pine individual board floor (no need to later buy a finished floor).
(7) Simply leave off ceiling artboard and you have a beamed ceiling.
Since there are no measurements for the framed sections included in the instructions, the kit cannot be built as is without reinventing the wheel. The framed sections were to be covered by the pre-cut art board pieces, so these may provide a starting point for figuring it out. But, I'd have to either cut all the pieces from plywood or build the frames per the original without knowing the size of the strip wood used or the exact layout of each frame. A daunting task, to say the least.
photo from instructions showing art board placement
The seller bought the kit at an estate sale, so my guess is there might have been a fully framed house that looked like this at the sale. Someone else might have bought it thinking it was an interesting model. It might have been trashed if the frames were still loose in another box. Maybe the frames were still there when the kit was purchased, but neither the seller nor the estate sale representative made the connection.
photo from instructions showing completed frame without roof sections
I asked the seller for the name of the estate sale company in Ft. Worth, TX, and she gave me the information along with the location of the sale. I called the estate sale company, but neither of the ladies who were at the sale remembers the frames or a framed house. It was worth the call, at least.
So, that's the long-shot mystery...what happened to the framed portion of the kit? It's so sad because it's such a beautiful kit and all the work that went into it on the manufacturing level alone. Carlson's Miniatures, Inc. and the related American Craft Products are long out of business. I can certainly use the wood for other builds, but the pieces will be boxed up for now just in case.... :]
If you have any information, please contact me.
This is such a disappointment. I really hope that the frames will find you one day!!
I hope someone out there sees this and you find the missing pieces! What a great house it could be.
That is so sad–I hope someone, somewhere, finds and keeps those frames and connects with you at some point.
It would be great if the frames miraculously turned up. What a fabulous house.
What a shame. Maybe the original owner started the project, felt it was too much for them and boxed the rest. I really hope someone can help…maybe has the frame or dimensions to build a new one =0(
I hope that you will get the missing pieces one day! The House looks Great!
Oh jeeze, that is a disappointment. Hopefully something turns up that will make this into good news. But now, guess you’ll just keep the kit aside as a future project…?
Too bad about the kit but all is not “lost", so to speak. You are so talented that I cannot believe you cannot replicate the frames. I own a ½ scale shot-gun style house made by a local elderly gentleman some years ago. This building (as were all his buildings, actually) is framed in much the same way except that he used a micro-thin sheet wood for “drywall". It’s very innovative and is extremely lightweight.
I also know of a young guy in Florida (I think the Orlando area?) who has, in progress, a HUGE Contemporary Tudor made entirely this way. Mr. Long has retired due to failing eyesight, but I ran into the other fellow (Jay or Jake) at the recent Orlando miniature show. I will see if I can find contact info him and perhaps you could chat about how to go about this, using the pieces you have.
Just a thought… It’s a beautiful house.
Thanks for the votes of confidence! I’m sure to figure something out in the future.
Susan - that’s Jeremy, and I know him and his beautiful work well.
Well… I knew it was a “J” name at least! LOL. Since you already know him, I am sure he would be delighted to assist you in any way. He seemed a really likable fellow when we spoke and very happy to answer questions and give advice. It was from him that I learned of the amazing Magnum Wood shop right in my son’s college town of gainesville :-)
What a shame, and it’s such a lovely looking property too. I’m quite sure (as others have said) you will be able to come up with something quite spectacular using the bits you have but on the other hand, there may just be someone out there who’s reading this who can help with the missing bits……..!