It is extremely easy for anyone to begin a Caroline's Home collection and the best place to start looking is on Ebay. Just type in Caroline or Carolines Home and see what pops up in the Dolls and Bears section.

There is almost always an original Caroline's Home house (the one with the yellow shutters) for sale, but do look out for one in good original condition with no damage to the external and internal wall or floor paper and with it's front door and windows intact. There are clear plastic internal windows behind the yellow shutters which are almost always missing, although sometimes spare windows and shutters do come up for sale so they can be replaced. What you may find surprising is that that the Caroline's Home houses themselves do not fetch a great deal of money (see the HOUSES page for a rough price guide). A house in poor condition with damaged or discoloured wallpaper and windows missing is unlikely to sell - even for £5. A dealer might buy it for parts but that's about it. So if you are looking to sell your 'well loved' Caroline's Home do be prepared for sentimental value being nowhere near real value. A house will sell for a lot more if it comes complete with an original electric transformer, or with a lot of furniture with it BUT that furniture has to be Caroline's Home or Lundby furniture. A house could be full to bursting with furniture, but if it's not Barton or Lundby furniture it won't sell for very much.

You might now be thinking that this seems like a cheap and easy hobby to get into, but it will soon become apparent when you begin to furnish your house that you will need deep pockets.

The best advice I can give you when it comes to furnishing your doll's house is to have a good look at the catalogues available on the GALLERY page and know what it is you are looking for.
It should be quite easy and cheap to pick up the more common brown wood dining and bedroom sets and the floral living room three piece suite for example, but a 1980s "Black Horse and Rider" in it's original packaging recently sold for £55! Of course the rarer the item the more you will have to pay. The bear rug is a perennial favourite and rarely sells for less than about £4 on it's own and if it had it's original plastic ginger cat maybe twice that. Small kitchen items such as the plates of food; the dustbins; and the buckets, broom & mop set always sell for around the £7 to £10 mark. Furniture lines introduced or changed in the 80s are always harder to find than lines which ran for many years throughout the 70s and 80s.

If you keep your eyes peeled you can get a bargain. Not all casual sellers know what it is they are selling and often don't list things correctly as Barton, Caroline's Home or Lundby. Also many people can't be bothered to list loads of individual small lots (which would make them a lot more money) and would rather sell a job lot of furniture. You have to know what you're looking for of course, and beat the other collectors and dealers to it!

Do remember that Caroline's Home, Lundby, Tri-ang and older doll's houses originally meant for children's toys are all 1/16th scale. Modern collectors doll's houses are all 1/12th scale. If you buy 12th scale furniture for your Caroline's Home it will look too big and not right. You need to stick to the older items.

Good luck and happy collecting!

home | history | houses | gallery | collect | shop | about | friends

© Caroline's Home 2007