Renwal Doll House Furniture
The Renwal Manufacturing Company was started in about 1939 by Mr. Irving Lawner (the name “Renwal” is Lawner spelled backwards) in New York. The company produced toys from1945-1958 and then went on producing other products until 1976. When toy production ceased the molds for the furniture were sold. Other companies produced the furniture including “Empire Company” and companies in Hong Kong. One must be careful when buying the furniture. The original mold markings may still be on later pieces, but the quality was not up to Renwal standards. The doll house furniture could be bought in stores such as Woolworth, Grant, and dime stores. The furniture was sold in boxed sets (Jolly Twins) and as individual boxed pieces. The pieces were also used as advertising products for other companies. The furniture was made on the 1 ½” scale. There were various room settings, a hospital nursery, school, doctor’s office, animal hospital, etc. Identifying markings varied over the years. Early furniture was marked with a letter and then the catalogue number. B = bedroom, D = dining room, L = living room, and T = bathroom. Later the use of the letter was discontinued. The pieces were also marked “a Renwal product pat. Pend., USA (or USA and Canada). Made in USA”. Early pieces of furniture came in different shades of brown and muted colors. Later furniture came in bright colors and may have stenciled designs on them. Many of the pieces had various moving parts. The doll house people were produced during various years. The dolls had metal riveted joints at the shoulders, hips and knees and were made in a solid color of plastic (color of the clothes) with the skin color and facial features painted on. There was a family with a father, mother, brother, sister, and baby. There were also various professions including a doctor, veterinarian, nurse, mechanic and policeman. Average prices for the different pieces vary. On Ebay the prices can be a few dollars to $15 to $20 a piece. Mint-in-box sets sell for potentially hundreds of dollars.
An excellent reference for Renwal doll house furniture is the book Renwal World Finest Toys, Doll House Furniture by Charles F. Donovan.