I've inherited a dolls house collection from my ....What's the best way to sell it?
I need to downsize, where can I sell my dollhouse and it's contents?.
Here are a number of ways to think about your collection as well as methods to sell it. The answers to your questions may depend on the information that comes with your dolls house or collection of miniatures.
The best method for selling a dollhouse collection will depend on what you mean by collection. If the dollhouse was made by a regular individual from a kit, and decorated to resemble their house, or a generic time period, or filled with items that appealed to them, it may have limited interest for other collectors.
Assessing what is there - Is there a record book or any documentation that accompanies the collection? Did the collection belong to a famous person? Is there any original packaging for any items in the collection? If you have original packaging, or notes about the items collected, you have some provenance for particular items in the collection. The items which can be identified from recognized artisans may be of value to people who collect that particular artisan's work. Items of furniture with their original packaging may be of more value as they can be identified as Bespaq or Jiayi, miniatures which makes the pieces more recognizable to dollhouse collectors than red finished dining room suite. Something once owned by a celebrity may of of interest to people who follow that celebrity.
If you have no idea who made the items, or where they came from, try to make a list of what you have. Look for similar items in a local miniature shop or online and make notes. Check what scale the collection is (usually 1:12, 1:24, sometimes 1:16). Don't dismiss odd items out of hand. Some valuable miniatures look very peculiar today. Goose quill furniture is one example of a niche collector's market.
Choosing a selling method - If you have a list of the collection's contents, and some photos, you should be able to examine your options for sale.
- Antiques - If the items are antiques, collectible auction houses could be a possibility. In that case, you should have the items assessed by a professional.
- Artisan Miniatures – can be sold through some dollhouse miniature shops or online specialists - Here you are looking for a community who collect items from particular makers. If the artisan is still working, you might try contacting them to see if they have a list of collectors who are looking for past pieces. If you have a lot of artisan pieces with documentation, you may want to consider listing the pieces with an online shop, a magazine which showcases similar artisans or posting in a collector's forum.
- Newer Commercial Miniatures – can be sold in small lots of related items in online sales, or sold from a table at a local miniature show. It may be best to break them into smaller related lots of items. For example selling the kitchen table and chairs separate from all the pots and pans in a dollhouse kitchen. Small lots may also sell well in online ads in places like Craig's list or Ebay.
- Doll Houses or Shops – Selling dollhouses resembles the real property market a bit, unless they are by known makers or their contents are exactly matched to the house style, houses are often best sold without furniture, or if in particularly poor condition, as projects. Houses made from kits are rarely purchased complete with furniture, especially with all the room accessories. People may buy a dollhouse and the living room suite, or kitchen furniture, but might not want all the pots, pans, bedding etc. Collectors generally like to collect for themselves, rather than take on someone else's particular collection. Try to determine the house style and name of the kit or house if possible. Tab and slot kits with thin walls are almost all produced by Greenleaf Dollhouses, front opening houses are usually from a European or UK supplier. Particular brands of toy doll houses from the 30's to 70's Tri-ang, Marx and Lundby dollhouses or some modern dollhouses (the Kaleidoscope House by Bozart) are collected by particular groups of collectors, you can find these collector groups online. Jennifer McKendry's Dollhouse History website is a good place to see examples of various dolls houses. You can ask to circulate posters of a dollhouse and furniture at a local dollhouse club, or through a local shop. If the piece is part of a series which has a group of collectors, you may want to post something on their forums.