Lundby, also known as Lundby of Sweden, is a Swedish maker of dolls houses and miniature furniture for the mass market. Lundby dollhouse furniture has been produced since 1947 and their dollhouses have been sold since the late 1940's. The company started in the Gothenburg suburb of Lundby, Sweden, which also gave the company its name.
Lundby claims to have been the first to have had electric lights in their dollhouses ("child safe" 4-volt rather than the more standard 12-volt) and are always striving to follow the trends of interior and furniture design.
The most common Lundby house style is the Gothenburg, which has remained very similar in style from the 1960s through to 2006 when it was discontinued in favor of the Småland dollhouse. There have been many other styles of Lundby dollhouses introduced over the years, such as the Stockholm House in 1975 (and a newer, more modern, version in 2006).
Lundby houses, furniture and accessories are 2/3-inch scale, also known as 1:18 scale, where one foot in real life equates to 2/3 inch in dollhouse size.
The Lundby house - Early 1950's
The earliest style of house produced was of a basic rectangular shape with a bright red pitched roof, a blue painted frame and paper brickwork on the outside. It consisted of 5 rooms (3 on the first floor and 2 on the ground). It had a wooden spiral staircase which led from the largest room to the central room on the first floor. Houses of this style could either be electrified or not. Rival doll house manufacturer Lerro produced houses in the same style and dimensions; however the roof, frame and brickwork were different colors from that of the Lundby model.
The 'Gothenburg' house - 1960's
As with most Lundby dollhouses produced from the mid 1940s to the 1990s, there were many significant and minor variations on each model. This particularly applied to the Gothenburg dollhouse first introduced in the early 1960s. With funky wallpaper, a white frame, a bright red pitched roof, 2 rooms on the first floor and 3 rooms on the ground floor, it became Lundby's most popular house and gradually their mainstay of dollhouse production.
It is easy to distinguish between early and later versions of this house. The early model (1960 - 1965) featured light blue floors, a wooden staircase with full banisters, a tall chimney (1.7") and a wall with an open doorway which divided the bathroom in two. Later models (1966 - 1969) reduced the height of the chimney (0.75") to its present day size and no longer retained the bathroom's dividing wall.
The 'Terrace' or 'Flat Roof' house - 1960's
Lundby's success with the Gothenburg model gave them the chance to experiment with new house designs. This culminated in the production of the 'Flat Roof' or 'Terrace' house from 1966-67. As its name suggests it had a flat roof, allowing children to place garden furniture on it. Two different models were produced - one was a solid 2-story house and another which came flat packed and could be built up to 3 or 4 stories high.
After winning 'Best Toy' award in 1967 from the Swedish Toy Merchants Association, Lundby continued to improve the design of the Gothenburg dollhouse. By the latter half of the 1960's, the stairs were no longer made of wood but of plastic, and the window frames were molded in white plastic with Perspex imitation glass.
The 'Economy' house - Late 1960's
At the tail end of the 1960's, Lundby adapted the Gothenburg design to create a cheaper, non-electrified house with wider market appeal called the 'Economy' house. The number of rooms was the same as the Gothenburg but reversed; so the ground floor had 2 rooms and the first floor had 3 rooms.
Jennifer McKendry’s page provides an astounding amount of history about the history of Lundby and its dollhouses.
If you collect Lundby houses and/or furnishings, you should really visit the We Love Lundby Club’s website; lots of great information there too.