Replica Cast Iron StovesMost of the small cast iron stoves found today that were made in the 1800 early 1900 time frame were actually salesman's samples. When the salesmen would travel the country calling on the homeowners it was not possible to take a large cast iron stove with them, so instead these small exact replicas were made to give the homeowner the knowledge of just what they were buying. The owner could also purchase the small stoves as a toy for the children. They came with small moving parts , such as oven doors that opened and burner plates that could be removed with the little tool that fits into the plate in order to move it to put wood under it to make the fire. There are also warming shelves that open to keep food warm. Many came complete with small pots and pans that the salesman could also sell the homeowners. There are many of these small stoves that can be found in antique stores and occasionally a flea market or on the web. There are many replicas that have been made in recent years. It is pretty easy to tell the difference between a real antique iron stove and a modern replica. The antique stoves very very heavy as they were made of heavy iron just like the stoves that were being sold. The replicas are made of thinner metal and weigh at least half of what the antique one does. They are perfect to display with antique dolls. I am fortunate to own three of them. One is a little larger than the others. It is very heavy and was purchased from a family that was cleaning out their barn. It came complete with the burner covers and the lifter tool and several pots. It also has a metal chimney that attaches. I am also certain without being an expert that this a genuine antique and not a replica. It is perfect to display with a 14 - 18 inch doll.
My other two stoves are a smaller scale. One is very heavy for its size and is probably an antique. It also has the burner plates and a chimney. The oven doors open and the warming shelves fold down. The third one is made of thinner metal and is very light weight compared to the other two. This leads me to believe that it is not as old as the others, It is also missing some of the burner plates. These smaller stoves are perfect to display with 8 to 12 inch dolls, and also makes a cute cozy kitchen display with my dolls. I purchased both of these stoves from yard sale. The lady told me she owned them for many years and was reluctant to sell them, but she was having to downsize to move to a small apartment. She was very happy to sell them to me to use with my dolls. I cannot take pictures of mine as they are still packed from my recent move. Below is a picture of a small stove that is similar to mine, but is missing the chimney attachment. Notice on the side of the stove the door that swings open to put the wood in for the fire.
This one it seems was made as a toy for a small child. The toy stoves are usually smaller than the salesman's samples. Of the three stoves I have from what I have learned, one is a salesman's sample and the other two are toys.
This picture was found on the web. The stove here is the size of my two smaller stoves.
The majority of cast-iron wood stoves one finds in antique shops or web auctions, are from the early 20th century (or are reproductions!), but this unusual example is a type found in the 1880s. The large iron kettle and stove-plate lifter came with it. The top rolls into two levels, the oven has a working side-door, and there is an open area in the lower front for warming pots and food. Over-sized flowers in high relief decorate the sides. It is a little large for most dollhouses at 4 inches high x 4½ wide x 4½ deep.