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Dolls’ houses at the V&A Museum of Childhood

2 May 2018

For today’s blog, we are delving into the amazing collection of dolls’ houses at The V&A Museum of Childhood. The Museum of Childhood is the largest institution of its kind in the world and holds a collection of around 100 dolls’ houses, models and shops. By looking in to these miniature worlds you can learn a lot about how people lived at the time they were made.

We’ve chosen 4 of our favourites to share with you today.

Mrs Bryant’s Pleasure

This dolls’ house was custom-made for a Mrs Ann Jago Bryant in about 1865. It is said to be modelled on her own house, Oakenshaw in Surbiton. At the time, she was a middle-aged woman living in luxury in the London suburbs, and the house reflects the sturdy Victorian domesticity.

The furniture is beautifully carved in rosewood and mahogany, the upholstery is rich and bright. The wallpapers and carpets are all typical of a conservative, middle class household. There are a few mass-produced items, like the lacquered trays in the kitchen, but most of the furniture is unique, and must have been commissioned from a skilled cabinet-maker.

From http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/collections/mrs-bryants-pleasure







Mrs Neave’s dolls’ house

This house was bought from a Mrs Neave of Cotham from Newark-on-Trent, in 1930. It dates from about 1840, but little is known about its origin.

It is a snapshot of an early Victorian interior. The exterior has pointed Gothic windows, an unusual feature in a dolls' house. The rooms are badly proportioned, and the full-scale wallpaper and carpets emphasize this. Nonetheless the house conveys an atmosphere of undisturbed early Victorian domestic idyll.

From http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O112543/mrs-neaves-dolls-house-dolls-house-unknown





The Drew House

This house was made in the early 1860s for the Drew family. Some repair and restoration work has been done to it, however, the house contains all the original furnishings and occupants. Many of the furnishings were manufactured by the important firm of Schneegas of Waltershausen in Germany, who specialised in making quality dolls' house furniture. The kitchen is well stocked and has an up-to-date closed oven instead of an open range, which would have been more usual for its time.

From http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O112197/the-drew-house-dolls-house-unknown






Tri-ang dolls’ houses

The ‘Jenny’s Home’ modular dolls' house system was produced in the 1960s in conjunction with Homes & Gardens Magazine. It was made by Tri-ang, a British manufacturer best known for their toy trains.

The individual sets allowed young children to slowly build up a collection of rooms and furniture to create almost any design of their choice. A system that could be turned from an apartment block to a bed-sit, Jenny’s Home was a highly flexible, modern toy that helped to inspire future home-makers.

From http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1273041/jennys-home-jennys-home-modular-tri-ang-toys





We hope you enjoyed taking a peak in to these miniature worlds!

Dolls' House Inspiration - William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement

18 April 2018

For today’s blog we’ve gathered together some beautiful images of interiors inspired by and designed by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.

The Arts and Crafts movement began in Britain around 1880 and ended in the 1920’s. It was inspired by the ideas of the designer and poet William Morris, the writer John Ruskin and the architect Augustus Pugin.

It was created as a reaction against a decline in standards at the time of craftsmanship, that was thought to be threatened by mass production and industrialisation. The Arts and Crafts movement wanted to re-establish these skills that were believed to be under threat, in the form of interiors, architecture, objects and artefacts. It revived medieval standards and methods of making artefacts, being true to the materials being used and using traditional constructional methods, producing beautiful individual pieces and designs.

We hope they help inspire you. Enjoy!

Image from: https://hammersmithfulhamforum.com/2015/01/23/simon-daykin-celebrating-the-story-of-emery-walker-and-william-morris

Image from: https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/category/arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/category/arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/category/arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/category/arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/category/arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://daydreamtourist.com/2014/12/09/william-morris

Image from: https://daydreamtourist.com/2014/12/09/william-morris

Image from: http://sorozatmania.com/art-and-craft-london/red-house-built-for-william-morris-google-search-fantastic-intended-for-art-and-craft-london

Image from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/httpwwwflickrcomphotosbobrad/23303020826

Image from: https://www.culturewhisper.com/r/things_to_do/preview/5110

Image from: https://www.pooky.com/inspiration/interiors/amazing-interiors-red-house-bexleyheath-the-home-of-arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://www.pooky.com/inspiration/interiors/amazing-interiors-red-house-bexleyheath-the-home-of-arts-and-crafts

Image from: https://www.periodideas.com/william-morris-standen-house

Image from: https://www.periodideas.com/william-morris-standen-house

We hope that these images have inspired you to create something beautiful.

All images © their respective owners 2018

Queen Mary's Dolls' House

4 April 2018

The amazing dolls’ house belonging to Queen Mary (b. 1867 – d. 1953) was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, a well-known architect of the time, and was the idea of the queen’s cousin, Princess Marie Louise. It was completed in 1924 and was given to the queen as a gift from the people and as a historical record of how a Royal Household of the time would have lived.

Princess Marie Louise had many connections in the arts and arranged for the top artists and craftsmen of the time to contribute to the house. It therefore contains many wonderful pieces of craft work, which were made specially for the dolls house. These include miniature books which were written specially for the queen and were bound to scale by a well-established bookbinders, handmade carpets and curtains which were replicas of ones within Windsor Castle and monogramed linen. The house also included real plumbed bathrooms, working electric lights and a garage of cars with working engines.

The dolls’ house would go on to be put on display to raise money for charities that the queen supported. You can still see the house for yourself today on display at Windsor Castle.

Here are some photographs we have gathered together. Enjoy!

Image from: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/5000050/queen-marys-dolls-house

Image from: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/5000050/queen-marys-dolls-house

Image from: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/5000050/queen-marys-dolls-house

Image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/theatre-film-music/living-in-lilliput-queen-marys-dolls-house-139879

Image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/theatre-film-music/living-in-lilliput-queen-marys-dolls-house-139879

Image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/theatre-film-music/living-in-lilliput-queen-marys-dolls-house-139879

Image from: http://historicinteriors.info/2014/04/28/the-grand-life-on-a-small-scale-queen-marys-dolls-house

Image from: http://historicinteriors.info/2014/04/28/the-grand-life-on-a-small-scale-queen-marys-dolls-house

Image from: http://historicinteriors.info/2014/04/28/the-grand-life-on-a-small-scale-queen-marys-dolls-house

Image from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323346/Queens-Dolls-House-miniature-library-opens-public-Windsor-Castle.html

Image from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323346/Queens-Dolls-House-miniature-library-opens-public-Windsor-Castle.html

Image from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323346/Queens-Dolls-House-miniature-library-opens-public-Windsor-Castle.html

Image from: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/about/news-and-features/queen-marys-dolls-house

All images © their respective owners 2018

The Miniatures of Julieta La Valle

20 March 2018

We recently discovered the work of Julieta La Valle, a talented sculptor, director, miniaturist and art director from Argentina. She builds models, miniatures, characters and other objects for animations, cinema, advertising, fashion and artistic projects.

We love her miniature creations so much that we thought we’d share some of our favourite images here on the blog.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!




















See more of Julieta’s wonderful work here https://www.julietalavalle.com

All images © Julieta La Valle 2018

Your Pictures - March

5 March 2018

We recently asked for photographs of your latest projects over on our Facebook page page and we had such an amazing response that we couldn’t resist sharing some here!

Here are a selection of just some of our favourites!


Credit: Annamaria Valentini


Credit: Annamaria Valentini


Credit: Annamaria Valentini


Credit: Carla OS


Credit: Carla OS


Credit: Debra Alison Kirby


Credit: Debra Alison Kirby


Credit: Izabela Kononowicz


Credit: Izabela Kononowicz


Credit: Judith Stolk


Credit: Milvia Novello


Credit: Marianne Rold


Credit: Patricia Gluckert


Credit: Patricia Gluckert


Credit: Patricia Gluckert


Credit: Patti Sullivan Foster


Credit: Patti Sullivan Foster


Credit: Patti Sullivan Foster


Credit: Patti Sullivan Foster


Credit: Patti Sullivan Foster


Credit: Rochelle Scott


Credit: Sharon Falcus Weeks-Woodford


Credit: Tracey Baker


Credit: Val Slater


Credit: Victoria Crumplin

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed pictures of their projects. We absolutely loved seeing them. (Please don’t think that if yours aren’t featured here we didn’t like them, we absolutely did, we just didn’t have room for them all as there were so many!)

If you'd like to share pictures of your house with us, we'd love to see! Head over to our Facebook page page and post them there!

All images © their respective owners 2018

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