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A Dolls' House Made by Frans and Christina Bosdyk

29 August 2018

Today on the blog we bring you one of the most beautiful and detailed dolls’ houses we have ever seen!

The house was built and decorated by Frans and Christina Bosdyk over a period of 9 years from 1997 to 2006 and it is estimated that they spent 15,000 hours creating it. It is currently being displayed in the Powerhouse Museum collection in Australia.

Frans Bosdyk is a skilled electrical instrument maker and made most of the furniture inside the dolls’ house. Each drawer slides open effortlessly, hiding the tiniest cutlery sets or stores of miniature candles. The doors have brass handles which turn to open. The desk lamp lights up when plugged into the wall. The wardrobe contains presents prepared for Christmas with tiny dolls in ribboned boxes and minute Christmas decorations.

Christina Bosdyk was closely involved with all construction decisions, sourcing miniature items, deciding where everything went and choosing interior decor, wallpaper and dolls.

The Bosdyk dolls' house is a unique example of the art of the miniature. It competes with the very best in the tradition of Dutch dolls’ houses, renowned in the seventeenth century for their style and extraordinary attention to detail.

The twenty-roomed house is set up on five levels in much the same style as the early Dutch dolls’ houses in 1/10 to 1/12 scale. It features aspects of Dutch and Australian life dating from the mid 19th century to the 1950s and is a wonderful window into the past.

We hope you love it as much as we do!

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

>Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences
Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences - Inside the Collection

The Dolls’ House Exhibition at Newby Hall

8 June 2018

The Dolls’ House Collection is located in the heart of Newby Hall’s glorious 25-acre garden, a beautiful country house in Ripon, North Yorkshire. It is one of the finest and most important collections of dolls’ houses and miniatures in the world, with nearly 70 houses of all shapes, sizes, styles and ages.

The collection was put together by Caroline Hamilton and Jane Fiddick, who have shared a passion for dolls’ houses for over 40 years and exhibiting internationally for nearly 30 years. They have a talent for bringing the miniature world to life. Their collection ranges from small ‘room boxes’ such as Grandmama’s Parlour to the very grand Beagle House and Best House.

We hope you enjoy the tour!

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All images © their respective owners 2018

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

The Rijksmuseum Dolls' House Collection

23 January 2018

We recently posted on our Facebook page about Petronella Oortman, who created the beautiful dolls’ house which inspired the book ‘The Miniaturist’ and the tv adaptation of the same name. As it went down so well, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into the collection of dolls’ houses kept at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where Petronella Oortman’s dolls’ house now resides.

The museum has three dolls' houses in total, which date from the 1600’s and 1700’s and are an exciting window into what a wealthy home would have looked like in Amsterdam at this time.

Petronella Oortman

Petronella’s dolls house was given to her as a gift by her wealthy husband Johannes Brandt and she set about filling it with beautifully hand-crafted replicas of the real items from her home, between the years 1686 to 1710. Although the dolls’ house was incredibly realistic and it may not have been an exact representation of the house that she lived in, it may have represented her dreams and aspirations.

At this time, dolls' houses were a popular hobby for women and would have offered the same enjoyment as a curiosity cabinet would have done to the gentleman of the time. In fact, Petronella’s husband had a curiosity cabinet and you can see the miniature version in the bottom right hand room of the dolls’ house.

Petronella loved her dolls’ house so much, that she had a painting commissioned of it. The painting shows the yellow curtains which once protected the front of the house, as well as the original dolls that she had made for it. Unfortunately, all the dolls have now been lost, except for the baby in the cradle.

Petronella Dunois

The second dolls’ house in the collection at the Rijksmuseum was made by Petronella Dunois. Petronella was an orphan who lived with her sister in Amsterdam but was a wealthy lady and an art collector. Both sisters made their own dolls’ houses, but only Petronellas survived.

Unlike Oortman’s dolls’ house, Dunois filled her dolls’ house with ready-made furniture, many of the pieces are marked with the year 1676. The dolls’ house contains a peat loft, a linen room, a nursery, a lying-in room, a reception room, a cellar, a kitchen and a dining room.


The third dolls house in the museum was made in 1760 and is quite different from the other two. Instead of a cabinet housing the main attraction being the realistic rooms inside, it is instead the exterior of this house that is the most interesting and realistic. Like the other two, it is a model of a real house.

The front of the house is removed to reveal the rooms inside. The house is divided into a basement with two cellars, portal and kitchen; first floor with hall, small hall, staircase, dining room; second floor with bedroom, small room, stairs and nursery; attic with two attics.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this little tour of the Rijksmuseum's dolls' house collection. You can find out more by visiting their website.

Lyon Miniatures Museum

17 June 2013

Ever been to Lyon Miniatures Museum, in France?

The web editor at Dolls House and Miniature Scene, Ann Sutcliffe, recently paid a visit there and you can read about what she found – and see the photos on their website.

Ann was very impressed and says: “If you ever get a chance to visit Lyon at the confluence of the Saone and Rhone Rivers, please make sure you take a few hours off to visit this exceptional museum.

“Set over five floors are over 100 miniature scenes or dioramas containing thousands of exquisitely crafted masterpieces by international artisans.”

And look out for a more detailed article with extra photos in a forthcoming issue of DHMS.
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