Sunday, December 21, 2014

Transformer dollhouse turns into a chair : Dollhouses in the News

I have to admit I would rather have a dollhouse than another chair.
Read more about it here

Friday, December 19, 2014

Interiors: a doll's house from the Museum of Childhood - Dollhouses in the News

By Halina Pasierbska

This weekend the Museum of Childhood opens an exhibition featuring 12 extraordinary doll’s houses made over the past 300 years. Halina Pasierbska looks inside Whiteladies House, a very stylish modernist villa forever stuck in 1935, where the cocktails are on ice and the pool party is in full swing.

It was after seeing illustrations of a grand 18th-century German doll’s house that the artist Moray Thomas decided to design one herself. Whiteladies House was built in 1935 and was inspired by the handful of modernist buildings that had begun to crop up in Hampstead, north London (Wells Coates’s iconic Isokon building was completed a year earlier). Its flat-roofed, geometric shape and white render is typical of the experimental architecture of the day.

Whiteladies was more a social observation than a children’s toy. According to an illustrated pamphlet, Thomas managed ‘to record in miniature the habits, homes, tastes and ideas of the people of today – the young people who are unhampered by choice possessions of old furniture or by old conventions of drawing rooms, calling hours, formal manners or privacy... A generation bred in one war and living its little time of sunshine to the full before the next one.’

Bearing this in mind, there is a poignancy in the care-free gathering that the viewer is invited to witness: its eccentric inhabitants and their friends are frozen in time, sunning themselves, diving into the pool and laying the table for an alfresco meal in the loggia.
A two-storey galleried lounge occupies the centre of the house, with full-length windows opening on to the garden. It also connects with an open-air dining room on the side. The lounge is equipped with a glass cocktail bar and contemporary furniture in white sycamore.

Whiteladies was designed by Thomas and built by William Purse, of whom little is known apart from the fact that he was a chauffeur and talented carpenter. Thomas made the decorations, hangings and pipe-cleaner inhabitants with the help of Basil Hunt, a Sussex road-mender with a passion for model-making. The facade of the doll’s house is hinged, making it possible to look beyond the front door (complete with silver knocker) and have a closer inspection of the rooms. The interior is modern, with Bauhaus-inspired tubular steel furniture, a turquoise-coloured circular free-standing bathtub and murals by the British futurist artist Claude Flight among the standout contemporaneous pieces. What is also intriguing is the attire and behaviour of the people within it. The inhabitants of Whiteladies are a privileged set, tennis rackets in hand and never far from a (miniature) soda syphon.

The bathroom has an air of luxury about it, with its contemporary mirror glass and silver fittings.

Thomas had an altruistic reason for embarking on this project too, which was to raise funds for the Bond Street ward of the Middlesex Hospital. As such it is one of the oldest existing charity doll’s houses. Whiteladies House was exhibited at the Building Centre at 158 New Bond Street in London in May 1936; later that year it was offered as a loan to the children’s exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1937 it became a gift to the museum. Sir Eric Maclagan, who was the director of the V&A at the time, and who is credited with broadening the museum’s public appeal, wrote to thank Thomas for her donation. ‘I accept Whiteladies House with real enthusiasm. It delighted me when I first saw it and it is a centre of attraction at present in our exhibition for boys and girls in the North Court.’ As Whiteladies goes back on display nearly eight decades later, I suspect it will capture the imaginations of a new generation of visitors who gather to observe the life in miniature that Thomas managed to capture.

The kitchen is situated on the ground floor. It is simply but adequately equipped, which is typical of kitchens at this time. It has a hygienic rubber floor and boasts some comparatively recently introduced household appliances, such as a refrigerator, an electric cooker, vacuum cleaner and iron.

The exterior
This wooden modernist construction makes much use of glass and cream and green paint. The balcony was inspired by one that the artist Moray Thomas had admired in an Austrian house in the summer of 1935. There is a definite atmosphere of Mediterranean-style living – sun, fresh air and good health were encouraged at the time. The pipe-cleaner inhabitants are among many items made by Thomas from inexpensive materials. Through the chromium doors, which can be closed in winter, is the sandblasted outside-dining loggia, with an incised design on the wall and stone furniture.

The indoor dining area is designed more for style than for comfort. The floor is lined with black and terracotta tiles. The chairs in the style of Mies van der Rohe are up to the minute. The delicate blue-glass wine set was, like the chairs, probably made in Germany.

The walls of this room on the upper storey are decorated with scenes illustrating a day in the lives of the people who live in the house and their guests. There are two further bedrooms on this level: a maid’s room and a spare room. In a letter to the museum in July 1956, Thomas revealed that the mural decorations in the house were by Claude Flight and other artists, including herself.

Read the original article here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's Hard To Believe This Gorgeous Home Is Actually a Doll House - Dollhouses in the News

by Andrew Liszewski

If you're already feeling self-conscious about the tiny one-bedroom apartment you call home, this stunning sixth-scale house designed for dolls or action figures isn't going to make you feel any better about your living arrangements. But it will give you something to aspire to one day, because this isn't Barbie's dream house, it's everyone's dream house.

Designed and built by Mumbai-based Architecture Brio for an unknown client (who presumably has the luckiest kids in the world) this miniature abode features a brilliant open layout letting kids access its various rooms from all four sides. And it doesn't just look luxurious, it's actually made from real birch, teak, and rose wood, with genuine brass fixings and accessories.

All of the furniture inside the house is custom-made to perfectly match the scale, and the unbelievable attention to detail goes all the way to working lights, and even working light switches on the walls. It's a good thing Barbie's had all those jobs over the years, because realistically she'd need all that extra income to afford a place like this. [Architecture Brio viadesignboom]

Monday, December 15, 2014

Deck Your Doll House for the Holidays with Lundby’s Winter Festive Kits! Dollhouses in the News

by Lisa Arneill in Doll House

Note: this post is taken from the article linked above. Please go to this link for complete text. Any inaccuracies can be attributed to the author.

The Christmas tree is up, the house is lit and stockings are hung!  Tis the season to make everything in the house sparkle and Lundby has created some festive Winter kits to help your kids get their play houses ready for the holidays.

We were first introduced to Lundby last year when they made their move into the North American market.  The Australian company has been designing doll’s houses for almost 70 years and their holiday and Winter kits are some of the best we’ve seen!

Read the rest of the article here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

$40,000 dollhouse fit for a princess - Dollhouses in the news

It seems that in December dollhouses are big news. I have found a number of stories about them online.  For the next few weeks I will be reporting on Dollhouses in the News. Here is the first post of the series.

Maybe Santa will bring me this for Christmas. Santa, I've been nice this year...

This is from this news story

A London interior designer and a real estate firm have launched a special new home.

It's got a marble entry hall, hand-polished parquet floors, Nina Campbell wallpaper, handmade furniture and bedding, and remote control lighting. And it's only $40,000!

There's only one catch: It's 6,045 square inches. That's right, it's a dollhouse.

Every Christmas seems to bring news of hyperpriced dollhouses, but this one caught our attention for its incredible detail.

It features:

A parquet floor, which alone took 14 hours to sand, polish and complete.
A Beatrix Potter-themed nursery with wooden floors, a luxury Moses basket, toy box, chest of drawers and changer all hand-painted in Potter artwork.
A drawing room that is furnished with gold silk curtains with a mini cream trim, an Aubusson rug, French furniture, a chandelier and dark wood flooring. There is off-street parking, in the form of a garage, complete with a miniature Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce.
The sale price for the house is $40,000, but if the seller gets more than one offer, it will take sealed bids.

The design firm behind the house, Dragons of Walton Street, will be donating 10 percent of the proceeds of the sale to charity, and Savills, the broker, also plans to donate its "agent fee."

Sure it's expensive for a dollhouse. But Savills said that if the house were real, and located in London's Chelsea neighborhood, it would cost as much as $20 million.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas windows in downtown Toronto

I was walking past the Hudson's Bay flagship store in Toronto the other day and what I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

I can only guess that they are advertising perfume as little bottles are interspersed with the mini furniture in the few open rooms, but I am not familiar with the brand.

This section looks like New York City brownstones

But this house looks like Paris

There is a lovely park in front of the houses

The sign on the window says 'Dollhouse'. Is that a perfume? Or is it the clothes?

Only a few rooms are open. The mannequins are holding miniature furniture
as if they are in the process of playing with the dollhouses

I want to climb into the window and play too.

I wonder if they plan to use this display again.
Maybe I should ask if I can have it when they are through with it.

On the north side of the store, along Queen Street, Hudson's Bay has put up their wonderful Christmas windows again this year . Click here to see them all. They are animated and lovely.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dolls and dollhouses in Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Krakow and other European cities

I have joined a spring 2015 tour of European cities which includes doll museums, private doll collections, concerts in several cities and so much more.

Check it out here:

I am so excited! 

It is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for doll lovers. Wouldn't it be fun? I have found a roommate to share in the adventure.

Please check out the website,, go to the Facebook page,

I can't wait! I've always wanted to see Prague!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Charming Tudor Cottage from GeeBee

The GeeBee logo on the base of the house.

My newest house is a GeeBee DH/8 Tudor Cottage, possibly from around 1965. It is hard to tell which year it was made as they used this form for several years with many variations of paint colours and architectural details

Rebecca Green of Dollhouses Past and Present has written a wonderful and comprehensive article on the GeeBee company. Check it out. There are many examples of houses in the article.

Rebecca tells us "They were made in Hull (England), and they were called GeeBee because they  were set up by two men called Goodeve and Bell. They started in 1946 and ended in 1981 (the last 3 years under Humbrol), according to Marion Osborne... (who) collected ... information over many years of searching trade journals and catalogues."
Jenny and Johnny Dol-Toi are just arriving home from school.

The kitchen is furnished with tin pieces from "My dolly's kitchen series". These were made by Brimtoy in Great Britain in the 1950s. You can see these pieces and more in Dian Zillner's book (International Dollhouses and Accessories 1880s to 1980s). I have the stove, sink, ice box, washing machine and dresser. I think there are a few more pieces as well.
The table and chair came with the house and were made by Dol-Toi

The cleaning supplies were sold by British dollhouse companies of the period

A closer look at the ice box, sink and washer. The sink inset is plastic 

The ice box is full of yummy painted food. All foods are red...

The stove and the sink have working doors, as does the under sink cupboard.

All the Brimtoy items are marked Made in Gt. Britian

Jennny and Johnny burst into the living room an wake up little Jeremy
who was asleep on Granny's knee while she watched her stories.
The stairs are made of tin and are original to the house.
Dol-Toi was a British brand of Dollhouse furniture, dolls and accessories. The items in this post are all a small 3/4" of 1/16th scale.
Father is standing by the fireplace as a good master of the house should. The sofa and chair are from Dol-Toi, as are the dolls. I think the lamp is too, but the TV is Lundby and the fireplace is an unidentified piece.

Poor Mother is busy vacuuming with her wooden and fabric Dol-toi vacuum. 

The bedroom furniture came with the house and I think it is Dol-toi.
Click on these links to see some previous blogs where I have Dol-Toi furniture in my houses.
Dol-Toi Furniture?
The Barton Model Home