Every one of these marvellous dolls’ houses that still survive constitues a historical document in its own right. Each may have its own tale; yet the restoration process has given imagination free rein to breathe new life into those houses, thanks also to the detail that illuminates their time in social history.
These houses shed light on various periods of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries reflecting the tastes of their owners in color, structure, furniture and upholstery, carpets and curtains, chandeliers and number of rooms.
Name: Ruby Villa
Period-Date: Late Victorian, 1880
Dimensions: Depth: 45 cm, Width: 81 cm, Height: 116 cm
Ruby Villa is an English dolls’ house made for Ruby Gibbs. The façade is painted to resemble red bricks. It contains four rooms of equal size on two storeys. There are two doors, one at each side. There are bay windows on the ground floor. On the front façade of the upper storey is an escutcheon bearing the words “Ruby Villa”. The pitched roof has dormer windows. The walls of the rooms still have the original wallpaper. On the upper storey the room on the right contains a desk with large drawers with metal handles, which was made by the Walterhousen company in the German Biedermeier style in imitation rosewood and ebony. The night lamp on a table in this room and the fireguard in front of the fireplace on the ground storey are made of cast brass and date from the late 19th century. The bamboo chairs in the kitchen date from the 1880s and were made in Japan.
Name: Marquetry Villa
Period-Date: Victorian, early 1900s
Dimensions: Depth: 25,5 cm, Width: 48 cm, Height: 43 cm
The façade of this single-storey dolls’ house has the effect of brickwork. There is marquetry decoration around the front door and windows. There are two steps leading up to the front door and the windows are glazed. The house consists of two rooms and a hallway. One side of the roof is made of glass and the other is a wooden panel that forms a lid opening to reveal the house inside. There is a chimney at each end of the roof. There are traces of the original paper lining on the floor. The wallpaper is not original.
Gottschalk Dolls’ House
Name: Gottschalk Dolls’ House
Dimensions: Depth: 19.5 cm, Width: 28 cm, Height: 63.5 cm
Wood, printed paper This dolls’ house is designed in the style of a seaside villa. It is the work of the German designer Moritz Gottschalk. The wooden house has two storeys and some of the architectural features are covered with printed paper. The pitched roof, gable roof and roof of the small bell tower are painted blue. The front façade is attached by a hinge in the form of a hook and opens completely. Inside there are two rooms. There is a veranda at the entrance with carved wooden balustrades. There are lace curtains at the glass windows.
Name: Mirador Villa
Dimensions: Width: 75 cm, Height: 85 cm,
The French style Mirador Villa was designed in 1890 by Christian Hacker. The dolls’ house has a mansard roof and each of the three storeys is designed as a separate box. A lid opens to reveal the attic rooms. The façade forms the lid for the other two floors. The name “Mirador” is written above the front door and just above this on the upper storey is a balcony with a balustrade. The four rooms on the first two storeys are linked to one another inside by a staircase. The wallpaper and flooring materials are original.
Tudor Style French Dolls’ House
Name: Tudor Style French Dolls’ House
Period-Date: Circa 1930
Dimensions: Depth: 32 cm, Width: 82 cm, Height: 115 cm
Tudor Style French Dolls’ House has two storeys with a big balcony on the second floor. The house with ridge roof has one chimney. The entrance door also has a ridge roof. Both floors have two rectangle windows. There is also another circular framed window. Inside the house, there are four rooms, one entrance and one bathroom.
Name: Maritime Museum
Period-Date: Circa 1960
Dimensions: Depth: 91,4 cm, Width: 170,18 cm, Height: 109,2 cm
Georgian style house with four columns, blue siding and a wooden tiles covered roof. This dolls’ house built up two stories with eight rooms designed as a maritime museum. Each room depicting a different aspect of seafaring history. The main room at the entrance of the house depicts the clipper ship era with paintings, ship models, and a ship’s figurehead. There is a an office room with a China trade front desk. On the other side there is a room which celebrates the era of the ocean liner with various ships and images on the wall. The central focus being a model of the R.M.S. Titanic. Upstairs there is a diaroma room with two diaromas and some ship models. There is also a workshop for model ship making, with a working bench, wood pieces, paints, glue and some tools.