Friday, February 8, 2008

Queen Mary's Dolls House

I haven't been doing any needlework this week except for quilting a rug so I thought I'd show you one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.

As you can gather from my previous post I have a thing for Queen Mary. She was known for her great love and knowledge of antiques especially china and had great taste.

During the 1920's there was a suggestion for the creation of a gift to the Queen that would serve as a token of national goodwill and provide a means of raising funds for the many charitable schemes that Queen Mary had at heart. The Doll House came into being and when it was created was exhibited on several occasions at the British Empire Exhibitions at Wembly.

One important purpose in the minds of those who put forward the idea of the Dolls House was to present a model of a house of the 20th century which should be fitted up with perfect fidelity, down to the smallest details, so as to represent as closely and minutely as possible a genuine and complete example of a domestic interior with all the household arrangementsof the daily life of the time. It was a scheme that Queen Mary loved and took great interest in.

The dolls house is over 5 feet high and is in a large glass case that you are able to walk around and study every minute detail. What is amazing about it is everything in it works. From the door locks, lifts, electric lights, piped hot-water supply, an electric vacuum cleaner, electric iron and many other labour saving devices.

The house was designed bySir Edwin Lutyens. All the tiny books having a complete story in them written by many famous writers of the time e.g. Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Congrad, Conan Doyle, John Galsworthy, and Hugh Walpole among many.

The minute paintings were also painted by many famous artists. The scale of everything is 1" to 12".
Above is the Kings Bedroom, The Dining Room below and part of the Queens Bedroom and The Drawing Room.

These are the Queens Apartments and the Kings Apartments below with an incredible collection of antique cars of the time. The Dolls house is at Windsor Castle and used be looked after by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.


Wendy said...

What an awesome dollhouse! It would be amazing to see it in person. I think it would take me hours to try to take it all in. Thanks for sharing this!

lapplisor said...

Dear Sandra
It is unbelievably beautiful, which you show today again.
I saw a inspire-worthy doll's house in Denmark - Titanias Palace - it was the most beautiful, which I ever saw.
It is so beautiful to see these refinement which also still function...
I love doll's houses, and possess also a very beautiful large house. Love of greetings from Germany Barbara

Crazee4books said...

Hi Sandra,

Isn't it wonderful what the human imagination and inspiration can achieve when given the right sort of support and encouragement.

I have the very same booklet that you do on Queen Mary's dollhouse. In fact I have a whole plastic bin full of these booklets, collected during my trips to England. I love to get them out once in awhile and browse through them. Sort of relive my travels in memory.

My strongest memory of visiting Windsor Castle is during my first visit there, when we were wandering through St Georges Chapel. I stopped to look around in the middle of the main aisle and happened to look down at the floor. I discovered that I was standing on the grave of Henry VIII!!!! I must have leapt 10 feet in the air. Appologizing profusely to the great King's spirit I hustled down the aisle, to catch up with my family. You really don't want to piss off Henry VIII. He's got a frightful temper!!!

I'm glad to hear that you've finally gotten the second issue of Victoria. Isn't it a relief to see that so far they've managed to be faithful to the original in terms of excellent photography, writing and content. I can't wait to see what comes next. You've heard of comfort food. Well, these are comfort magazines for me.

We had two (count 'em....two!!) big snowstorms in the past week. Both on workdays, which was cause for much chaos and frustration on the part of commuters throughout the GTA. Today it snowed lightly all morning, and then rained this afternoon. Tonight the temperature is dropping to -10 Celsius. It's gonna be an ice rink out there tomorrow. Roll on Spring!!!

I'm really enjoying my currant cross stitch project and have sort of neglected my blogging to keep working on it. I'll post a progress photo on my blog tomorrow (Sunday).

Cheers for now!!

Suzanne said...

This is an amazing dolls house, it's hard to imagine making something like this to complete scale with all working items. There must have been a team of very patient people.

By the way, I saw the 'Token' framed on Karen's webiste, it looks fantastic. I look forward to seeing it all framed in person.

Jaimie said...

That is a doll's house? It is amazing! People who can do miniatures amaze me, it takes such discipline and patience. This one is truly a work of art!

Santa Justa said...

I have two fabulous floral watercolors done by my great aunt of England, Marcella Smith. My mother always said that Aunt Marcella had paintings in the Queen's Doll House in London. I never knew what she meant until now. Any idea if Marcella Smith indeed was a contributing artist?
BTW, I love your needlework too. I do some needlepoint and embroidery but am now trying to teach myself how to knit and am having a heck of a time.