Antique Dollhouses

Queen Mary's Dollhouse

Anyone with an interest in miniature houses and furniture will probably have heard of the exquisite model house, known as "Queen Mary's Dollhouse", finished in 1924 and constructed for Queen Mary, wife of George V.

Under the guidance of emminent architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, the miniature house was built by some of the best artists and craftsmen of the day and the finished product presents a perfect microcosm of life in a rich royal household of the period.

Some of the objects within are perfect miniatures of what is inside Windsor Castle, such as a miniature library and grand piano. In addition, there are models of products from many of the prominent companies of the day.

The front facade of queen Mary's Dollhouse, complete with cypress trees and a garden
The front facade of queen Mary's Dollhouse, complete with cypress trees and a garden
This exquisite decorative grand piano is just one of many beautiful objects to be found within the dollhouse.
This exquisite decorative grand piano is just one of many beautiful objects to be found within the dollhouse.

A Showcase of Finery

Made to a scale of 1/12. the house stands over three feet tall and the house has working light fittings, working elevators, gramophones, grandfather clocks and plumbed bathrooms. It also boasts marble floors and hand carved ceilings etched in gold leaf.

The original inspiration from the house came via Queen Victoria's Granddaughter, Princess Marie LouiseThe masterpiece dollhouse's cost is immeasurable; now in the possession of Elizabeth II, it is a priceless item. According to an article in the Telegraph:

1,500 individuals becoming involved in the Dolls’ House. It was a formidable force: 250 craftsmen and manufacturers, 60 artist-decorators and 700 artists, 600 writers and 500 donors, many of them still household names today.

Lucinda Lampton

Lampton notes that amid the austerity of the post World War One period, the dollhouse stood as a beacon of national endeavour, uplifting the spirits of the English.


A drawingroom within the dollhouse. Note the fabulous decorative ceiling
A drawingroom within the dollhouse. Note the fabulous decorative ceiling
Three quarter profile of the Mount Pleasant House
Three quarter profile of the Mount Pleasant House

The Mount Pleasant Dollhouse

Sold in 2008 at auction with Southeby's for $13,800, the Mount Pleasant Dollhouse was previously on display proudly for ten years at the DelawareToy & Miniature Museum. Like Queen Mary's dollhouse, this too was edesigned by an architect and is a replica of of a mid 18th century house in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park.

Designed in 1916 by Charles Borie, an architect with the Philadelphia firm of Zantinger, Borie & Medary, the miniature mansion is beautifully crafted and has a classic Georgian facade made from handpainted bricks, with quoining (cornerstone work)and Palladian windows. The house has several rooms and is in a scale of 1 1/4'' to the foot.

Inside, the front entrance is highlighted by a grand, sweeping staircase leading all the way up to an attic. There is an original persian rug and much of the original paintwork and architectural details remain in tact.

Mount Pleasant Dollhouse
Mount Pleasant Dollhouse
Inside the Mount Pleasant Dollhouse
Inside the Mount Pleasant Dollhouse
Quaint interior of an antique German Dollhouse
Quaint interior of an antique German Dollhouse
A miniature antique bedroom
A miniature antique bedroom

Antique German Dollhouse

Made in Germany around 1906 by Moritz Gottschalk has a simple, rustic appeal and while lacking the finery and magnificence of some more elaborate dollhouses, we can imagine that this was a house to be played with and enjoyed and not just employed as a showcase.

The Housed Gottschalk company were a large toy-making firm that made factory produced dollhouses, rooms, furniture and shops from the late 19th Century on, though manufacturing was temporarily interrupted by WW2.

As charming as this little house is there's an even better one to found through the link below, discovered on a bloggers page. The house described has truly exquisite handmade furniture and is phenomenally detailed:

Handmade German dollhouse

Antique German Dollhouse
Antique German Dollhouse

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