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Dolls' house
  • Dolls' house
    Fry, Roger Eliot, born 1866 - died 1934
  • Enlarge image

Dolls' house

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1913-1919 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fry, Roger Eliot, born 1866 - died 1934 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Margaret H. Armitage

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This dolls' house was one of a group of toys designed by Roger Fry (1866-1934), painter and art critic, at the Omega Workshops in 1913. He is chiefly remembered for organising an exhibition of post-impressionist paintings at the Grafton Gallery in London in 1910 which caused a sensation at the time. He set up the Omega Workshops (1913-1919), with the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant as his co-directors. The purpose of the workshop was to design and decorate items of everyday use in a new and colourful style. This included toys such as this dolls' house, a toy theatre and some animals. It is possible that this house was modelled on Fry's own home near Guildford in Surrey.

Physical description

It has simple tripartite façade, divided by four pilasters ending in decorative ornaments at roof level. The two end sections have two tall narrow glazed windows with painted lead lights on the ground floor with two square windows above. The central section is hinged and has a narrow doorway with windows either side and two windows above. The interior has a hallway with a grey painted staircase leading up to a landing. There are rooms on each side of the hallway and landing which are accessible by simple doorways cut out of the plywood. There is a large window and a smaller one above on each of the short ends of the house. The roof is flat with a balustrade running along the edge. There are two chimneys on the back balustrade. The whole house is painted red (brown with some yellow and orange decoration, and grey window frames).

Place of Origin

England (made)


1913-1919 (made)


Fry, Roger Eliot, born 1866 - died 1934 (made)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 96.2 cm, Width: 65.3 cm, Depth: 30 cm

Object history note

This dolls’ house was designed by Roger Fry, the painter and art critic, at the Omega Workshops in 1913. It is possibly based on the artist’s own house, “Drubins! Near Guildford which he had designed five years earlier.
The dolls’ house was one of several toys made and sold by the Omega Workshops, including wooden jointed animals, windmills with revolving sails at the pull of a string, and puppet theatres. (see right). Some of the dolls’ houses were known to be fitted with electric lighting but this house does not appear to be so equipped.
The toys and a similar dolls’ house were also included in a design for an Ideal Nursery (below) as part of an exhibition of 3 rooms at the Workshops’ premises.

The Omega Workshops were started by Roger Fry in 1913 with the painters, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant as his co-directors. It was based at 33 Fitsroy Square, Bloomsbury (near Tottenham Court Road) and its purpose was to bring together young artists to design and decorate items of everyday use in their new free and colourful style. The workshop sold an enormous range of items from painted furniture and ceramics to rugs, cushions and painted fabrics. All were sold stamped with their trademark, the Greek letter omega (Ω). Complete interiors were eventually designed. However, it was a short lived concern, lasting only six years due to rows between members as well as disruptions caused by the First World War

Descriptive line

Dolls' house designed by Roger Fry for the Omega Workshops between 1913 and 1919




Dolls & Toys; Children & Childhood

Production Type

Limited edition


Museum of Childhood

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