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Dolls' house

Dolls' house

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1790-1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Homes Gallery, case 1

This dolls' house was used as a pine writing desk and a chest of drawers, and dates from the late 18th century. The house fits neatly onto the top of the desk which has secret drawers. This would have been a special gift for a little girl because it was quite an adult piece of furniture. Stationery was very expensive and it was a special treat for a child to have their own.

Physical description

The exterior of this two-storey house is painted beige with white windows and door frames and two white bands halfway up the house and immediately below the roof. The back is plain. The front has two windows, one up and one down, each side of the centre door and the door has a window above it. The sides each have two windows, one up and one down. All the windows are sash windows. The door has a semi-circular fanlight and an arch with semi-circular top and four wooden stairs of decreasing width leading up to it. The house opens in the middle. Inside there are four unfurnished rooms, two on each level each with a fireplace and mantlepiece. Connecting doors link the rooms on the same floor. The upper rooms are green whilst the lower rooms are unpainted. The sloping roof has been painted grey and has a parapet and two beige chimneys. The bureau or writing desk upon which the house sits is of limed pinewood. The top front is sloping and hinged at the bottom. It has a brass knob and lock. When open it reveals six drawers each with a brass handle and a central panel in the base. When the panel is open, a cavity between two false drawers is revealed. These drawers originally each had brass handles, though one is missing. Below these drawers are three full width drawers, the lower two have brass handles and a lock and the upper one only has a lock (the handles are missing). The bureau or writing desk sits on four short legs.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1790-1810 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 168.2 cm, Width: 63.0 cm, Depth: 56.0 cm

Descriptive line

Dolls' house mounted on a bureau, English, 1790-1810




Dolls & Toys; Children & Childhood; Furniture

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

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