Y Bwthyn Bach thumbnail 1
Y Bwthyn Bach thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Y Bwthyn Bach

Dolls' House
1933-1935 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This dolls' house was made in the 1930s by Lines Bros of Merton, Surrey. It is a model of the Welsh cottage style playhouse which was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) on her sixth birthday in 1932 by the people of Wales. The original 'Y Bwthyn Bach' now stands in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The cottage was used to raise funds for children's hospital charities before the Princess was allowed to play with it. It has four rooms including a kitchen and bathroom fully equipped with working appliances. Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, loved to give parties in the cottage. Few children had such a large house to play in but this dolls' house version cost 56/- (£2.80) which many parents could afford.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Dolls' House
  • Chimney
Additional TitlePrincess Elizabeth's Little House (popular title)
Materials and Techniques
Painted wood, enamelled metal, celluloid
Brief Description
Dolls' house made in England by Lines Bros., early 1930s
Physical Description
The house is broad and stood upon a base painted green. The front opens with two panels to reveal four rooms and a hall and staircase. The front and sides are covered with stucco and painted white; the back is plain wood painted white. There are two large square bay windows and a central door on the ground floor and windows above. There is a side door.



The roof is carved and painted dull yellow to represent thatching. The top of the front panels, over each window, is raised in shape to fit the shape of the roof rather like dormer windows. The four rooms have been wired for lighting, each has a small bulb. These are operated by batteries housed in two compartments at the back of the roof. One has retained its painted wooden cover.
Dimensions
  • Base width: 30in
  • Base depth: 17in
  • Base height: 1¾in
  • House without chimney height: 22in
Production typemass produced
Marks and Inscriptions
  • red, black and gold triangle with a large L in the centre (Trade mark; paper label glued to the upper centre back of the house)
  • 'Harvey Nichols & Co Ltd/Depository/Bournemouth/Name/No. (Paper label glued to the back)
  • Harrod's Limited Furniture Depository Barnes SW13 ...MINOPRIO ESQ ...D.No. 5342 21 11.5/64 (printed paper label glued to the back)
Object history
This is one of the two examples of dolls' houses modelled on the Welsh cottage style playhouse (child-sized cottage) presented to Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) for her sixth birthday in 1932, by the people of Wales. Called 'Y Bwthyn Bach', the little house was used to raise funds for children's hospital beds before being installed in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Production
Reason For Production: retail
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Association
Summary
This dolls' house was made in the 1930s by Lines Bros of Merton, Surrey. It is a model of the Welsh cottage style playhouse which was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) on her sixth birthday in 1932 by the people of Wales. The original 'Y Bwthyn Bach' now stands in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The cottage was used to raise funds for children's hospital charities before the Princess was allowed to play with it. It has four rooms including a kitchen and bathroom fully equipped with working appliances. Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, loved to give parties in the cottage. Few children had such a large house to play in but this dolls' house version cost 56/- (£2.80) which many parents could afford.
Collection
Accession Number
B.125:1, 2-1998

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record createdJune 25, 1998
Record URL