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Not currently on display at the V&A

Whiteladies House

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

This Art Deco house was designed by Mrs Moray Thomas as a record of 1930s contemporary life in miniature. One of the oldest charity houses, it was displayed at The Building Centre in New Bond Street in 1936 for the purpose of raising funds for the Middlesex Hospital. It was also lent to the Victoria and Albert Museum to be shown at the Children's Exhibition in 1936. The inspiration for the project came about as a result of seeing a German dolls' house dating from 1750 and observing how it reflected the lifestyle of the time. The house was built by chauffeur and carpenter William Purse and the furnishings and inhabitants were made by Moray Thomas and Basil Hunt, a talented maker of models. The house can be taken apart for ease of travel and was clearly intended as a reflection of the lifestyle of the very wealthy.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted plywood, glass, textiles, paper, metals
Brief Description
Whiteladies dolls' house made in England in 1935
Physical Description
Whiteladies House is an geometric, L-shaped two storey house built in Art Deco style. The outside walls are cream and simulate rough small stone work. There is a covered veranda, making the first floor rectangular in shape, with a balcony on one and a half sides with stairs leading to a flat roof on two levels. On the ground floor there is a kitchen, entrance hall, sitting room, dining room and a garage. On the first floor there are three bedrooms and a bathroom (the entrance hall is two storeys high). The back part of the house can be removed and the front façade is hinged. Over the front door is the date. All the woodwork is green with the exception of the front door which is black with a gold door. The house has a swimming pool and a tennis court.
Dimensions
  • Height: 75cm
  • Length: 137cm
  • Depth: 119cm
Styles
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by Mrs Moray Thomas
Object history
Gift of Mrs Stanley Thomas, Sundial House, Holly Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 The house was displayed at The Building Centre, 158, New Bond Street, W.1. between May 8th and May 29th, 1936 for charity. Funds raised went to the Bond Street Ward of the Middlesex Hospital. A small publication entitled 'Whiteladies House (A Miniature Modern Home)' by Moray Thomas accompanied the show. In 1937 it was offered to the Victoria and Albert Museum as a gift having been on loan to the Children's Exhibition in the North Court in 1936. The house was intended to be a record in miniature of contemporary style.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This Art Deco house was designed by Mrs Moray Thomas as a record of 1930s contemporary life in miniature. One of the oldest charity houses, it was displayed at The Building Centre in New Bond Street in 1936 for the purpose of raising funds for the Middlesex Hospital. It was also lent to the Victoria and Albert Museum to be shown at the Children's Exhibition in 1936. The inspiration for the project came about as a result of seeing a German dolls' house dating from 1750 and observing how it reflected the lifestyle of the time. The house was built by chauffeur and carpenter William Purse and the furnishings and inhabitants were made by Moray Thomas and Basil Hunt, a talented maker of models. The house can be taken apart for ease of travel and was clearly intended as a reflection of the lifestyle of the very wealthy.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
W.3-1937

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record createdJune 7, 2005
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