Dollhouse Decorating

Miniature Decorating Ideas |Articles on decorating dollhouses and the history of this artform


I have had a life-long love affair with dollhouse miniatures, and careers in art education and interior design. I hope to combine these life experiences to help other miniature enthusiasts get more out of this wonderful hobby we enjoy, a hobby that often reaches the level of an art form. Susan Downing

Posted on 06 November, 2016


Exterior of the Riggs Dolls House found on the Homes & History Magpie

Riggs Dolls’ House

Two lucky little girls received this dolls’ house as a gift from their father, a London stockbroker, during the 1840’s. There was a great fashion for dolls’ houses at this time, but even by the standards of its day, it would have been an impressive piece. It was designed,


Riggs Dolls House Kitchen found on Grace E White Flickr photostream

not just as an expensive gift for the girls, but as a way of displaying the family’s wealth and standing in the community. For if this was the quality of the dolls’ house can you imagine how grand its setting must have been?

Loving Care By Mrs. Riggs


Riggs Dolls House Drawing Room found on Grace E White Flicker photostream

The house, now known as the ‘Rigg Dolls’ House’ stayed with his family until 1957 when it joined the museum. Having donated the house, Mrs. Rigg, Dr. Rigg’s widow, became a frequent visitor and on one occasion in 1984, when she was in her 90’s, she ‘weeded out’ the pieces that had infiltrated the house since her donation to leave a true record of the contents as she knew it. However, during Mrs. Rigg’s lifetime, the house had seen some changes. Museum records state that ‘Mrs. Rigg had various repairs done by her chauffeur: the roof and chimney were added, and some of the pillars of the balustrade were made from miniature skittles cut in half.’ She had also added the toilet roll and the mangle.


Six rooms of the Riggs Dolls House found on Homes & History Magpie

One Of The Best

Fergus Gambon, an auctioneer and specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, declared it “one of the best 19th-century dolls’ houses in existence.” He compared it to the Audley End dolls house on display at Audley End in Essex (English Heritage) and The Killer Cabinet, a dolls’ house created with a Japanned cupboard on display in the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood (V&A).

The Riggs Dolls House is on permanent display at the Tunbridge Wells Museum. Thank you to Rachel Hale for these excerpts. Read her full article about the Riggs Dolls House on her excellent blog – Homes & History Magpie.


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where I offer many accessories and pieces of furniture in 1:12 scale. Subscribers to this blog receive a discount on all Featured Products. Click here for details.

Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: amazing miniatures

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