Category Archives: cabinet

Posted on 03 March, 2016

tate-baby-house

Tate Baby House, on exhibit at the V&A Museum, London

Tate Baby House

Little is known about Mrs Walter Tate, who last owned this house. It was made in Dorset around 1760 and is said to be modeled on a typical 18th century Dorset house.

It is a complex structure that comes apart in several sections so that the owner, usually a lady, could take it on her travels. In those days people often went away for quite long periods of time. Coach travel took up a lot of time and journeys involved careful planning, therefore visits were often long. The baby house was the pride and joy of the mistress of the house, who would often take hers with her. She would take great pleasure in choosing wallpapers and furniture for it.

tate-baby-house

Tate Baby House, on exhibit at the V&A Museum, London

Furnishings

The furniture is not contemporary with the house which was updated in 1830 and at regular intervals afterwards by its owners. In an 18th century house the furniture would have been arranged in a more formal fashion around the walls of the rooms. The windows have lost their glazing bars which would have given them an authentic twelve pane look instead of the two panes that were popular in the 19th century. A painted window on the side of the house shows what the windows should look like.

A Child’s Toy

Children played with the house from time to time … under supervision. Guests would frequently take small presents such as little silver kettles or salt containers for the baby house as a token of thanks for their hostess’s hospitality.

The Tate Baby House is 7.2′ high, 4.10′ wide and 3.6′ deep. It is made of painted wood designed as a classical building of brick with stone coigns and dressings. A balustraded external staircase leads up to the first floor level, and the pedimented entrance door has a Venetian window above. On either side are four windows, two in each story that can open and shut.

tate-baby-house

Tate Baby House, on exhibit at the V&A Museum, London

Above the cornice is a parapet formed of pilasters and turned balusters, behind which is a glass lantern lighting the staircase hall. An arched entrance in the basement has an oeil de boeuf window on each side. The entrance leads to larders and kitchens. In the sides the top windows are surmounted by drapery swags and a garland of flowers. At each end of the house are chimney stacks.

The house comes apart for ease of handling when traveling. The house has undergone renovation at least three times; part of the roof has been added, the windows changed from the Georgian style to the sash windows favored in the Victorian era, and the stand is an Edwardian addition.

 

Theabove article is supplied by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, United Kingdom

tate-baby-house-video-ileana-ottini

Tate Baby House video by Ileana Ottini

Click on the image to enjoy this video on the Tate Baby House by Ileana Ottini

Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: cabinet, Great Dollhouses


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Posted on 25 February, 2016

Petronella Oortman's Dolls House

Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House

Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House

In the 17th century, dolls houses were not toys. They were very expensive hobbies. Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House is the most famous of the three dolls houses at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This particular dolls house provides a detailed view of how affluent houses were once furnished.

What makes Petronella Oortman’s dolls house so unusual is that all the pieces were made in the same way, and using the same materials as their regular counterparts, built precisely to scale. It is decorated with original, miniature paintings and murals commissioned from successful Dutch artists. It features handcrafted wicker and upholstered furniture, sculpted ceiling reliefs, and marble flooring.

Petronella ordered her miniature porcelain from China and commissioned cabinetmakers, glassblowers, silversmiths, basket-weavers, and artists to furnish her dolls house. Her dolls house cost as much as an actual canal house in Amsterdam. She was so proud of her home that she had it portrayed in a painting.

When the dolls house was first displayed, the front door opened to a full garden complete with a working fountain. The copper pump in the cook room was functional. Unfortunately, these items and the garden have been lost.

You might also be interested in this article on the Sara Rothe cabinet dolls houses. And here’s an interesting Wikipedia article on Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House.

 

Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens

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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: cabinet, Dutch, Great Dollhouses


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Posted on 21 January, 2016

frans-bosdyk-dollhouse

Frans Bosdyk and the Dollhouse, on exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney

The Bosdyk Dollhouse

It took 15,000 hours and many thousands of dollars for materials spent on the work. Frans Bosdyk made most of the furniture, which he researched in ‘Antique Furniture in Australia’ by Anthony Hill, and developed special lathes to turn the tiny wooden parts. He also fashioned his own tiny hand tools from 75-100mm concrete nails to make it easier for him to handle the small pieces. He used silky oak,

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Posted by Susan Downing


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Posted on 15 December, 2015

 petronella-oortman-cabinet-dollhouse

Petronella Oortman’s cabinet dollhouse on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Cabinet Dollhouses

A Cabinet Of Curiosities

The term cabinet was originally used to describe a room, rather than a piece of furniture. A “Cabinet of Curiosity” could contain collections of unusual items: fossils, scientific studies, oddities gathered from newly discovered lands. These rooms were often lavishly decorated, the treasures displayed in a setting designed for their maximum effect.

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Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: cabinet, dollhouses, Dutch


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