Edwardian Dolls House - Object of the month

Cliffe Castle Museum

April 2017

This months Object of the Month has been chosen by work experience placement student from the University of Huddersfield, Habiba Desai. 

"I’d never been to Cliffe Castle before now and when I was asked to choose the object of the month, it allowed me to observe the objects in a different light. As a student studying the year 1837 and it’s progression with culture, books and travel, I was drawn to the Edwardian Dolls House.

I’ve always admired the elegance and sophistication of historical novels, such as,  ‘North and South’ by Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘Persuasion’ and the classic novel – Pride and Prejudice both written by the talented authoress Jane Austen.

This dolls house reminds me of a time when it wouldn’t have been placed behind a glass case but instead situated in a grand nursery amongst other toys played with by the children. Though the crafters name is unknown and the owner of the dolls house is anonymous, it is evident that this large and intricately built dolls house was crafted for a family of wealth.

The dolls house was replicated on the Whinburn Mansion in Keighley. The Grade II, Arts and Crafts mansion was built by James Ledingham in 1897 for local businessman – Prince Smith. This dolls house is complete with eleven rooms including two sumptuously decorated parlours and a maid’s room tucked away in an attic. It would have even had working electricity to light up the chandeliers and water running in the pipes which would fill the bathtub.

Such grand toys aren’t made today and certainly not with the love, and unique craftsmanship as this doll’s house was made. I wish toys like this were made today and children could appreciate the value of its craft."


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