Friday, December 23, 2011

Faith and G's Dollhouse

 Faith Bradford started her collection when she was 7 years old, 
and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1951
I've always had a fascination for dollhouses ever since I saw the Faith Bradford dollhouse at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC more than ten years ago.  The history of this dollhouse is so intriguing that there is even a book dedicated to the details of the dollhouse.

Last year, when G mentioned that she wanted a dollhouse for her birthday, I immediately asked the carpenter, who happened to be building shelves in our (real) house, to work on a dollhouse for her instead.

What got her interested in dollhouses was a book she was reading called The Doll People. She read this book two years ago, but keeps re-reading it, along with its sequels the The Meanest Doll in the World and The Runaway Dolls. I looked through the pages of the book, and found a drawing of an old-fashioned Victorian.

Together with the carpenter, I designed the dollhouse after this fictional drawing. I also made sure the dollhouse was made to scale--1 inch to 1 foot, or 1:12.

Anyway, the unfortunate part is I didn't pay much attention to the size of the rooms. They are 8 inches square, and that translates to 64 square feet, or about 7 square meters a room.  That's a bit tight for all the miniature furniture I already won on eBay. Yup, I was that excited that I already started bidding up a storm for vintage dollhouse furniture!

Faith regularly visited her dollhouse even in her old age. She died in the 70s.

Look at the scale of Faith's dollhouse above. Now that mansion has the luxury of space! The illustration in The Doll People book deluded me into thinking that a dollhouse that would take miniature furniture is a small thing. Hmm..maybe it could be less rooms.


So G got a 9-room "starter dollhouse" for her birthday, which is maybe 3 rooms too many. We have yet to paint it, and design the interiors--and I'm already thinking of renovating the dollhouse. Funny how "pretend" replicates life.

But you should see what else I found online--miniature Persian rugs and miniature books! We have all 7 books in the Harry Potter Series! G is very excited, but I think I am even more excited than her.  Just like our (real) house, this will be a work in progress, and I hope to show you all the details as we go along.


Carla Aston said...

How sweet! I'll bet it will be a showstopper. How fun for both of you to do together. Maybe a little designer in the making?

Cashon&Co said...

I remember my doll-house. Unfortunately it was very 70's with orange shag carpeting and avocado green appliances... but I loved playing with it. About 10 years ago my friend and I were staying with an old friend in Houston. We found her dollhouse, packed up in boxes. We stayed up for HOURS putting it together and 'decorating' rooms. In the morning we surprised her with it. I think she thought we were nuts! But it was so fun, even in our 30's.

Marivic said...

Wow, that sounds like so much fun! A dollhouse can be appreciated by all ages, specially those with design inclinations. Your dollhouse would have been "retro-iconic"!


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