Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Take A Tour Of The Queen's Dolls' House

Perfect in every detail, the Queen's Dolls' House at Windsor Castle is one of the largest in the world. The Dolls’ House, which now belongs to Queen Mary’s granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II, is a creation unlike any other. Designed for Queen Mary by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the 1:12 scale dolls’ house stands 8ft 5ins wide, 4ft 8ins deep and 5ft high and features all the comforts required in a stately home of the period, with a few regal extras such as the strong room for the crown jewels. The house, finished in 1924, was a gift to Queen Mary in thanks for her presence in World War I. 

This exquisite structure is filled to its royal rafters with the work, in miniature, of the finest artists and artisans, craftsmen and manufacturers of early 20th-century Britain. "The most perfect present that anyone could receive", wrote the Queen to all those involved in its creation. The house was in display at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley and then a year later, it was taken in 45 boxes weighing four and a half tons, to the Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia in west Kensington. Finally, in July 1925, it was put on show in Windsor Castle, in a room specially designed by Lutyens. There it has remained ever since. It is definitely among the highlights of a visit to Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II was given the Dolls' House by it's original owner, her grandmother, Queen Mary.

Mary of Teck was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominians, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V. She is the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.

This five-foot-high, 40 room miniature mansion is priceless. From the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost in the garage to the original works by Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling, it is a perfectly preserved piece of history.

Exterior view of the Palladian style house.

There is a hidden garden revealed only when a vast drawer is pulled out from beneath the main building. This has replicas of greenery and garden implements and follows a traditional ornamental garden theme.

There is also a landscaped garden complete with a functional lawnmower designed by famed gardener of the time, Gertrude Jekyll.

The Grand Entrance Hall and Staircase are finished in real marble. The painting on the landing walls is by William Nicholson. It depicts Adam and Eve being cast from the Garden of Eden.

The jewellers Cartier built a longcase clock for the marble hallway.The clock’s chimes can be heard upon every hour.

In the Salon, the largest room in the house, under the silk canopy sits two thrones.

Here in the Drawing Room there are portraits of both King George V and Queen Mary on either side of the fine marble chimney piece. Every room has a working fireplace.The ceiling was painted by Charles Sims

The house contains finely carved Adam and Chippendale furniture.

The Dining Room has a table and chairs made of walnut. The table can extend from 5 inches to twenty inches. The screen, which hides the servants entrance into the dining room, was made by Cartier.The linen table cloth was made in Belfast and is an exact copy of a table cloth used in Buckingham Palace. Much of the silverware was made by Garrard and Co. A fine dinner service was also donated by Doulton.

A fine dinner service was also donated by Doulton. Wedgwood provided porcelain dishes

The Queen's Bedroom. This room is finished in grey damask and  there is a mirrored ceiling! 

With running water, electricity, two working elevators, and many other delights, there can be no question that this is a dollhouse fit for a queen.

The house which is a piece of art itself, 750 works of art spanning from Victorian and pre-Raphaelite.

Vanity from the Queen's Bedroom

The carpets and curtains in the doll’s house are all copies of real carpets and curtains.

The Queen's Sitting Room, on the second floor. It is furnished and decorated in a Chinese style with walls are painted by Edmund Dulac. The glass cabinets are copies of those used by Queen Mary and are filled with miniature carvings in jade and amber alongside small ceramic ware pieces. The chairs are carved and painted to simulate bamboo.

The library includes original works by the top literary names of the day. Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and A.A. Milne, produced original hand-written works for the library.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a Sherlock Holmes story, How Watson Learned the Trick, especially for the Dolls' House.

Desk from the Library

The King's Bedroom is on the first floor, It is the central room in a suite, which also includes a dressing room and bathroom.

The bedroom is dominated by the state bed, with beautiful silk damask, and a finely embroidered royal coat of arms, donated by the Royal School of Needlework. 

The Doll's House even includes running hot and cold water and flushing lavatories.

The Nursery

In the kitchen, 2,500 tiny sections of oak recreate a wood-block floor, a copper kettle made out of a King George V penny, with the King’s head on its base, sits on the stove,On the kitchen table is a tin a Coleman's Mustard and Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce. By the sink are tiny tins of Lifebuoy and Sunlight soap.The kitchen whimsically includes a cat and trapped mice.

The Housekeeper’s Room. The domestic quarters and the rooms below stairs were given as much attention as the grand rooms above.

And behind a gate in the strongroom lie tiny copies of the Crown Jewels, weighing 1.5lbs rather than the real thing of 1.5tons.

The house also includes a fully stocked wine cellar filled with 200 bottles of Chateau Lafitte 1875 and five dozen bottles of Veueve Clicquot.

The house includes a five bay garage which contains a Daimler and a 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost limousine built especially by those companies for the  house.

Click here to see the previous post!

This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...