The Grand Life, on a small scale; Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House

Queen Mary's Dolls' House, the roof and exterior are lifted up to reveal the interiors.

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the roof and exterior are lifted up to reveal the interiors.

A separate post on just one exhibit on view at Windsor Castle might seem a bit excessive, but this is and excessively interesting object. In the darkened under croft of Windsor Castle visitors are confronted with one of the most exquisite objects created that doesn’t serve any purpose but to amaze and delight. The dolls’ house was created between 1921-1924 by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Everything is on a scale of 1 to 12, and the attention to detail is such that the plumbing works, the bottles in the cellar are filled (and corked!) with appropriate vintages and the library contains miniature books supplied by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy.

The attention to detail that the 1500 or so artists and craftsmen lavished on this commission is astounding. The interiors were inspired by historic examples, and the exterior is a good example of Lutyens working in the style of Sir Christopher Wren. As there are no state rooms in the house what the interiors show us relates more to what one might find in a country house or one of the bigger London houses rather than a Royal palace.

The Royal Collection has made the wise decision to make the dolls house accessible through a digital tour on their website (link) which allows for a more relaxed exploration of the many tiny details.

The Vestibule and stairs

The Hall and stairs

 

The Saloon and the Dining Room below

The Saloon and the Dining Room below

 

The Queen's Bedroom with the Day Nursery above

The Queen’s Bedroom with the Day Nursery above