23 December 2014

Small Wonders

Ever since it was published a few years ago The Queen's Dolls' House by Lucinda Lambton has been one of my favourite books to pull from the shelves at this time of year.  There is nothing like a cup of tea and a book that displays both childlike charm and exquisite craftsmanship to slow down a busy time of year.

Every detail was considered with precision and more than likely resulted in plenty of bleary eyes and tension headaches for those involved.  Grand furniture reduced in scale is expected upstairs but downstairs gets just as much attention.  In the pantry are food stuffs supplied by the best in their trade such as miniature jars of marmalade, a chest of tea, six packets of Saltines, an appropriate 4 dozen boxes of chocolate, and so much more.

My personal favourite item from the kitchen is a copper kettle made with a George V penny, the King's head forming its base.

This doll house may have been designed by Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary but I can't help being reminded of another Mary in a big house...Lady Mary, of course.

In 2005, during a visit to Windsor Castle, where this work of art is on display, I wound my way around a glass cabinet that encircles the house.  You're nudged along by the stream of people but with this book on your lap you can enjoy every minute detail for as long as you like.

Jess Burton's The Miniaturist has just won Waterstones Book of the Year, among other awards, so for anyone with a continued interest in this art form I suggest taking a look at The Queen's Dolls' House.


  1. There's a dolls' house exhibition on at the moment, which you'd probably like. One house has a real iced wedding cake, though don't suppose you'd fancy eating it now!

  2. As a miniaturist (and even if I weren't) I love love the Queen's Dolls house. One of the highlights of my last trip to England. I had to go t through the exihibt twice.

  3. On my trip to Windsor Castle in October I was lucky enough to have no crowds on the day I visited. I got to peep at the doll's house as long as I wanted and it was wonderful. What a work of art it is!

  4. I took my daughters to Windsor Castle when they were little and we saw it! They were mesmerized. I'll never forget how much they loved it. Merry Christmas!

  5. I still sometimes rearrange all the furniture in my daughters dolls' house even though they are now eighteen and have lost all interest! Happy New Year.