Monday, October 21, 2013

The Art of Play: The Thomas Risley Doll's House, 1889

Doll's House
Assembled in 1889 by one Thomas Risley
Possibly from a kit by an unknown model co.
Click to enlarge the image
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Made by Thomas Risley in 1889 possibly from a kit, this villa puts me in mind of Queen Victoria’s Osborne House, though it is a doll’s house. This beauty is rendered in the style of a brick house which would have been quite the fashion about 1860—with a glass conservatory and coach house on each side.

When we hear the words “doll’s house,” we automatically imagine that this was made to be a child’s plaything. But, not. This was not for a child. It’s far too fragile. This was meant as a collectible pursuit and a hobby for an adult, and quite probably for a male with an interest in architecture and design.

Made of wood, it is painted a deep cream, with a striped yellow and white awning over the front entrance. The coach house has been made to look as if it is a brick structure, and the conservatory is constructed of real glass. A set of railings with two gates run around the front of the house. 

No comments: