Offering a unique peek into the high-end lifestyle of the Royal’s is this 5ft dollhouse, which is currently on display at Windsor Castle. Built-in 1924 for Queen Mary by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, this dollhouse is a piece of art. The beautiful house is inspired by Princess Marie Louise, Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter, who asked Lutyens, the Cenotaph architect, to build it for Queen Mary. What will amaze you about the dollhouse are its intricate detailing and the wide range of contents, including Lux flakes by the kitchen sink, electricity, running water, and even a lift. On the kitchen table is a tin a Coleman’s Mustard and Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce. There is also a landscaped garden complete with a functional lawnmower designed by the famed gardener of the time, Gertrude Jekyll. In the garage are parked six ‘horseless carriages’ including a Daimler limousine and the Rolls. The house which is a piece of art itself house works of art, 750 to be precise, spanning from Victorian and pre-Raphaelite.
Those who contributed to making this dollhouse a heritage piece housing the history of the time include Aldous Huxley, John Buchan, and Somerset Maugham, who offered miniature pieces for this exquisite creation. Princess Marie also sent blank volumes to writers and poets to fill in and got back a hand-written leather-bound story from Conan Doyle called, How Watson Learned The Trick.
Kipling submitted a 4x3cm book of handwritten poems for the walnut-paneled library, some unpublished with his own illustrations. Thomas Hardy sent seven poems while Robert Graves penned five. Alfred Dunhill supplied miniature cigars and custom-made tobacco, while the jewelers Cartier built a longcase clock for the marble hallway.
In the wine cellar are 200 bottles of Chateau Lafitte 1875 and five dozen bottles of Veuve Clicquot. But the real showstopper (at least for me) in this house of miniature treasures are the tiny copies of the Crown Jewels, weighing 1.5lb, which lies behind the gate in the strong room.
Another unique feature is that this ostentatious doll house has no dolls at all!