The Doll's House

Episodes

First
Broadcast
Comments
20100708

A peek inside the world of the doll's house, by those who had one as a child.

It's the classic little girl's favourite toy and in this programme we hear about the influence the doll's house has had on the imagination of now grown up women and the occasional man, as well as the hobby of doll's houses for adults.

For the children's writer and illustrator, Lauren Child, the first doll's house she saw was made by her friend's mother from a cupboard.

It inspired her to make her own which she still is still working on today.

Many of the textiles which form the back-drop of her successful Charlie and Lola series originated as either wallpapers or fabrics from the doll's house she made in her youth.

For her, the doll's house is an environment which you can control.

In fact, it's one of the first occasions you get in your childhood to manipulate an environment and make up your own stories.

It's also an area of craftsmanship where Britain leads the world.

Whilst it may seem curious, some of the best examples of miniature building and carving are present in the cottage industries of doll's house furniture makers.

We hear from some of the best UK miniature artisans who are as well known in the doll's house world of the States, Japan and the rest of Europe as they are in Britain.

Looking at doll's houses from the 18th and 19th centuries in the Museum of Childhood, we hear that when they were built they were rarely intended as children's toys, but as hobbies for the ladies of the house.

Queen Mary's dolls house is discussed complete with miniature family portraits of her family and her arrangement of what she thought the domestic home might look like.

And we hear from the increasing number of women who are keeping the miniaturists in business as the vogue for dolls houses for adults grows.

Producer and Presenter: Sarah Taylor.

Sarah Taylor looks inside the world of the doll's house.