GOOD INTENTIONS (BEFORE and AFTER)
These two scenes are based on the poem "House building and repairs" by Juliana Horatia Ewing. Young Bill is inspired by his father's renovation of their home, and decides to do something about his sister's dolls' house.  It was, the little girl admits, in need of some improvements, with only one small room that was too small for her favourite doll Jemima.  But Bill's skills are not up to the job, and Jemima has to move into the bottom drawer with the Sunday frocks.
For more about Ewing and her work, and for quotations from the poem, click here.
LITTLE SUSY'S FIFTH BIRTHDAY
This comes from Elizabeth Prentiss's book Little Susy's Six Birthdays, which describes carefully how each year of Susy's life is celebrated in a way appropriate for her age.  She is expected to share the new dollhouse her father has made her with her little brother. 
For more about this story, click
here.
RAGGED ROBIN
The true story of a poor child's experience in a workshop making dolls' house furniture.  The workshop, which provided schooling and other opportunites for its young workers, was run by Octavia Hill, who was only fifteen at the time but went on to a lifetime of philanthropic work.  From an article in Household Words written by her mother.  For more about this story, click here.
AN EARLY FORM
A simple dollhouse of the early 19th century.  It has just a floor and one wall, and is in what we would today call "play scale" (suitable for Barbie dolls, for instance).  For more comments, see Turner.
The stories behind the scenes in the mini museum

For many years I've been collecting stories about miniatures and dollhouses, using old children's books and magazines as sources, but also finding items of interest in unexpected places.  Some of these are long out of print, and if they also appear to be out of copyright, I hope to transcribe extracts from them gradually.   A few extracts are available--click on underlined words.
          For comments on these stories, and on miniatures and the reasons why they fascinate some people, follow the links on the Academic stuff page.  In spite of its name, the academic section is not directed towards advanced scholars, but should be of some interest to anyone who has wondered why littleness is so intriguing.
          The tiny photographs show the 1/144 scale scenes I have made based on some of these stories.  You can see them in more detail on the Mini Museum page.
Stories
Toys in Miniature: Frances Armstrong
WET PAINT
One of the rare brothers who seems to be both kind and competent at least in his sister's eyes.  His parents may be less happy about the overturned paint pot.  Artist unknown.

AN EARLY FORM
A simple dollhouse of the early 19th century.  It has just a floor and one wall, and is in what we would today call "play scale" (suitable for Barbie dolls, for instance).  For more comments, see Turner.
KNOWING HER PLACE
Annoyed that she keeps on playing with his top, a brother tells his sister to get back to her baby-house where she belongs.  Based on an incident in Memoirs of a Peg-Top by Mary Ann Kilner (1784).
RAGGED ROBIN
The true story of a poor child's experience in a workshop making dolls' house furniture.  The workshop, which provided schooling and other opportunites for its young workers, was run by Octavia Hill, who was only fifteen at the time but went on to a lifetime of philanthropic work.  From an article in Household Words written by her mother.  For more about this story, click here.
History of dollhouse play
Combined reading list
LITTLE SUSY'S FIFTH BIRTHDAY
This comes from Elizabeth Prentiss's book Little Susy's Six Birthdays, which describes carefully how each year of Susy's life is celebrated in a way appropriate for her age.  She is expected to share the new dollhouse her father has made her with her little brother. 
For more about this story, click
here.

This page was last updated on: May 15, 2010

GOOD INTENTIONS (BEFORE and AFTER)
These two scenes are based on the poem "House building and repairs" by Juliana Horatia Ewing. Young Bill is inspired by his father's renovation of their home, and decides to do something about his sister's dolls' house.  It was, the little girl admits, in need of some improvements, with only one small room that was too small for her favourite doll Jemima.  But Bill's skills are not up to the job, and Jemima has to move into the bottom drawer with the Sunday frocks.
For more about Ewing and her work, and for quotations from the poem, click here.